Bronx Community College Celebrates 20th Annual Film and Video Festival

Bronx Community College student filmmakers pose with faculty, sponsors and staff in front of Clearview’s Chelsea Cinema for the 20th Annual Bronx Community College Film & Video Festival. Photo courtesy of Thomas Donley.

July 1, 2013 - Students in the Bronx Community College Media Technology and Film Society Clubs along with the Media Technology Program of the Communications Arts and Science Department worked late hours to complete their films for the 20th Annual BCC Film and Video Festival, which took place on Wednesday, June 5 at Cablevision’s Chelsea Clearview Cinema in NYC.

During the festival, students showed off their original short films that they had been working on throughout the semester. Production executives from the Eastman Kodak Company, Cablevision’s Clearview Cinema, Avid Technology, HBO, The Independent Film Channel, The Food Network, Panavision, Barbizon Lighting and many other companies were on hand to screen the films and present awards. During the festival, special thanks were extended to Dr. Debra Gonsher, Chair of the Communications Arts & Sciences Department for her continued support for the festival.

“You can see so much heart up there on the screen,” said Prof. Jeffrey Wisotsky of the Bronx Community College CAS Media Technology Program, “and it’s only because the filmmakers were putting themselves totally on the line to have these films exist. This was a very special evening for all of our BCC filmmakers, and I was glad to be in the audience for the 20th year and applaud them for their efforts.”

The 2013 Eastman Kodak Student Filmmaker Awards were presented by Anne Hubble, Eastman Kodak Company, Regional Account Manager, Studio & Independent Feature Film and Film Schools. First prize went to Ariela Rosa for her film Pursuing Anima. Sebastian Rothwyn won second prize for Double Agent. Third and fourth prizes were given out to Joshua Cruz (The Perfect Day) and Ke’Yonna Johnson (Skin Deep), respectively.

“I feel like this is the first time ever in my life that I was recognized for the hard work I put into something,” said Ariela Rosa, a Media Studies major who won first prize in the competition.

Ian Findlay, a Media Technology Major, received the 4th Annual Steve Garfinkel Memorial Award for Excellence in Media, which is given in honor of the late cinematographer who passed away in 2009. Garfinkel was a member of IATSE Local 600, the Cinematographers Guild, and the award was presented by fellow cinematographer Dejan Georgevich along with Sol Negrin. “Steve’s record of helping students with their films is legendary,” said Georgevich.

“I’m so grateful and so blessed,” said Sebastian Rothwyn, a Media Technology major who won second prize in the competition. “Hard work and smart work truly pays off. Never think that anything is too insurmountable.”

Rothwyn also received the 4th Annual Media Technology Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize, established in 2007 by BCC alumna, Vikki L. Pryor, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross in Greater New York. The $2,500 prize was created in memory of Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Nesbitt.

The Avid Technology Award was presented by Peter C. Frank, film editor of the box office hit Dirty Dancing, Bill Calamita, The Food Network and Terra Bliss from Panavision to Sebastian Rothwyn for excellence in Television Non-Linear Editing. The 2013 Chairperson’s Award for a film that demonstrates creativity, imagination and the DNA of a future filmmaker was presented to Elvis Lopez for his film, I Do Feel and Gavin Hickson for his film The Interview.

The Peter J. Rondinone Memorial Awards were established by the Media Technology Program to recognize students who have demonstrated the capability to make a positive difference at Bronx Community College and their community. The awards were presented by Dr. Eddy Bayardelle, BCC Vice President Institutional Advancement. The 2013 Peter J. Rondinone Screenwriting Memorial Award Winners were: Joseph Almonte, Andres Davoren, Edgar Matos, Ariela Rosa, Sebastian Rothwyn and Aaron Waring.

The Media Technology Program at Bronx Community College prepares students for entry- level employment in production support and selected technical areas of video, film and associated media production. The first year students' content includes exposure to the entire production process. Students are taught by industry professionals who provide extensive hands-on instruction. In the second year, students perform in various crew positions on actual production projects. Other students go on to receive BAs or BFA degrees at a four-year college.

Vikki L. Pryor, Founder, Change Create Transform Foundation, Sebastian Rothwyn,
2013 Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize Recipient and Professor Jeffrey Wisotsky, Director,
CAS Media Technology Program. Photo courtesy of Thomas Donley.

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