New York City Public School Film Festival

5th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival

The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and NYC Department of Education (DOE) congratulate the students whose films were chosen as part of the 5th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival. The New York City Public School Film Festival is an opportunity for students to submit their work and perhaps see it screened. 

Twenty-five student films (Click Here for the Festival Program) from public schools citywide were selected in the categories of Feature/Narrative, Animation, Experimental, PSA Advocacy and Documentary by a panel of NYC Public School Film Festival teachers and media professionals. The student filmmakers chosen represent the diversity of public school student voices across the five boroughs.

Upcoming Movies Under the Stars screenings:

NYC Public School Film Festival animation

Focus | Director, Writer, Producer: Rachel Mei Kelly | Key Cast: Rachel Mei Kelly, Tanisha Malik, Emily Tan, Portia Sharon Fong, SiWei Gong, Caitlyn Homol | School: Brooklyn Prospect Charter High School | Teacher: Nora Elnagar | Principal: Wendell Cheung
About: A student studying for her Mandarin quiz. As she loses focus, her "characters" come to life.

Baking Beatdown | Animators: Cleo Allen, Nia Cheng, and Dessa Nowes | School: Lower Manhattan Community Middle School | Teacher: Jessica Sinclair | Principal: Shanna Douglas
About: Who will win the Donut competition?

The Mortality Tale | Director: Grace Aisling Landauer | Writer: Siena Gutierrez | School: Arts & Letters 305 United | Teacher: Graham Sibirsky | Principal: Pilar Ramos
About: A girl tells us the tale of when she first learned there is an end to this great life of ours.

Closure | Directors: Kevin Perez, Jasmine Aguirre-Palacios. | School: Digital Arts & Cinema Technology High School | Teacher: Naomi Barak | Principal: Dawn Meconi
About: A woman deals with the aftermath of a love triangle in therapy.

NYC Public School Film Festival experimental

(I'm) On Edge | Director, Writer, Producer: Shua Alatriste | Assistant Camera Operator: William Alatriste | School: Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School | Teacher: Jason Spagnuoli | Principal: Gideon Frankel
About: A personal narrative about the director's hardships with being perceived and judged by others in relation to their identity.

Stormwatch | Directors & Producers: Lucien Shih, Augustus James Roebling. | Chief Editor: Augustus James Roebling. | School: Brooklyn Technical High School | Teacher: Amani Mohamed | Principal: Patrick McGillicuddy
About: A journey through the city of New York, beyond the flashy tourist traps. This film is a deep dive into the beautiful chaos and grit within the city.

Bloodshed | Directors and Editors: Dennis Moore, Christian Tejada. | Key Cast: Ulysses Rivers | School: Theatre Arts Production Company School | Teacher: Steven Mudrick | Principal: Kristin McHugh
About: Ulysses Rivers is a high school student in Brooklyn that wrote a song about the violence he lives with in his community every single day. He lives in fear, and he wants it to stop. He’s not naïve, he knows that’s a big ask but he hopes his music will get at least one person to stop and think. Ulysses also wants other young people who live in violent communities to know that they are not alone. He is hopeful that his song gives them words for their feelings. TAPCo, a school of the arts and technology, took Ulysses' song and created an experimental video that combined both the documentary and music video genres. The result is a unique message of fear and hope that resonates in what can be a very violent world.

Villain Vengeance | Director, Writer, Producer: Ryan Chen | School: J.H.S. 074 Nathaniel Hawthorne | Teacher: Keith Crowley | Principal: Allison Persad
About: A beautiful empire was crushed by a villain, and it's a matter of time to rebuild.

Inspired People (8th grade) | Narrators: Nessandra Berberena, Madisyn Treasure Butler, Mariam Cissera Camara, Brendan Jose Casper, Christopher G Clarke, Mariyah Jazmin Coles, Tyler Maurice Cox, Dylan De Los Santos, Siamy Dolmo, Mariangel Feliz, Briar A Galicia, Anelvi Garcia, Kavon Hough-Carroway, Nia-Simone A Jackson, Moubarak Michael Lamine, Christian Isaiah Lee, Yaris Martinez De La, Brenda Mejia, William Montes-Pavia, Jeremiah Jesus Pena, Adriel Quinones, Timothy Jen I Rondon, Xamari Prince Thomas, Elias Francis Vargas, Madysen Williams, Setema Montes | School: Kappa III Middle School | Teacher: Ebony Hatchet | Principal: Jean Colon
About: Students at Kappa III hand-painted 16mm film about people who inspire them. Drawing from ideas around synesthesia, students chose a color or two and symbols that they thought embodied their chosen person. Narrations are written and spoken by those students.

NYC Public School Film Festival narrative

Dear Admissions | Director & Writer: Freya Golden | Producer: Lucy Karp | Key Cast: Dalton Joseph, Londi Brooks | School: Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School | Teacher: Jason Spagnuoli | Principal: Gideon Frankel
About: In this experimental, psychological thriller, a teenager meets with the sinister personification of Admissions. As the sardonic plot unravels, the interview plummets towards disaster, and the student becomes increasingly desperate to submit a stand-out application for college.

My Dog Barley | Director: Savannah Vye | Producer: Savannah Vye, Dustin Vye | Key Cast: Savannah Vye, Barley, Gina Vye | School: PSIS 187 | Teacher: Michael Bridenstine | Principal: Emel Topbas Mejia
About: In her attempt to find a plant growth solution, Savannah creates a scenario where things with the dog get very ruff.

Cyborg | Directors: Daisy Liles, Ayisha Braimah, Odin Loppe, Jayden Jones, David Lee, Miles Perlman | School: Art & Design High School | Teacher: Hanan Harchol | Principal: Maximillian Re-Sugiura
About: A disgruntled employee searches for the truth.

The Crown | Director: Aibrys Caminero | Writer: Abigail "Russel" Flores | Producers: Aibrys Caminero & Abigail "Russel" Flores, Josh Raff, Jordan Battiste | Key Cast: Aibrys Caminero & Abigail "Russel" Flores | School: Bronx High School for Law and Community Service with Five4Five Films | Teacher: Josh Raff | Principal: Michael Barakat
About: A romantic overture gone wrong results in innocence lost and despair between two best friends.

Thief in the Park | Director, Writer, & Producer: Bernadette Ynes Daunt | Key Cast: Selina Zheng, Tara Isabel Lago, Evelyn Chow, Mariella Reynoso | School: Staten Island Technical High School | Teacher: Michael Van Buren | Principal: Mark Erlenwein
About: A murder-mystery parody film in which everyone is a suspect after a girl loses her sandwich.

Grounded |Director, Writer: Dorothea Lethbridge | Editor, Cinematographer, Music, and Sound: Sierra Seetin | Key Cast: Dorothea Lethbridge, Sierra Seetin | School: The Clinton School | Teacher: Michael McGuire | Principal: Jon Levin
About: A suspenseful sci-fi film set in New York.

Inside | Director: Reynaldo Cardona | Writers: Reynaldo Capers, Rupi Kaur| Producers: Brett McCall, Jordan Nieves, Miguel Peralta, Cristina Abellas | School: Longwood Preparatory Academy | Teacher: Mr. McCall | Principal: Asya Johnson
About: A girl finds her identity in an unexpected place.

NYC Public School Film Festival psa advocay

Drawn Into the Cycle of Violence | Producers: Valerie Inthun Pook, Jing Han You, Luke Chen, Colleen Chen | School: J.H.S. 074 Nathaniel Hawthorne | Teacher: Keith Crowley | Principal: Brandon Contarsy
About: A child draws a picture of her family that depicts the violent relationship between her parents.

Curbside Composting | Producers: Umed Maru, Anand Maru, Nikolas Kenworthey, Jomi Legarda, Abderrahmane Labdi, Aki Benjamin, Lillian Parrella | Key Cast: Sentayehu Seubert, Emily Herra, Anand Maru, Abderrahmane Labdi, Umed Maru, Aadi Hasija, Jomi Legarda, Lillian Parrella, Anand Maru | Music Producers: Anand Maru, Lillian Parrella | Voiceover: Anand Maru, Nikolas Kenworthey, Jomi Legarda, Aki Benjamin, Lillian Parrella, Abderrahmane Labdi, Sentayehu Seubert, Emily Herra, Aadi Hasija | Special Thank Yous: Amy Jones, Sheela Maru, Duncan Maru, Compost Task Force, interviewees, Kevin Helfenbein | Editors: Umed Maru | School: Baccalaureate School for Global Education | Teacher: Kevin Helfenbein | Principal: Dr. Heather Page
About: The NYC Curbside Composting Program has expanded to Queens! Have you heard of it?

Bruises of Word | Director: Anel Yerdenayeva | Writer: Emma Grigoryev | Editor: William Chen | Cinematographer: Romy Swisa | Key Cast: Emma Grigoryev, Rio Yu, William Chen, Sophia Fortuna | Production Assistant: Jay Ng | Graphics: Hoshi Casero | School: Midwood High School | Teacher: Henry Mei | Principal: Dr. Robert J. Quinlan
About: A teen girl battles with emotions in her daily experiences with cyberbullying.

HERO High School Writing Center | Director: Amnon Carmi | Producers: Zack Robles, Angel Ramirez, Domonique Francis, Nasya Prime, Alex Cortez, Amnon Carmi and Benjamin Ducof | Key Cast: Judith Nysenholc, Danny Kam | School: H.E.R.O. High School | Teacher: Benjamin Ducoff | Principal: Kristin Cahill
About: Student filmmakers from HERO (Health, Educations, and Research Occupations) High School explore the community that has sprung out of the school's new writing center.

NYC Public School Film Festival documentary

Street Chess Community: Care, Conflict, and Competition | Director: Eugene Yoo | School: Stuyvesant High School | Teacher: Karen Leo | Principal: Seung Yu
About: A film documentary on street chess culture in Washington Square Park.

Willowbrook Then and Now | Director: Frank Schiazza & Class V-01 | Writers: Anthony Panfilo, Hailee Salce, Latifa Napier, Gregory Lloyd, Joann Polanco | Producers: Brian Garcia Rios, Brandon Garcia Rios, Juliana Condon | Key Cast: Antoine Burke, Anthony Gentile, Leon Kang, Sean Oberg | School: The Richard H. Hungerford School 721R | Teacher: Frank Schiazza | Principal: Kristin McHugh
About: Our class produces a podcast - THE SQUADCAST - and, during our second episode on the topic of Disability Rights, the students decided to visit the site of the infamous Willowbrook State School and compare the site now to what it was during that awful time.

Last Chance High: Cornhole | Director: Gabrielle Coleman | Writers: Brianna Moore, Messiah Harper, Allyssa Marshall, Alyjah Thomas Hudson, Born Williams | Producer: Carlos Aguilar Castillo | Key Cast: Delontea Allen, Ahmad Sharpe, Patrick McGillicuddy, Yves Camile, Chiler Fleuristil, Eli Hypolite, Tyler Schlesinger, Damira Ogesby, Desmond Blunt, Jayden Pinnock, David Nelinson | School: East Brooklyn Community High School | Teacher: David Nelinson | Principal: Patrick McGillicuddy
About: Set in the heart of Brownsville Brooklyn, the film tells the inspiring story of a transfer high school that has found hope, purpose, and community in the unlikely sport of cornhole.

The Hustle | Director: Anabelle Delosrios | Cinematographer: Angelina Haoud, Fairoz Adiba | Sound Operator: Xochitl Morales | Interviewees: Anika Murillo, Ayah Shuaib | Interviewer: Arianna Dominguez | School: The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria | Teacher: Kayla Marte | Principal: Allison Persad
About: An uplifting and motivating documentary that features two student athletes who believe that sports add a moral and deep meaning to their lives. There will be numerous clips depicting the athletes playing basketball games and competing against other schools throughout the film. The students will help reveal the need to understand what it takes to be an athlete while juggling other responsibilities in one's life. Through these clips, the audience will learn more about why they play basketball and how it has shaped them as a person. The interviews are intended to inspire the audience to keep doing what they are passionate about. Also, to support and advise those who are currently struggling with being a student athlete. To conclude the film, we hope to encourage our viewers to keep going and perhaps urge others to participate in sports and experience the beauty of it.

Roe v. Wade | Directors: Vishali Seepersaud, Nutan Ramchand, Kanwal Naz | School: Epic High School - South | Teacher: Matthew Palermo | Principal: Kristen Breen
About: A film which explores student opinions surrounding the recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

5th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival showcase highlights

5th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival showcase on April 25, 2023