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3rd Annual NYC Public School Film Festival Recognizes 32 Short Films Created by Students

Available Online: Student Films and Student Interviews with Acclaimed Directors, Screenwriters and Other Film Professionals

New York, NY - The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and the New York City Department of Education (DOE) announce the 32 short films created by public school students that were recognized during the 3rd annual New York City Public School Film Festival. This year, for the first time ever, the student films selected for the festival are available to the public, for free, at

Public School Film Festival text

The New York City Public School Film Festival was created to provide an opportunity for students to have their work recognized and consider careers in filmmaking. The films represent the talent and diversity of our students citywide, and were chosen by a panel of NYC Public School Film Festival teachers and media professionals. The selected films were screened virtually by the filmmakers during a special, private student celebration on May 6, 2021 hosted by TV personality and producer Albert Lawrence.

"Congratulations to all the student filmmakers for their insightful and inspiring contributions at this year’s NYC Public School Film Festival," said the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. "We are so proud to partner with DOE and renowned award-winning talents to support these young filmmakers."

"We are so thrilled to honor our student filmmakers in this year's NYC Public School Film Festival," said Maria Palma, Executive Director for the DOE's Office of Arts and Special Projects. "The unique voices featured highlight the diversity and talent of New York City students, and we’re thankful for our arts teachers and school leaders who support our students' creativity, artistic skills, and critical thinking every day. We are honored to partner with the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and build connections between our public schools and the arts and entertainment industry here in New York."

The students submitted short films, each 1 to 5 minutes in length, in categories including Animation, Experimental, Short Narrative Feature, Documentary and PSA/Advocacy.

The film festival line-up, by category:


  • X Morph 2021 by Daniella Croland, Ellie Hui, Makeda Firmin, Blake Bourous, Joseph Dicecco
  • The Future is Female by Saba, Marwa, Anniyah, Mymona, Melanie, Zoha, Brianna, Ying, Karlos, Fahmida, Maria, Zenab, Tazkia, Ana, Marwa, Nadia, Samra, Halima, Zainab, Maryam, Mim, Sonia, Nazifanur, Yasmine, Iqra, Lejla, Michelle
  • Is this Farming? by Susannah Chen
  • To Every End by Ellie Hui
  • Quarantine by Alexandra A Milyukov
  • Self Confidence by Amisha Mahadeo


  • Help, I'm Drowning by Luna Ubide Holmes
  • Lunch by Calvin Ryman
  • Riding the Airways by Benjamin Snazelle
  • The Obstacle by Gerson Cherec


  • New Life by Nikolai Anton
  • Meet the Options Program by Thomas Burke
  • Escape by Leo Steele
  • Quaranteens by Khalil Baxter, Laye Diakite, Muhammad Fisiru, Mia Micic, Derick David Morales, Mateo Morales, Starasia Nelson, Ashlee Reyes, Ethan Rufli, Olesya Shanabrook, Artur Zhigalev, Cirilo Ordonez

Short Feature/Narrative

  • Types of Students During Online School by Sabriha Safa
  • Mirror by Hector Valentine
  • Sistas by Mahadia Oliver
  • Vaporub by Roselin Lopez
  • A Journey to Find Something by Edwin Ng
  • Colors by Khai Umstead
  • HIM:Origin by Jesiah Bailey
  • Snacks by Nicholas Graham, Akasha Maldonado
  • Scranton Fever by Matt Mingoia
  • Erased by Leonardo Cross


  • Silhouette by Emilio Rios
  • It's Sad by Dania Brissett
  • Domino by Tom Pinkhasov, Connor Campbell
  • Peak Chic by Oma Ali
  • The Magic (And Pain) of Sleep by Xavier Cloud
  • Dog Poop by Nicola Nasser
  • Embrace Diversity by Zane Mills VanWicklen
  • Delusions by Rebecca Anton

More information about the films, and the panel who selected the films, can be found at

This year’s Festival has an added bonus, beyond the films themselves. Six student filmmakers were chosen by teachers to conduct on-camera interviews with leading film industry professionals. These interviews, designed to inspire young people across the city to consider careers in media and entertainment, will be used to create 20-minute videos highlighting each professional’s work. These videos will be available online at in June 2021.

In addition to being a showcase of the best student talent Citywide, the NYC Public School Film Festival was created to help our emerging student filmmakers consider future careers in the entertainment industry. As of part of that goal this year, MOME enlisted on a number of acclaimed behind the camera industry professionals to be interviewed by some of the 2021 student filmmakers about their career paths and what it takes to make in the industry. These interviews were recorded and will be shared widely with the student filmmakers and public in early June.

Tamar-kali, the Brooklyn-born composer of the Oscar-nominated Mudbound; Malcolm D. Lee, the Queens-born/Brooklyn-raised director of The Best Man franchise, Girls Trip, and the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James; Kemp Powers, the Brooklyn-born, Oscar-nominated co-writer and co-director of the award-winning film Soul, and the writer of One Night in Miami...; Kristan Sprague, NYC editor of the Oscar-winning Judas and the Black Messiah; Liesl Tommy, the NYC director of the upcoming feature film about  Aretha Franklin, Respect, as well as the director of the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Eclipsed, for which she was nominated for a Tony; and Nina Yang Bongiovi, the NYC executive producer of Godfather of Harlem and the producer of Fruitvale Station and Sorry to Bother You.