2009 Notre Dame Student Film Festival

20th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

January 23, 23, 24, 2009
Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the festival that began in the basement of the Center for Continuing Education in 1990 (now McKenna Hall) with 50 people in attendance. Today, the festival traditionally sells out each screening with more than 1000 people viewing a brand new slate of creative, intelligent, and entertaining student films produced during the past year.

The Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens each night at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Tickets are $3 for Notre Dame students, $5 for Notre Dame faculty and staff and $6 for the general public, and can be purchased online at performingarts.nd.edu or in advance at the Performing Arts Center Box Office, 574-631-2800.

The Notre Dame Student Film Festival features short student films made as class projects during the past year by students studying the art of filmmaking in advanced, intermediate, and Introductory film and video production courses taught in the FTT department. All of the films were shot on location, most in the South Bend area, but some as far away as Rome, Italy. Local Michiana residents, fellow students, and ND faculty loaned their acting skills to the projects which range from 3 to 15 minutes in length. From dark comedy to documentary, the films cover a wide range of genres.

2009 Notre Dame Student Film Festival - watch on iTunes
Featured Films (total running time 112 minutes)


Benford Begay, Macarena Ivanissevich With the familiarity of the Navajo reservation left behind, acclimating to life in the Midwest, at a private Catholic University, becomes a culture shock for Dana, one of Notre Dame's few Native American students.

The Deily Work 

Eric Sales, Julian Owyong 
Filmmakers Eric Sales and Julian Owyong follow the deeply spiritual rituals of an Opus Dei member, from the Windmoor House at Notre Dame, to the Vatican in Rome.


Brittany Lash, Jenni Fong
You might think the tiny town of Fairmount, Indiana is a strange place to move all of your belongings and settle down...unless of course you're a loyal James Dean fan.

Our Lady's Bouncers

Danielle Sclafani, Christina Marzo, Katie Dare
A transfer student from Philadelphia finds the most difficult part of her move to Notre Dame is trying to drive her car past the famed security gate guards. She’s not alone.

Believe in You

Mark Weber, Ian Cooney
The Lake Michigan coastline provides a picturesque backdrop for this refreshing music video by the John Conroy Band…


Ryan Geldermann, Mark Lyons
Writer’s block plays out in stylish give-and-take between the artist and a romantic interest.

The Birthday Wish

Daniel Clark, Elise Yahner
A quiet birthday in solitude turns on that innocent wish made just before the candle’s blown out.

7 Minutes in Hell

Kate Leszkowicz, Terrail Lambert
Some harmless fun at the weekend party spirals into a closet full of trouble.

Javier Ramos 6/18

Matthew Degnan
A very disciplined Marine veteran, just back from two deployments in Iraq, calls the VA's phone center at 8 a.m. to attempt to secure what is owed him -- his college tuition. At 8 p.m. that same night, he is still on the same phone call, waiting to speak with a living human being who can provide him the information he needs. Javier is in a kind of agony... stuck, as we all are these days, in one of the digital phone traps that waste our time, our energy, and certainly our good will.

Cirrhosis with Coda

Ashley Ahn Williams, Benford Begay
A dazzling experiment in film poetry. Beautifully photographed, a female emerges from an old condition and some very bad trips. She remembers times when "thousands of multicolored fragments became space camels--wildflowers painted onto canvases, pink, orange, and floral." And the times when she picked up men like flies, and swatted them all away. She tells it in verse -- in English and then in seductive Italian translation. In the end, she tells us, "I am just an indentured servant to madmen."


Joe Piarulli, Dan Milan
A numbing story about a teenage boy who could have prevented the rape of his best friend, but got distracted and didn't. He reviews and reconstructs that night's events in a prologue and 4 acts... an act of therapy and a search for relief from his inescapable guilt. He tells about the pain of the fathers, the brothers and the friends.

Reveries of Desire

John Meehan, Becky Katricak, Rob Doone
A paper pusher with the heart of Charlie Chaplin dreams of saving the girl-next-desk from his evil boss.

The Dinner Guest

Joe Gleason
An elegant period piece about a close knit family that prepares for the arrival of their mother’s suitor.


Krissy Estrada, Luke Tabit
A funny thing happened on the way to the confessional. A jealous boyfriend plays a joke on his girlfriend only to find out things he didn’t want to hear