Notre Dame Student Film Festival

2023 Notre Dame Student Film Festival poster



An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television, and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. Founded by Ted Mandell in 1990, the festival has featured the first films of future award winners such as Peter Richardson (2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award winner, How To Die in Oregon) and John Hibey (2012 Sundance Film Jury Award Winner for Short Filmmaking, Fishing Without Nets), as well as numerous others. Writers, producers, editors, executives, many NDSFF alumni are now career professionals at Netflix, Lionsgate, Dreamworks, Industrial Light & Magic, Disney, NBC Universal and numerous other companies.

Since 2013, audience members have been invited to vote for their favorite film via text message, and the Audience Choice Award is presented to the winning filmmaker(s) following the final screening. View past Audience Choice Award winning films here

The Notre Dame Student Film Festival Archive lists all student films presented in the festival since its inception in 1990.

Many student films from past festivals have also been selected for national and international film festivals, including:

The Ismailzais - 2022 LA Documentary Short Film Festival (Best Sound/Music, Mar'22)
Saving Sister Cindy - 2022 New York City Short Film Festival, 2022 Student Los Angeles Film Awards (semi-finalist)
Foss- 2022 Angeles Doc Film Festival (Best Student Documentary, Feb '22)
Tape Wizard - 2020 Bolton International Film Festival, 2020 Portland Film Festival
Sandbranch - 2020 International Social Change Film Festival
Shelter Me - 2019 Arizona International Film Festival (Best Documentary Short), 2019 USA Film Festival (Jury Award, International Short Film Competition), 2019 Atlanta ShortsFest Film Festival (Best Short Documentary)
Emma. - 2019 NYC Short Documentary Film Festival (Best Director), 2019 Harvard College Film Festival,  2019 Ivy Film Festival, 2019 Oregon Documentary Film Festival
Breaking the Cycle - 2018 New York City Short Film Festival (Best Documentary Short), 2018 USA Film Festival (First Place Non-Fiction short film), 2018 Ivy Film Festival (Best U.S. Undergraduate Documentary) (View Breaking the Cycle)
Respectfully, Tony - 2017 Nevada City Film Festival
Debajo de los árboles (Beneath the Trees) - 2018 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Peace at the Pipeline - 2017 San Pedro International Film Festival, 2017 Riverside International Film Festival
patrolling sandy hook - 2016 USA Film Festival (Winner, Special Jury Award), 2016 DocuWest International Film Festival (Winner, Women Who Doc Award)
Spark of Madness - 2016 Naperville Independent Film Festival (Best Student Film Nominee)
Eat. Ride. Sleep. - 2015 DocuWest International Film Festival, 2015 Chicago/Midwest Emmy Nominee (View Eat. Ride. Sleep.)
Curry & Erin - 2015 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (Special Jury Prize, Collegiate Documentary)
The Suicide Disease - 2014 Sunset International Film Festival (Winner, Best Short Documentary)
The Last Free Place - 2014 Anchorage International Film Festival
Project Hopeful - 2012 Re:Image Film Festival (Winner, Best Picture, Collegiate Category)
King of the Park - 2012 CineYouth Film Fest (Winner, Best Comedy, Senior Division)
The Elect - 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, 2012 Dallas International Film Festival  (View The Elect)
Picking Up America - 2011 Ivy Film Festival (Winner, Social Change Award)

Friday, January 27, 2023 at 6:30 pm
Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 6:30 pm
Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 7:00 pm*
*Audience Choice Award will be presented after the 7:00 pm screening on Sunday, January 29.

Running Time:  Approximately 110 min. Some films contain mature content.

Tickets for the Notre Dame Student Film Festival are $7 for the general public; $6 for faculty, staff, and seniors (65+); and $4 for students. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 574-631-2800 or in person at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office (M-F, 12:00 – 6:00 pm). Tickets will be available online at


Crescendo (John Brach, Emily Hunt, Margaret Murray) 
Musical perfection eludes a prodigious pianist.
Official Selection: Venice Shorts Film Fest 2023
Official Selection: 2023 Indy Shorts International Film Festival
WINNER: 2023 Trinity Film Festival (Best Director, 2nd Place Overall)

Sew Loved (Abby Urban, Liz Maroshick)
A sewing machine is the common thread that unites a community of women in South Bend.

For Better, For Worse (Olivia Hsin, Liz Maroshick) 
Film noir meets today’s Tinder.

Win Win (John Adkins, George Bivins, John Brach) 
From hardhat to hardwood, an NBA superstar constructs a second career off the court.

It’s Draining (Victoria Dominesey)
Where can you go to get out of your head?

Waiting For Buffalo (Grace Beutter, Aidan O’Malley)
On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux Tribe awaits a shipment of American bison.
WINNER: LA Documentary Film Festival (April 2023, Best Nature Film)
WINNER: 2023 Trinity Film Festival (Best Documentary)
Official Selection: 2023 Reality Bytes Film Festival
Official Selection: 2023 Oregon Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection: 2023 Social Justice Film Festival
Official Selection: 2023 Woodstock Film Festival (Best Student Film Nominee)
Official Selection: 2023 NYC Short Documentary Film Festival
National Association of Television Arts and Sciences  (Chicago/Midwest) National Student Production Award Nominee

Butterfly (Ryan Lin, Sen Li)
Life’s decisions turn on a spinning coin.

To Dust Ye Shall Return (Hank McNeil, Ryan Vigilante, JP Spoonmore)
Taking friendship to a whole ‘nother level.

I Might Be Crazy But I Ain’t Dumb (Margaret Murray, Gordon Lander)
The star of a 1970s TV megahit brings the devoted fans of his show together in a tiny town in Virginia.

Silent Steel (Michael Simon)
Sounds of solitude surround the studio of a metal sculpture artist.

Lily (Suneina Badoni, Chloe Stafford)
Desperate for a cure for their daughter’s illness, a California couple finds hope from an unexpected source.
WINNER: LA Documentary Film Festival (April 2023, Best Sound and Music)
WINNER: 2023 Reality Bytes Film Festival- Best Documentary
WINNER: National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (Chicago/Midwest Emmys) National Student Production Award 
Official Selection: Hollywood ShortsFest (Spring 2023)

Official Selection: 2023 Yale Student Film Festival (Best Documentary Nominee)

I’m Fine (Suneina Badoni)
The words we don’t say.

Tension (Tianji Lukins, Isa R. Maiz, Suneina Badoni)
Roommate voodoo.