FTT presents the 34th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

Author: Stacey Stewart

Notre Dame Student Film Festival 2023 artwork

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces the 34th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, January 27 through 29.  

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 that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. As in recent years, after each screening audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite film via text message. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the student director(s) of the winning film after the final screening.  

After spending months from concept to completion, more than 20 student directors will premiere over a dozen short films to the public for the first time.

"It's a diverse group of thought provoking and very entertaining films,” says festival founder and FTT faculty member Ted Mandell, “literally filmed coast to coast...from the ocean waves of California to the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, as well as right here in South Bend."

The festival has featured the first films of future award-winning filmmakers 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. It has served as the springboard for successful careers in every aspect of the industry, where ND Student Film Festival alumni have worked on everything from Saturday Night Live to La La Land.

Many 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. 2022)
Saving Sister Cindy – 2022 New York City Short Film Festival (Official Selection)
Foss – 2022 Angeles Doc Film Festival (Feb. 2022 Best Student Documentary)
SandBranch – 2020 International Social Change Film Festival (Official Selection)
Tape Wizard –
2020 Portland Film Festival (Official Selection)
Shelter Me – 2019 Arizona International Film Festival (Best Short Documentary), 2019 Atlanta ShortsFest Film Festival (Best Documentary Short)
Emma. – 2019  NYC Short Documentary Film Festival (Best Director Award), 2019 Harvard College 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)
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)
Eat. Ride. Sleep. – 2015 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Midwest Emmy Award Nominee
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)

Among the films featured in the 2023 Notre Dame Student Film Festival:

Crescendo (John Brach, Emily Hunt, Margaret Murray)
Musical perfection eludes a prodigious pianist.

Lily (Suneina Badoni, Chloe Stafford)
Desperate for a cure for their daughter’s illness, a California couple finds hope from an unexpected source. 

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.

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. 

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

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

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. 

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

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

TICKETS:  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, in person at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office (M-F, 12:00 – 6:00 pm), or online at performing arts.nd.edu.

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

Running Time:  Approximately 120 min. Some films contain mature content.

PARKING:  Free parking is available daily after 5:00 pm in the Stayer Center parking lot, just north of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.  Patrons may receive free event parking at the Eddy Street Commons Parking Garage by bringing your event tickets and parking ticket to the DPAC Ticket Office to receive a pre-paid parking voucher.

An accessible lot for disabled patrons is available immediately adjacent to the center; a valid hangtag or license plate is required.  There is a ten-minute parking zone on the north drive of the center for ticket pick-up; during inclement weather you are welcome to drop off guests in this area and proceed to parking.

Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre seeks to inspire intellectual inquiry and nurture creativity. We offer both a scholarly and a creative context for the general liberal arts student at Notre Dame as well as those students seeking intensive preparation for advanced study in these fields.  The hands-on nature of our curriculum, coupled with a very high degree of student-faculty interaction, provides students with a singular educational opportunity at a university known for its teaching excellence. The Notre Dame Student Film Festival is a direct outgrowth of the department’s academic program and an integral component of our students’ artistic development.

Follow FTT on Twitter @NDFTT.  Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NDFTT.