Cool, The 4th Annual NYC Public School Film Festival Selections From Harlem To Hollis Revealed

May 20, 2022

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and the New York City Department of Education (DOE) are proud to announce the 4th Annual New York City Public School Film Festival, which celebrates the talent and diversity of student voices. The festival will be available for New York City audiences to enjoy as part of the city’s Movies Under the Stars series on May 20th and 21st as well as online at

The Movies Under the Stars screenings are:

  • Jackson Heights, Queens; May 20th 8:00pm
  • Raury Staunton Field at Travers Park, 34th Avenue between 77th and 78th Streets
  • Harlem, Manhattan; May 21st 8:00pm
  • James Baldwin Lawn at St. Nicholas Park, St. Nicholas Ave and W. 135th Street

A record of 152 films were submitted this year, a 66% increase over last year, from NYC middle and high school students spanning 50 schools throughout the five boroughs. A total of 37 short films have been selected for inclusion in the festival.

“New York City parents, students, and communities deserve opportunities that highlight the unique talent and amplify examples of creativity,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “The New York Public School Film Festival allows students from all five boroughs to embark on new journeys and move on to Oscar-winning careers. I am excited to see the product of New York’s brightest young filmmakers.”

“The New York Public School Film Festival is a perfect example of how this administration is committed to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce within the creative sectors,” said Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. “By shining a light on these young filmmakers from across the five boroughs, we are investing in their individual potential and collective contributions to NYC’s creative economy.”

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Education on the New York Public School Film Festival, which was created to provide opportunities for students to have their work recognized by industry leaders as they explore careers in filmmaking. The festival, now in its fourth year, serves as a platform for the city to celebrate the talent and diversity of student voices,” said the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo.

“I am so proud of our student filmmakers selected for this year’s NYC Public School Film Festival,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Film-making, like all of the arts, empowers students’ creative voices and unique perspectives. More than ever, the selected films this year honor the diversity of student voices from around New York City. Thank you to our partners in the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, without whose collaboration this NYC Public School Film Festival would not be possible.”

“The Public School Film Festival is an inspiring showcase for New York City’s rising talent, and we’re proud that Travers Park and St. Nicholas Park will set the stage for this year’s creative young filmmakers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We congratulate the participating students and thank the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Department of Education for their ongoing partnership.”

This year’s films tackle global social and justice issues like violence in the AAPI community, the influence of new technology on daily life, mental health, Ukraine, racial profiling, and more, all from the unique perspective of NYC students.

The social commentaries, grounded by the individual experiences of the student voices, are passionate, irreverent, and edgy.

The films also challenge and examine pop culture, while mashing different genres and experimenting with traditional forms and often showcase the student’s own neighborhoods, schools, and communities as main characters in their narratives.

The New York City Public School Film Festival was created to provide students an opportunity to have their work recognized and to encourage careers in filmmaking. The films represent the talent and diversity of students from all five boroughs and were chosen by a panel of NYC Public School Film Festival teachers and media professionals.

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

The film festival selections include:

Animation (9)

  • First One Up by Solomon Shulman; LaGuardia High School, Manhattan
  • The Endless Corridor by Kingston Wong; MS 74 Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School, Queens
  • David vs. Goliath by Jackson Rob Milott; The Beacon School, Manhattan
  • The Fox King by William Chellis French; West End Secondary School, Manhattan
  • Space Cat by Abigail Summer Rees; Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan
  • Searching for a Friend by Juniper Candelario; Brooklyn High School of the Arts
  • Morse Code Flower by Samya Blake; Brooklyn High School of the Arts
  • A Hundred Seeds, A Hundred Wishes by Kaitlin An; Brooklyn High School of the Arts
  • Empty Stomach by Dayanara Moranchel; Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School, Brooklyn

Experimental (5)

  • Two Doors Two Worlds by Brianna Daney, Rihanna Garcia, Georgia Grodsky, Janice Kim, Stella Leighton; MS74 Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School, Queens
  • Real Girl/Clay Girl by Kaliope Tapper; Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Queens
  • Piece by Piece by Myles Spivey, Alexa Stone, Connor Margolis, Justice Repucci, Tehodora Pritchett, Joseph Ulloa, Emma White, Craig Ashton Marshall, Francisco Aponte, Elliot Stone; MS 243 The Center School, Manhattan
  • Be the Change by Danny Lopez; The Theatre Arts Productions Company School, Bronx
  • Shine Your Light by Anastasia De Jesus; The Theatre Arts Productions Company School, Bronx

Short Feature (10)

  • A Silent Dream by Avery Hong; Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn
  • Toxic Productivity by Olivia Dartley Dartley; The Clinton School, Manhattan
  • Don’t Touch by Richecia Henry, Issac Allen; Academy for Careers in Television & Film, Queens
  • Hellth Science by Alpha Bah, Christopher Cumberbatch, Shay Thomas, MD Sayef, Jayshaw Chery; East Brooklyn Community High School
  • Black Forest by Kim Leonhardt; Brooklyn Collaborative Studies (Reelworks)
  • The Email by Isaac O’shea Allen; Academy for Careers in Television & Film, Queens
  • Pros of Con by Sekou Cherif; Art & Design High School, Manhattan
  • Latinx in “America”? by Roselin Lopez; PSIS 187, Manhattan
  • Simon’s World by Simon Grinfeld, Lev Vitrak; PS 145 Bloomingdale School, Manhattan
  • Love Unflinching by Oscar Giles; Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Manhattan

PSA (5)

  • Talking Murals by Joshua Alatriste; Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Queens
  • The Right Thing by Zane Mills VanWicklen; Art & Design High School, Manhattan
  • Burning Out by Veronica Royzen and Abigail Tenenbaum; Staten Island Technical High School
  • Represent Us, properly by Abeer Saed; Young Women’s Leadership Middle School of East Harlem, Manhattan
  • Hate Crimes by Hayden Celentano; Midwood High School, Brooklyn

Documentary (7)

  • A Day in the Life of Adam by Adam Bailey; New Dorp High School (Reelworks), Staten Island
  • Asmait: Around the World by Ruth Allen; Edward R Murrow High School, Brooklyn
  • Culture by Nana Kwame Williams; Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School, Brooklyn
  • Black History Month by Jaylette Jones; Tottenville High School, Staten Island
  • The Last Play by Cristian Zumba; Midwood High School, Brooklyn
  • Friendship by Dina Yamazaki O’Leary; Academy for Careers in Television & Film, Queens
  • What It Takes to Be A Winner by Gio Choi; Susan E. Wagner High School, Staten Island
  • We Achieve Greatness by Katie Marrow, Patricia Marcero; P37r, Staten Island

In addition to the film festival, MOME and DOE host multiple student-oriented events each year to provide opportunities to engage with the industry.

In March, students were invited to a behind-the-scenes look at a college-level Film & Media program at City University of New York (CUNY) Lehman College to explore how programs at three CUNY colleges can lead to careers in the film industry.

In February, students were invited to a Careers in Film and Media Panel discussion, featuring award-winning New York-based producers, writers, editors, and directors, including Radha Blank (The Forty-Year-Old Version, FOX’s Empire, Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It); Lisa Cortés (All In: The Fight for Democracy, TheRemix: Hip Hop X Fashion, The Apollo, Precious); Keli Goff (HBO’s And Just Like That, Black Lightning, Reversing Roe, BET’s Being Mary Jane); Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah, HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness, HBO’s High Maintenance) and Jean Tsien (PBS’ Asian Americans, The Apollo, Miss Sharon Jones!).

MOME and DOE extend a huge thank you to the panelists involved in the 2022 official selection process, including:

  • DOE Educators: Frank Aiello, Michael Bridenstine, Corrine Doron, Shea Ryan and Ricardo Thompson
  • Adobe Professionals: Raibar Chener, Jesse Lubinsky, Mike Kanfer, Karl Soule, Clayton Dutton, Jonathan Carrera, Dave Helmly
  • Industry Partners: Jimmy Gass (Epic Games), Ariel Goldberg (Skydance), Jeff Dares, Steve Mcintosh (BAM), Chrisine Mendoza (Urban World Foundation), Raphaela Neihausen (Doc NYC), Kareema Partin (AD Cinematters), Jeff Scher, Abby Verbosky (ReelWorks), Chris Wisniewski (Alliance for Young Artists and Writers)

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s mission is to support and strengthen New York City’s creative economy and make it accessible to all.

In 2019, the creative industries accounted for more than 500,000 local jobs and have an economic impact of $150 billion annually.

MOME comprises five divisions: The Film Office, which coordinates on location production throughout the five boroughs; NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network and production group; the Office of Nightlife, which supports the city’s nighttime economy; the Press Credentials Office, which issues press cards; and Programs and Initiatives to advance industry and workforce development across NYC’s creative sectors.

Photo credit: 1) “LatinX in America,” Screenshot.

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