MOME And NYC Public Schools Kick-Off  5th Annual NYC Public School Film Fest 

May 4, 2023

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and NYC Public Schools kicked off the 5th Annual NYC Public School Film Festival from Harlem to Hollis.

Which celebrates the talent and diversity of student voices, at a student screening earlier this week. The event was held at the Museum of the City of New York, and was attended by over 200 public school students, educators, MOME Commissioner Anne del Castillo, Schools Chancellor David C. Banks and industry professionals who offered advice to students during a panel and Career Expo.   

A record 183 films were submitted for the festival this year, a 20% increase over last year, from NYC middle and high school students spanning 47 schools throughout the five boroughs. A total of 25 short films were selected for inclusion in the festival and are now available for viewing online

Additionally, New York City audiences can enjoy the films as part of the city’s Movies Under the Stars series from Harlem to Hollis at the following locations:  

  • May 6, 8pm – James Baldwin Lawn, St. Nicholas Park, 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, Harlem – Manhattan  
  • May 13, 8pm – Rory Staunton Field, 79th Street and 34th Avenue, Jackson Heights – Queens  
  • May 20, 8:15pm – Central Lawn, Sunset Park – Brooklyn  

“The films you’ll see in this festival reflect our city’s most talented student filmmakers and focus on some of the most pressing issues of our time,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “They feature amazing animations, and student-created music, and include films from every borough. Congratulations to the finalists and their families, and thank you for sharing your incredible stories with us. Don’t forget to represent our city proudly when you start winning Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys!”  

“The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is proud to partner with NYC Public Schools to celebrate the incredible artistry and storytelling of emerging talents from across the five boroughs at the 5th Annual NYC Public School Film Festival,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner, Anne del Castillo. “We are also grateful to the industry professionals and career fair exhibitors for participating in the Career Expo, helping us to connect students to opportunities and advance our efforts to increase representation, diversity and inclusion in our media and entertainment sectors.” 

“I’m thrilled to see so many of our young people participating in this year’s Public School Film Festival – representing their communities and their generation with exciting and captivating work,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “The arts are essential to the development and education of our kids, providing an outlet to express themselves, and events like the film festival show them that these passions can also be careers. I’m grateful to all of our partners who make this festival a success, and to all of our participants, for bravely putting your soul on the screen.”  

The students submitted short films, each 1 to 5 minutes in length, in 5 categories: Animation, Experimental, Short Feature, PSA/Advocacy and Documentary. A full list of the selected films are available at

Highlights include:  

  • East Brooklyn Community High School – PSA/Advocacy
    • Last Chance High: Cornhole; Set in the heart of Brownsville Brooklyn, the film tells the inspiring story of a transfer high school that has found hope, purpose, and community in the unlikely sport of cornhole.   
  • Frank Sinatra School for the Arts (Queens) – Experimental
    • (I’m) On Edge; A personal narrative about the director’s hardships with being perceived and judged by others in relation to their identity. 
  • P721R Richard H. Hungerford School (Staten Island) – PSA/Advocacy
    • Willowbrook Then and Now; As a subject for the class podcast, the students visited the site of infamous Willowbrook State School to compare then and now.  
  • Art & Design School for the Arts (Manhattan) – Documentary
    • CyborgA disgruntled employee searches for the truth. 
  • Theatre Arts Production Company School (Bronx) – Experimental
    • BloodshedA student writes a song about the violence he lives with in his community every single day. He is hopeful that his song gives others, who live in fear, words for their feelings.  

Again, this year, Adobe is the proud Creativity Partner of the Film Festival, giving all NYC public school students and teachers free access to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Express, through New York Public School credentials. Adobe is committed to enabling creativity for all and inspiring students to bring their visions to life with its filmmaking tools.  

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 were chosen by a panel of NYC Public School Film Festival teachers and media professionals. 

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 Creative Sector Programs to advance industry and workforce development across NYC’s creative sectors. 

Photo credit: James Baldwin.

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