Students were given the opportunity to enter in a mock film-festival circuit last Thursday at the Cantor Film Center as part of the New Visions and Voices Festival. The film genres ranged from animated shorts to mini-documentaries, but all were created by NYU students in the film department of Tisch School of the Arts. The festival, which was open to the public, was designed to give students taking intermediate-level courses a place to exhibit their work in a film circuit. One of the judges, chair of the undergraduate film and television department Joe Pichirallo, said the objective of the festival was to give students an opportunity to present their work to wide audiences.
“It’s about developing who you are as a storyteller and a filmmaker,” Pichirallo said.
The winner of the first place $4,500 Niklas Kalborg Production Award was Andreas Hadjipateras for his short documentary film “Gallero,” which explores the cultural and social importance of cockfighting in Cuba. Hadjipateras, an English-Greek director of documentary and fiction films, has had work shown at various festivals in Europe and the United States. He filmed during a semester abroad in Cuba and wanted to capture the country’s essence, though he faced difficulties while exploring the world of cockfighting.
“I thought it’d be interesting to try to tap into something which was very behind the scenes,” Hadjipateras said. “We had a hard time in the beginning trying to get access to it, so that kind of made me want to get access to it even more. So, we spent about a month and a half trying convince people to let us film.”
Second place winner of the $2,500 Niklas Kalborg Production Award was Sachin Dharwadker, a filmmaker from Wisconsin. His short narrative film “Breathe In Breathe Out” follows a girl who breaks up with her boyfriend.
Tisch senior Barak Barkan won the third place AbelCine Production Fund Award, giving him $1,500 store credit for production services and equipment. Barkan’s comedic short film was about a young Israeli who conducts interviews in order to find a roommate for his two-bedroom apartment in Williamsburg.
Barkan said what he enjoyed most about being able to show his short film at this festival was that it showed him how the audience ultimately decides the meaning of a film.
“I know what the film is about for me, but I do realize that when you show it to people who have no idea what the film is about, a lot of times they won’t necessarily pick up on the narrative.” Barkan said. “At first I was afraid of that, but now I like it. It’s interesting to see what they come up with.”
A version of this article appeared in the Nov. 16 print edition. Email Dejarelle Gaines at [email protected]