Shenandoah University held its Inaugural Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival!
Over 75 short films were submitted by high school and college students from around the U.S. Forty-two films, selected by filmmakers and Shenandoah University faculty, were reviewed by guest judges for the festival.
The elite panel of judges included:
- Actor and producer Efren Ramirez
- Director Rodman Flender
- Director and professor Rebekah McKendry
- Documentary filmmaker Don Argott
Congratulations to the Shenandoah University students and alumni who were among the 18 film fest winners!
Documentary Category Winners
The War of Two Wolves | Monica Baranko ’19, media and communication major
World Class | Ibrahim Bundu ’19, media and communication & film studies major
Drama Category Winner
Glaze | Osinachi Ibe ’17, public health major
Comedy Category Winner
White Lie | Joseph Fisher ’21, media and communication major
Audience Best Film Winner
A Hint of Hope | AJ Cabbagestalk ’19, media and communication major
Watch one of the winning films! The War of Two Wolves was a winner in the documentary category.
Learn more about Shenandoah’s film studies program, which trains students to make films for the marketplace.
The 42 films screened at the festival included:
Director Ryan Vaughan, USC
Virginia detectives discover an unsettling truth while investigating a crime scene off the Colonial Parkway. Inspired by true events in the 1980s.
Director Kelci Halferty, Liberty
All Thomas wants in his life is a woman to love and will stop at nothing in order to get her.
Director Michelle Burger, Bergen County Academies High School, NJ
Basil discovers that her new friend group may have Satanic leanings.
Director Kenny Brossoie, Towson University
Director Ben Feldman, UVA
Psychosis takes you deep into the mind of a neurotic programmer who begins to suspect that a technological entity is trying to abduct him.
Girl in the Yellow Sweater
Director Lainey Auwarter, High School, Roanoke, VA
A music video for the song “Girl in the Yellow Sweater” by Sarah Wade, produced by Grandin Theatre Film Lab in Roanoke, VA.
Director Reid Burton, High School, Roanoke, VA
A homeless youth struggles to reconnect with the gift he’s been given.
Director James Werbe, High School, Woodland Hills, CA
Four teens consider their deaths, and find things are more familiar than first expected.
Director Natalie Christensen, High School, Richmond, VA
Through a series of fantasies, a girl decides whether she will talk to an intriguing stranger or walk away.
Cody Isn’t Cool
Director Maddy Wade, High School, Purcellville, VA
Director Trevor Stevens, James Wood High School, Winchester, VA
A normal student undergoes the anguish of dealing with a bullying situation.
Director Kevin Nealon, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
The development of espresso and how it’s made in a coffee shop and at home.
A Hint of Hope
Director AJ Cabbagestalk, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
Convicted of murder, Ashton Wiggins looks to prove his innocence.
Director Reece Schietinger, UVA
A music video for a song by On These Airwaves.
Director Taylor White, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
A sports documentary about a college track and field athlete’s journey and the adversity he went through along the way.
The Magic Words
Director Domenic Porcari, Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA
Two passengers on a train must confide in each other as they face their dark pasts and powerful memories.
Why Does Shenandoah University Hate Your Car?
Director Martijn Goossens, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
Shenandoah University is desperate to slow down the traffic on an on-campus road.
Director Osinachi Ibe, Chapman University, Orange, CA
A struggling pottery student must choose between the self-reliance that’s allowed her to survive and the vulnerability of allowing others to help her have a more stable future.
Director Bryan Taira, Chapman University, Orange, CA
An elderly woman finds a toddler sized carrot in her garden and believes it holds the soul of her recently deceased husband.
Director Andy Riddle, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Will faces challenges as he stumbles about his day, trying hard to be on time.
Bravely With Grace
Director Lizbeth Nthanze Kariuki, American University, Washington DC
Grace Imhoff has channeled her personal challenges into her work, using business and entrepreneurship to empower herself and those around her.
Director Alazar Aklilu, UVA
Michelle Williams, in desperate pursuit to pay for her mother’s life saving surgery, faces her worst nightmare when her well-intentioned sister’s misstep unleashes an avalanche of chaos.
All My Friends
Director Derrick Owens, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Two friends try to navigate the modern dating scene over the course of one night.
Director Nabeel Raza, High School, Roanoke, VA
A music video for the song “Track1” by the band Her Majesty. Produced by Grandin Theatre Film Lab.
The Last Cup
Director Hannah Thompson, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
Jessie is moving, Phel isn’t. But when an unexpected Target rendezvous brings them together, things change.
Director Corey Clark, Herndon High School, Herndon, VA
A new mobile ARG tasks players with finding clues that lead them to specially marked bags. Six weeks into the game, things begin to go south as some players take the game too seriously.
Director Isabelle Levent, The Brearly School, New York City, NY
Two members of Generation Z expound on their values and habits as they redefine minimalism in a world of consumption, technology, and information overload.
Director Morgan Elizabeth Bowman, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
Shiloh is a nervous college freshman out on her own for the very first time. When she is chosen by a ubiquitous girl for a school project, she takes on a new role of flawlessness which quickly surfaces a darkness within her.
Director W. Trent Welstead, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Welcome to the world of Clock-Boy, where the idiosyncrasies of campus culture exist only in the absurd.
Director Joe Fisher, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
Director Mojtaba Mirshekari, Chapman University, Orange, CA
Frank tries to celebrate his 70th birthday by throwing a party and inviting his friends, family and neighbors, but no one comes to his party except some new neighbors. They make good memories together, but not everything goes as he expected.
Director Evie Shih, Marshall High School, Falls Church, VA
The interactions between a Grim Reaper and a little girl named Ari.
Director Ibrahim Bundu, Shenandoah University
Musical Process of Bundu.
Director Drew Phillips, USC & Temple University
What if a special kind of drug granted you telekinetic abilities?
Director Hannah Weatherford, Clover Hill High School, Midlothian, VA
An experimental film that explores the possibility of time reversal and the consequences that can arise from it.
To the Boy Who Broke My Heart
Director Mike Woods, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Ever been ghosted? Rock band Cinema Hearts sulk with their romantic demons in this haunting Victorian-style music video.
Shenandoah University Esports
Director Jeremy Flaherty, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
A brief look into the eSports program at Shenandoah University
Director Dylan Smith, Clover Hill High School, Midlothian, VA
A glimpse inside the mind of Matt Lively, a leader in the Richmond muralist art scene.
Director Steve Aderton, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
A woman in London experiences strange things while dealing with her writer’s block.
Director D.T. Bullock, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL
After two years of intensive counseling for her PTSD from an event that removes her from an ordinary life that she deserves, Adriana prepares for a first date with someone she barely knows.
Dir. Natalie Piszcz, Lilly Parker, Meera Gandhi, Sarah Wimbish, Clover Hill High School, Midlothian, VA
A paper stop motion animated film created by all female Honors Photo 3 students at Clover Hill High School, Mending symbolically tells the story of a female who is entangled in a tumultuous relationship and faces severe obstacles.
The War of Two Wolves
Director Monica Baranko, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA