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2022 Winners

Student Narrative Shorts

Student Documentary Shorts

Emerging Narrative Shorts

Student Documentary Shorts

Emerging Documentary Shorts

2022 Jurors

Jon Appel

An educator, filmmaker, and animator based in Philadelphia. His most recent short ‘R.E.S.T.’ was the recipient of the emerging narrative Jury award at the 2021 March on Washington Film Festival and was a finalist in the Best Sci Fi category and the Next Generation Indie Film Awards.  He is currently working on a serial titled Good People


2021 Film Shortlists

2021 Shortlist: Student Documentary Shorts

BY YOUR SIDE | Directors: Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr.
MOVE activists, Mike and Debbie Africa, tell the story of their young lives, their hopes, dreams and fears--the story of their determination and commitment to never giving up. (USA, 16 MIN)


IT TAKES A CIRCUS | Director: Sarah D. Collins, Zoe Chiriseri Ramushu
Aaliyah, 18, soars on aerial silks. Her cousin Bre, 16, twirls on lyra hoops. The girls dream of escaping the violence that has marred their young lives, and their possible ticket out is Trenton Circus Squad. (USA, 28 MIN)


UNFINISHED LIVES | Director: Yucong Chen
In 2014, 24-year-old USC graduate student, Xinran Ji, was beaten to death by four teens when returning home from a study session. Lawyer, Rose Tsai, advocates tirelessly as his parents and the larger community attempt to understand the senseless tragedy.  (USA, 23 MIN)

2021 Shortlist: Emerging Narrative Shorts

BLACK THOUGHTS | Director: Dwayne Logan
Aiming to bridge the divide that exists between embattled Americans, Black Thoughts places viewers within the history-ravaged mind of a broken-hearted Black man, as he contemplates how confusion has kept citizens engaged in an endless cycle of conflict.  (USA, 30 MIN)


R.E.S.T.| Director: Jon Appel
In Philadelphia, where Kay is plagued by extreme hours at her grocery store job, a product called R.E.S.T. (Rapid Eye Stimulation Treatment) is distributed to the masses through the televised guise of the Polites. (USA, 25 MIN)


2021 Shortlist: Emerging Documentary Shorts

MIDNIGHT OIL | Director: Bilal Motley
First-time filmmaker and refinery worker, Bilal Motley, struggles to reconcile his love and kinship for his distressed refinery brothers and sisters and his growing awareness of the surrounding communities of color, fighting for environmental justice. (USA, 30 MIN)


Central American mother’s journey by bus through Mexico, searching for their children who migrated north towards the United States but disappeared en route. (USA, 20 MIN)


TO THE PLATE | Director: Gopika Ajay and Annick Laurent
Restaurateur Moonlynn Tsai and girlfriend Yin Chang struggle to keep their local business alive and serve their community in the face of anti-Asian crimes. (USA, 23 MIN)

Special thanks to our Student Filmmaker 2021 Jurors


  • Charles Belk | President/CEO of DigiSolve

  • Alison Sotomayor | Award-winning independent documentary and television producer

  • Monica Wise | MOWFF ‘20 Grand Prize Winner, Emerging Documentary; Colombian American documentary filmmaker and journalist based in Mexico City

  • Nicholas Buccola | Professor of political science and the Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield University

  • Jacques Thelemaque | Multiple award-winning writer, producer and director 

  • Mohammed Saffouri | MOWFF ‘20 Grand Prize Winner, Student Documentary; founder of Sirius Productions, and a Capital Emmy-winning filmmaker

Student Narrative Shorts

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