Storytelling in Fourteen Minutes and Under

June 7, 2012

The SVA Short Film Fest 2012 will showcase 16 distinctive new voices on the international film scene. Taking place on Monday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 12 at the Directors Guild of America Theater, 110 West 57th Street, the two-day festival features 16 original short films written and directed by students graduating from the MPS Live Action Short Film Department,  a 10-month course of study in which students create an independent short film from pre- to post-production based on their own experience and interests.

“Film has always been a potent story-telling device. And now, when it comes to film, short matters,” says Department Chair Bob Giraldi. “There’s a reason the average YouTube video is 2.7 minutes long.”

Ruscen Vidinliev‘s We Kid explores the lives of a group of twenty-somethings not quite in—or out—of their “quarter-life” crises. Damian and his friends spend their days people-watching from a comfortable distance throughout New York City’s boroughs while trying to make sense of their confused and mundane existence.

The idea of making a film on censorship has been on Eric Tosstorff’s mind for quite some time. His film The Giraffe Who Knew Too Much explores the issue through the tale of a not-too-distant-future when a young boy must give up his favorite book once it is placed on a banned books list.

Quinton Boughton’s film An Act of God tells the story of an alcoholic filmmaker desperate to save his career. After a string of bad choices fueled by his destructive habit, the protagonist embarks on a bold journey to turn his career—and his life—around.

Nadia Bedzhanova began to consider how she might make a risky film about youth culture when she entered the MPS Live Action Short Film Department. Adrift is an action-packed story chronicling the adolescent quest for freedom and independence. Rather than experimenting with drugs, the three Brooklyn teens play a dangerous choking game as an alternative, hoping to escape the boredom of their sheltered existence and find the excitement they urgently seek.

Other students participating in the festival include Milla Almeida, Shamara Cox, Matt Fleischer, YiFeng Li, Arianna Penzo, Stephanie PisanoHeather Rosenthal, Tsyen Shen, JiYeon Song, Katie Staab, Kerim Tever and Chris Wen.

The SVA Short Film Fest 2012 is curated by Department Chair Bob Giraldi and sponsored by Fisher Price and Feature Systems Equipment & Rental Company. A panel of distinguished industry professionals will award the Fisher Price Best of Show cash prize to the top film and Feature Systems Award of Excellence cash prize to the runner-up.

The event is free and open to the public. Program details and RSVP information are online at

Video: Trailer for SVA Short Film Fest 2012. Images: Stills from The Giraffe Who Knew Too Much; An Act of God; and Adrift. Courtesy the artists.

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