SFA Heads to Hawthorne Theatres for 25th Annual Film Festival


Courtesy Student Film Association

Olivia Biel, Staff Writer

The William Paterson Student Film Association hosted the 25th Annual Student Film Festival at Hawthorne Theaters April 28, making it the first time the event took place outside the university.

The four-hour event screened films students made in and outside of classes. The films were divided into four categories — Beginner, Alternative Beginner, Alternative Advanced, and Advanced — and awards were given out for the best films in each.

“It’s definitely our biggest event so far, and definitely one of our most successful events,” said Jamie Sharpe, president of the SFA, after the festival.

Sharpe, who is graduating this year, will be succeeded by Kyle DeLorenzo next semester.

A “Viewers’ Choice” Award was also given to the director of the film the audience chose as their favorite, and two “Spirit Awards” were given to students who have shown exceptional dedication to their own films and with helping others with theirs.

Here are the films and winners in each category.

Beginner (Student Work from Film 1 & Film 2 Classes)

“Close Contact” – Directed by Travon Lee (Film 1)

“Life Lesson” – Directed by Joseph Awoyera (Film 2) 1st PLACE WINNER 

“Perspective” – Directed by Jimmy Sharkey (Film 1)

“Rage Cookies” – Directed by A.J. Natilla (Film 1)

“The Price of a Life” – Directed by Kyle DeLorenzo (Film 2)

“The Falls” – Directed by Erika Schiller (Film 1) 2nd PLACE WINNER 

Alternative Beginner (Student Work Outside of Classes)

“The Gift” – Directed by Herbert Umstead

“Chasing Happiness” – Directed by Alyssa Robbins

“Final Sunset” – Directed by Antonio Monahan

“Patches” – Directed by Glo Giotta

“Scarcity” – Directed by Travon Lee

“Tell” – Directed by Johanca Vallejo 2nd PLACE WINNER 

“Thinking Game” – Directed by Tarell A. Wright 1st PLACE WINNER 

Alternative Advanced (Student Work Outside of Classes)

“A Tall Drink of Walter” – Directed by Grace Soriano 2nd PLACE WINNER 

“Cynically in Love” – Directed by Heberth Rojas

“One Out” – Directed Kyle Lorenzo 1st PLACE WINNER 

“Pocket” – Directed by Joe Saulenas

“Somewhere in Jersey” – Directed by Matthew Martinez

“Tatiana” – Directed by Johanca Vallejo

Advanced (Student Work for Film 3 and Capstone Projects)

“Aren’t You Lucky” – Directed by Heberth Rojas (Capstone) 3rd PLACE WINNER 

“Bag Head” – Directed by Rich Potenza (Capstone) 2nd PLACE WINNER 

“Lost in the Woods” – Directed by Matthew Martinez (Film 3)

“Bird Set Free” – Directed by Dylan Wolf (Film 3)

“What the Heart Wants” – Directed by Jamie Sharpe (Capstone)

“Television Man” – Directed by Joe Saulenas (Capstone) 1st PLACE WINNER 

“Bag Head” was selected as Viewers’ Choice. Spirit Awards were given to Heberth Rojas and Jamie Sharpe.

In addition to directing “What the Heart Wants,” Sharpe also did the cinematography for Johanca Vallejo’s film “Tell.”

In “Tell,” inspired by a poem Vallejo studied in a Contemporary Feminism class, a woman lies awake at night thinking over and over about how she will tell someone about being sexually assaulted.

“Tell” also won 1st place at the Passaic County Film Festival in the Independent film category.

“I was astounded by the outcome of it,” Vallejo said. “This is one of the films that came the closest to my imagination. When you have imagination for a film, it never comes out that way, but this one did, and I’m really proud of it.”

Sharpe said she believes the SFA will be in “good hands” after she graduates.

“I can’t wait to see what they do next here,” she said. “I know every film festival is going to get bigger and better in the next three years because of how successful this festival was, and I think the bar is going to climb higher and higher every year.”