House Life

House Life

College Houses presents the 2020 Penn Student Film Festival

Curated by Nicola M. Gentili (Cinema & Media Studies and House Fellow in Harrison College House), in collaboration with Ryan J. Keytack and Christopher Bogs from College Houses & Academic Services; Dr. Christopher Donovan, House Dean of Gregory College House; and Dr. Frank Pellicone, House Dean of Harrison College House, the 2020 Penn Student Film Festival went virtual!  We wanted to hold our festival despite the current circumstances during this time of COVID-19 so that we could offer an opportunity to our student filmmakers to show their cinematic talent.

22 films were included in this year's edition of the Festival, and they represented all genres of film such as drama, comedy, documentary, animation, and experimental. The 22 shorts were divided into two groups of 11 films each, and made available to two juries in Gregory and Harrison College Houses. These two juries were composed by members of the senior staff and students of the two College Houses, along with representatives from College Houses and Academic Services (CHAS). Each judge watched the films individually and expressed their votes. The single votes were then calculated to select the best 4 shorts for each jury. The 8 finalists were then assigned to a jury composed by faculty at Penn Cinema & Media Studies to decide on the 3 winners.

Congratulations to our First Prize winner:

The Beginning (Dennis Sungmin Kim, 2019)

A drawing of two characters, neither particularly human, holding hands under a large full moon in a dark sky
[click to view in a new window]

2nd Prize was a tie:

Barberhood (Jennifer Chen, 2019) 

Shelter (Kate Lindenburg, 2019)


3rd Prize:

Plain Sight (Anab Aidid, 2020)


Other Finalists:

—click titles to view film in a new window:

Chicken (Sofia Janak, 2020)
Lucy (Josh Klapper, 2020)
Saying Goodbye (Lauren Payton, 2020)
Slava (Luke Hrushanyk, 2019)

To view the complete list of films submitted for consideration, click here.


Thank you to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winners!

Virtual Penn Student Film Festival 2020 Submission Guidelines:

• Festival film entry is open to Penn students only.
• Films can be no longer than 10 minutes.
• All genres of films will be accepted to the competition. There will not be separate categories for awards.
• All entries must be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube link.
• Each individual or team can submit no more than 1 entry.
• All entries must have been made in the 2019-20 year.
• We will not disqualify films that contain copyrighted material. However, please be aware that you will not be able to submit your film to other festivals or additional outlets if it contains copyrighted materials.
• We will not accept films that have already been submitted to past editions of the Penn Student Film Festival.

All films submitted were watched by the members of the PSFF committee, divided into two juries based in Gregory College House and Harrison College House. (In ordinary years these are the Houses in which the films would have been screened over a series of two evenings.) These juries each chose a set of four finalists.  The finalist films were sent to a jury composed of Cinema & Media Studies faculty, who watched the films on their own and chose the winners.

Penn Student Short Film Prizes

presented by College Houses & Academic Services

First prize: $500
Second prize: $200 & $200
Third prize: $100