A College Debut: The Wagner Shorts Film Festival

A College Debut: The Wagner Shorts Film Festival

Poster for the festival with a pair of jeans shorts on a clothes hangerMusic videos, documentaries, animation, comedy, horror, action … The debut Wagner College Shorts Film Festival had it all, in one packed hour last Saturday evening.

The festival, organized by the new student-led Wagner Film Society, featured 12 films by Wagner students. Some were made for classes, some to promote College programs, and others for the pure love of creation. Besides showcasing student filmmaking, the shorts also included original student music, art, and archival research.

The 50–60 students in attendance gave an enthusiastic reception to each film, from a political documentary by Riley Bartolomeo ’18, “Labor Movement,” about President Ronald Reagan’s battle with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization; to a slick music video, “Girl Meets World,” directed by and starring the songwriter-singer Alison Turner ’15 (a.k.a. AliT); to “Kübler,” “an abstract art film about the end of a relationship and the stages a person goes through” (quoting the program), by Tayla Dominguez Richards ’17; to an action-film spoof shot in a suburban neighborhood and on a playground, “Justus for Justice” by JP Dalton ’18.

Various characters dancing

In "September Love," cartooned and directed by JP Dalton '18, a nerdy robot goes on a disco date with the lovely insectoid Chaya.

Dalton ended up being one of the evening’s winners, as determined by the audience. There was a tie between Dalton for his animation of a music video, “September Love” (set to a remix of Earth, Wind and Fire and Daft Punk) and Paul Schloeder ’16 for his experimental film “Midnight,” with its visually striking scenes of everyday details like a curtain blowing in the wind, captured on the Wagner campus after dark.

“In film, you have five minutes to capture a person’s attention or you lose them,” Schloeder said. “So in my film, I kept adding new elements.”

“I love that film is this convergence of sound and visuals, this amalgamation of different ideas working together,” said Cameron Haffner ’18, who made two films documenting student life at Wagner.

With a new film and media studies major having launched this spring, Wagner students will be gaining even more experience with this wonderful medium and all of its potential to delight and inform and move audiences.


Watch a Couple of the Wagner Shorts!

“Girl Meets World” by Alison Turner ’15


“Equipo de Huesos” by Corrine Matlak ’15