2017 Winner

Boundaries by Alex Dagi


2017 Selected Films

The Nanny - Kathy Meng

Memorias de un Table Dance - Silvana Lázaro

Francesca - Moara R Passoni

The Clarinetist - John Huang

Monster - Montana Hall

The Last Goodbye - Jackson Davis

Memories of a Destruction - Vincent Lan

The Profit - Benjamin Steinberg

Empty Window - Ming Zeng

Without a Shadow of a Doubt - Brea Taylor

2017 Harvard College Film Festival Schedule


Thursday, April 27

HOw to pitch your screenplay or tv script

2:30-3:30 PM, 54 Dunster Street

Join the Harvard College Film Festival and Office of Career Services for an instructional workshop on how to Pitch a Movie or TV idea to producers! Joining us via Skype will be Daniel Chun and Sev Ohanian, two Hollywood creators and producers who will instruct participants on how to deliver a well-developed, concise pitch.

Sev Ohanian:
Sev graduated from USC Film School four years ago, and has been a producer on ten feature films since, three of which have been Sundance Film Festival Official Selections in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. His first film, Fruitvale Station, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2013. Last year’s Results premiered at Sundance and was acquired by Magnolia Pictures. And his most recent film, The Intervention, premiered at Sundance this year and was acquired by Paramount. He’s also produced films for Fox Digital Studios, James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, and even an international co-production with China Film Group. He’s been named one of 11 Innovators Changing Hollywood by The Wrap, alongside Angelina Jolie, Jimmy Fallon, and other industry names. He also serves as an adjunct professor at USC.

Daniel Chun: Daniel Chun is an American comedy writer who has written for The Office and The Simpsons. A Harvard alum and former member of the Harvard Lampoon, Mr. Chun has been nominated for a Writers Guild Award and an Annie Award, as well as receiving two Emmy nominations for his work on The Office. His recent ABC Studios pilot Grandfathered, starring John Stamos, was recently ordered to series on Fox. 

Friday, April 28

Advanced screening of Menashe

2-4 pm, Menschel hall, harvard art museums

Co-sponsored by Harvard Hillel and the Committee on the Study of Religion with support of the Rabbi Joseph S. Shubow Memorial Fund, HCFF is pleased to offer an advanced screening of Menashe, a film produced by award-winning studio A24. Menashe, directed by Joshua Weinsten and starring Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed, earned rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival for its immersive world-building and first-person perspective into a rarely-explored Hasidic community.


About Menashe:  Set within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Menashe follows a kind but hapless grocery store clerk trying to maintain custody of his son Rieven after his wife, Lea, passes away. Since they live in a tradition-bound culture that requires a mother present in every home, Rieven is supposed to be adopted by the boy’s strict, married uncle, but Menashe’s Rabbi decides to grant him one week to spend with Rieven prior to Lea’s memorial. Their time together creates an emotional moment of father/son bonding as well as offers Menashe a final chance to prove to his skeptical community that he can be a capable parent.

Shot in secret entirely within the Hasidic community depicted in the film, and one of the only movies to be performed in Yiddish in nearly 70 years, Menashe is a warm, life affirming look at the universal bonds between father and son that also sheds unusual light on a notoriously private community. Based largely on the real life of its Hasidic star Menashe Lustig, the film is a strikingly authentic and deeply moving portrait of family, love, connection, and community.

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. HUID is required for entry.


Saturday, April 29

Screening of 13 Million voices & discussion with writer/director janelle gueits

2-5 pm, Harvard hall 104

Join the Harvard College Film Festival and the Cuban-American Undergraduate Student Association for a special screening of 13 Million Voices, followed by a Skype Q&A with writer/director Janelle Gueits!

About 13 Million Voices: 13 Million Voices explores questions of peace and expression in Cuba through the parallel story lines of a massive peace concert in Cuba and the journey of young independent actors who supported, experienced, and suffered for it.

Sunday, April 30

screening of selected & winning films

12 - 2 pm, Menschel hall, harvard art museums

The Harvard Art Museums will screen the winning films in the fourth annual Harvard College Film Festival, which provides undergraduates across the world with an opportunity to create and submit films to be screened, judged, and awarded for creative excellence and powerful perspective.

Keynote Address: Susanne Daniels

2-3 pm, Menschel Hall, Harvard Art Museums


Following the Screening of student films, join HCFF for a keynote discussion with Susanne Daniels, current Head of Original Programming at YouTube Red, moderated by Katie Kohn.

About Susanne Daniels: Susanne Daniels is a successful TV executive, producer, author, and advocate. Ms. Daniels attended Harvard College, where as a student she was the producer of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and a member of improv group On Thin Ice.  After graduating in 1987, she held an internship at the Public Theater in NY for Joseph Papp, eventually becoming Lorne Michael’s assistant and a development executive at Saturday Night Live and Lorne’s company, Broadway Video. After moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Daniels served as a manager in the specials and reality department at ABC where she worked on such projects as America’s Funniest People and the Academy Awards, amongst others.  From there, Ms. Daniels became a comedy executive at Fox where she developed several comedies including Living Single. Ms. Daniels was soon tapped to head development at WB, where as president she was responsible the network’s primetime hits, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  Dawson’s Creek, Seventh Heaven, and Charmed.  The network would go on to become a huge part of 90s culture and provide career breaks to Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Kevin Williamson, Jamie Foxx, Steve Harvey and many other talented people that Ms. Daniels promoted.  Since then, Ms. Daniels has held positions as an independent producer, as President of both Lifetime and MTV networks, and as the Head of Original Programming at YouTube Red, where she is currently situated. In 2016, Ms. Daniels received received the Brandon Tartikoff award at the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting (NATPE) for the excellence of her career. Aside from her work in the entertainment industry, Ms. Daniels is also an author and has served as an advocate for social change, specifically for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, as well as issues involving girls and media.   

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.

2017 Judges


Jennifer Bornstein is an artist who works in diverse media, including video, 16-millimeter film, and etching. Bornstein received an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She has received numerous awards and grants, including a DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm fellowship, a Sharpe Foundation grant, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, including solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and group exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Serpentine Gallery, London, and Menil Collection, Houston, among others. She has contributed essays to Frieze Magazine, the Getty Research Journal, Mousse Magazine, and other publications. Bornstein was a Radcliffe Institute and Film Study Center Fellow in 2014-15.


Adam Hart is a postdoctoral College Fellow in Visual and Environmental Studies, where he teaches courses on film history and theory. He is currently teaching “The Horror Cinema and Beyond: The Possibilities of Horror” and “David Lynch & David Cronenberg.” He is working on a book manuscript entitled Sensation Cinema: Horror’s Visceral Forms.


Mark Jude Poirier has written several screenplays, including “Hateship Loveship,” which he adapted from an Alice Munro story. The film stars Kristen Wiig and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. His two other produced scripts, “Goats” and “Smart People,” premiered at Sundance. His films have also played at The Nantucket Film Festival, the Chesapeake Film Festival, the American Film Festival in Deauville, and at MoMA in New York. He has been commissioned to write scripts by Universal, Paramount, Imagine, DreamWorks, and many other production companies.

In addition, Poirier is the author of two collections of short stories as well as two novels. His books have been New York Times notable books of the year, as well as Barnes and Noble Discover and Waterstone’s UK picks. In September, Scribner published Intro to Alien Invasion, a graphic novel he wrote with Owen King.

He currently holds a Briggs-Copeland Lectureship on English at Harvard.

Adam Rocha

Adam Rocha is the founder and Executive Director of the San Antonio Film Festival. Rocha studied Film at the University of Texas - Austin and has taught as a cinema professor at both San Antonio College and Northwest Vista College. He has been nominated for a Peabody Award, Texas Emmy, and an award from the Hollywood Reporter (Key Art Awards 2010). 

Ruth Lingford

Ruth Lingford is a filmmaker and a professor in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She has been making short animated films since studying fine art and art history at Middlesex (1987–1990) and animation at the MA level at the Royal College of Art (1990–92). Her films have been broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK, and have won many awards all over the world. She taught in the MA animation program at the Royal College of Art and at the National Film and Television School. Her films are made using 2D digital techniques, often combining drawing and treated live footage. She is known for making “feelbad films” which use the seductive medium of animation to draw the audience in and take them to uncomfortable places. Such films include The Old Fools (2002, 6 min.), An Eye for an Eye (2002, 5 min., 30 sec.) and Pleasures of War (1998, 11 min.) , a retelling of the Biblical story of Judith and Holofernes that explores female aggression and the links between war and sexual desire. It was devised in collaboration with the novelist Sara Maitland, and was featured as one of the 150 Best Films Ever Made in Film: The Critic’s Choice, edited by Geoff Andrew. Lingford has also animated sequences for the film Secrecy by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2008, and for the award-winning documentary We Still Live Here, directed by Anne Makepeace.  She was the recipient of a 2008–09 Harvard Film Study Center Fellowship for Little Deaths, a short animated film using recorded interviews, which has won awards at three international festivals and been shown in over 40 festivals and theaters around the world. Recently she has worked on documentaries for PBS and NBC.

2018 Sponsors and Partners

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Sophia Hunt

Michael Kassabian



General Inquiries: harvardfilmfestival@gmail.com

Submissions/Marketing Team

Chair: Michael Bruce-Rivera



finance team

Chair: Yodahe Heramo

Outreach Team

Chair: Leo Liu