JUNE 25, 2021. Available from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Followed by a Q&A with the student filmmakers (via livestream) from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Ley Comas | USA, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica | Documentary |  2020 | 16min

Centering on a conversation with their mother, filmmaker Ley Comas charts their struggle to find a middle ground between them and their family with respect to their gender identity.

Director Bio: Ley Comas is a Non-Binary/brown Latinx filmmaker based in NYC. A hybrid from Costa Rica and Dominican Republic that deeply cares about underrepresented communities and the future of our society. Ley graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor in Cinema and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and they are currently enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in Documentary Filmmaking at City College. They have been working as a Production Sound Mixer and Assistant Editor for the past three years. Ley wishes to use their knowledge to change the portrayal of misrepresented communities and empower the new generation to use film as a vehicle for social change.


John Patrck Hayden | USA | Fiction | 2020 | 14min

A father whose daughter was stolen is compelled to save a stranger from her a grim fate, ultimately freeing himself from his own prison of regret. Healing demands sacrifice.

Director Bio: John Patrick Hayden is a director of stage and screen and a fight director . He is a recipient of a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Scholarship for his films and a Princess Grace Award nominee during his MFA candidacy at City College of New York. His short films have won awards here in America and Internationally. As an actor , Hayden appeared in the Netflix series”Daredevil” and has guest starred in “Law and Order” , “ Blindspot”, “Younger”, “Blue Bloods” and many independent films and shorts. He has appeared on Broadway in Tartuffe and also performed at Lincoln Center, The Guthrie, the Denver Center, Hartford Stage and Pittsburgh Public, among other venues.


Muhammad Bilal | USA | Fiction | 2020 | 15min

Ali, a troubled yet imaginative boy, has one dream in life: to become a screenwriter. Neglected by his mother, brutalized by his stepfather, and bullied by members of the neighborhood gang; he longs for a safe space to simply write screenplays and immerse himself in the world of his imagination.  As he searches for a safe haven, he discovers a magical cave. Nestled inside of the cave, he begins to write and draw prolifically. But as the violence from his stepfather and the local gang turn deadly, he must decide to either take a stand or lose his dream forever.

Director Bio: Muhammad Bilal is a writer, director, actor and photographer. Prior to completing his MFA in filmmaking at The City College of New York, he earned two master’s degrees in education. He also served as an urban educator for over 17 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He made his directorial debut with the short film SAPO, which opened to great reviews at the Improfilm Festival in 2019. He is currently in post-production with another short film, Scorned, and is set to launch his production company, Bilal World Entertainment, in 2021. 


Jessica Q. Moore | USA | Fiction | 2020 | 12min

Tyshawn, a twelve-year-old boy of Afro-Caribbean descent, growing up in a changing Bed-Stuy enjoys living with his grandma and dad. Everything changes when his father is arrested, and he blames the Caucasian neighbors. Then he plots for revenge.

Director Bio: Jessica Q. Moore has made and studied films all over the world, starting with studying Film at Syracuse University. She studied abroad at FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic and Bologna, Italy, where she focused on European cinema and the link between image and sound. Her BFA thesis made it into 2016 Altfest, an LGBQT film festival and showed at the Anthology Film Archive. She’s currently studying to get her MFA in filmmaking at CCNY.


Ashika Kuruvilla | USA | Documentary | 2020 | 15min

Machli Joseph was a seven-time CUNY women’s basketball championship coach who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from Baruch College. He went from being a well respected and charming coach and mentor to having to give up his whole career because of one bad decision. As Machli serves a 20 month sentence in federal prison, Ashika Kuruvilla looks for the answers to the question— how did all this affect him and the people he impacted the most, his players? 

Director Bio: Ashika Kuruvilla was born and raised in Bangalore, India. She moved to New York at the age of 15 to pursue playing basketball and receive a higher education. She studied to be a creative communicator with a BFA in Graphic Communication from Baruch College. On graduating, she worked as an Art Director with Vaynermedia. Driven by the passion to give a voice to communities, she simultaneously started a community oriented artist collective 'Viduals’ that acts as a resource and platform for emerging artists. She is the 2019-2020 recipient of the John Grist/BAFTA New York Scholarship.