film reel image

film reel image

Friday, January 24, 2014

The 25th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival- January 23rd, 24th, and the 25th, 2014

Greetings from cold, frigid South Bend, Indiana. Here are the feature films and their ratings. All of them were anywhere between 3 and 16 minutes in length. Some were silent, some were documentaries, some were dark, and some were well, darkly comedic. In a little over two hours, 14 in all were shown. The list is as follows:

Chicks  * * 1/2 Stars
Collaborators: Claire Stephens, Frank Schadt

Ash  * * * Stars
Collaborators: Ray Herrly, Pat Nguyen
-Dark, brooding, with genuine, atmospheric direction.

Gimp  * * * * Stars
Collaborators: Camille Muth, Hunter Speese
-Very well made with a terrific documentary feel. The narration flows nicely with the movements of the camera and its handicapped, yet positively driven subject, is an exceptional character study.

Lilith's Game  * * * Stars
Collaborators: Anthony Patti, Johnny Whichard
-11 minute short about a deadly DVD that can kill you. Reminded me of 2002's The Ring.

Rice Bag  * * Stars
Collaborators: Megan Kozak, Daniel Garcia De Paredes

Discordance  * * 1/2 Stars
Collaborators: Lauren Josephson, Zach Ostapchenko, Mary Kate Holmes, Colton Williamson

The Suicide Disease  * * * * Stars
Collaborators: Katie Mattie, Vincent Moore, Will Neal
-Gut wrenching, heartbreaking, intuitive documentary about one woman's painful disease. The best of the bunch at this year's festival.

Dinner For None  * * 1/2 Stars
Collaborators: Kurt Zhuang, Chris Silvestri,

Unexpected Fortune  * * Stars
Collaborators: Will Neal, Nick Desmone

The Last Free Place  * * * * Stars
Collaborators: Madeline Basil, Chris Holmes, Zach Ostapchenko
-Odd yet fascinating documentary about an eclectic town in the middle of a Colorado Desert. A risky, yet well earned choice for a young filmmaker to go out and film this thing 1000+ miles away from ND's campus.

A Quiet Day at the Park  * * 1/2 Stars
Collaborators: Mikey Nichols, Joey Doyle, Megan Flynn, Caroline Clark, Nick Goldsmith

Unearthed  * * 1/2 Stars
Collaborators: McKenzie Hightower, Amanda Dudzinski

The Wormhole  * * * Stars
Collaborators: Colton Williamson
-The lead actor is perfectly cast in this 2001: A Space Odyssey/THX 1138 inspired short involving locker room showers (I know, go with me on this one). Includes some nods to "Odyssey" in terms of the music and closeups of the cast.

My Neighbor Ned  * * * Stars
Collaborators: Andrew Cheng, Marty Flavin
-Goofy zombie short with the best acting of all the films and funny outtakes at the end.

Written by Jesse Burleson


  1. Johnny Whichard here! One of co-producers of LILITH'S GAME! Glad we could give you some early 2000's nostalgia! The Ring was definitely one of our inspirations for the film!

  2. You did a wonderful job with the short film. The ring has always been a favorite horror flicks of mine. By the way, the acting was excellent by the leads in LILITH'S GAME. Very natural. Anyway, because of the weather, I'm back in Chicago now. Would have liked to meet all the filmmakers. Regardless, keep up the good work. LILITH'S GAME was creepy good!