Director: Emma Jordan
In this animated film from the UK, a doll faces her fears when a spider invades her dollhouse. However, something far more terrifying lies beneath the surface. Tension is built as the doll realizes she is progressively not alone. Once it's realized acceptance is the only way the doll can progress forward, she overcomes her fears.
A stop-motion body horror film inspired by animation geniuses like Jan Svankmajer, the Quay Brothers, and Jiri Trnka, that uses different grotesque textures to unsettle the audience.
The word 'Arachnarche' is the combination of two words: arachnid (which relates to the spider in the story) and adrenarche, which means 'the awakening of the adrenal gland' or the beginnings of puberty. The tactile imagery was taken from different aspects of puberty, such as the entrapping feeling of growing pains, body hair, and acne.
Director: Hannah Marie Fasick
As environmental and political tensions escalate, a married couple debate if they will retreat to their underground condominium.
Built to Howl is a science fiction film inspired by the surreal present, but set in the near future. Written, directed, and edited by Hannah Marie Fasick and starring Nicole Steinwedell and Alex Quijano, with cinematography by Evan M. Allen.
BEST SCI-FI FILM
PG - 13
Director: Rashad Addy-Davis
A film about life after graduating with a Theatre Degree. This cathartic piece laughs at the highs and lows of that roller coaster experience.
The four vignettes encapsulate the grind, embarrassment, alienation, and long nights of the brave souls who decide to graduate with a Theater Degree.
The director, being one of them, wanted to make something that anyone who graduated with an Art degree can relate to, and triumphantly succeeded in this dark-comedy celebration of the strength in those who are able to get through such trials, and still push on.
BEST LGBTQ FILM
Director: Aaron Osborne & Jane Hoffmann
The Junior Thesis Film.
During my junior year at Syracuse University, Jane Hoffman and I collaborated on a thesis. In retrospect, that decision was decidedly questionable.
We had been lovers, on and off, and were at that moment in time trapped in a sort of emotional purgatory. The question burdening both of us was "What does the future hold for our relationship?" As a means to answer that riddle, we consulted a tarot card deck.
Our film project attempted to capture that answer-seeking process, a process into which we both threw ourselves rather profligately.
I have unearthed the film and finished it. This is more than a student film to me. I have realized there is a reason it has taken me until now to complete it. The place it holds in my psyche is monumental. The aesthetics and storytelling approaches evidenced by the scratched work print and grease markers and outlandish performances represent to me such a specific time, one that is at once both lost and found.
That is what memory is.
BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM
Director: Oliver Ponce
Louey & Bri TV is a 5-episode sketch comedy web series starring Luis Guzman and Bri Smith. Written and produced by Bri and Luis before the pandemic.
Each episode is stand-alone, and packed full of chaos, crazy characters, and unexpected outcomes.
Louey & Bri TV has now been accepted to over 14 film festivals. It's accolades have included winning Best Web Series at both the Austin Comedy Film Festival and the Ciudad de Mexico International Film Festival.
BEST WEB PROJECT
Director: Matt Mullins
3 Subjects, 2 Bullets, 1 Survivor