Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program presents the 31st Annual Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF), a week-long program of screenings, screenplay, and teleplay readings in New York. The celebration will continue with events to be announced for 12–14 June in Los Angeles.


For Press Inquiries please contact Christina Rumpf at ctr9@columbia.edu.

A Message from the Dean

Carol Becker

Welcome to the 32nd Columbia University Film Festival—the culminating event for our MFA Film students. In 1987 when the Festival began, it consisted of only four shorts, followed by a panel discussion. Now the Festival has become a true Columbia tradition, including several days of screenings, panels and events in both New York and Los Angeles.

There is no greater pleasure for me as Dean than attending the final events for all School of the Arts programs in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing. This is when I see the tremendous work our students have engaged in, as they prepare to launch themselves into the world. Art making comes most alive when new generations employ their talents to imagine the future and to give us new ways to see the present.

Congratulations to all the students whose 
work you will view throughout the Festival, to
 our alumni, and to the brilliant and dedicated faculty who have guided them over the years. Special thanks to all those in the School of the Arts community who helped make this year’s Columbia University Film Festival a memorable celebration. Please join us at the School of the Arts throughout the year for theatre productions, concerts at Miller Theatre, film screenings, visual arts exhibitions, and readings of fiction, nonfiction and poetry—all part of the experiment of art making we engage in every day. And please take note of all the programming at our new venue building, the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

Carol Becker
Dean of Faculty
Columbia University School of the Arts



A Message from the Chair

Carol Becker

Creative collaboration is the hallmark of our Film Program. From the moment students enter our program, they are actively working together to make the best possible films and produce the most captivating stories. Learning how to hone their skills as directors, screenwriters and creative producers is what we all—faculty, staff and students—work on day after day.

Every year at this time, we see the culmination of all those years of study. These films reflect the diverse, global perspectives of our filmmakers— from a film about an unexpected connection between two ASL signing artists to a wolf pack of young females seeking revenge to a robot finding his way home across the desert to his creator—our filmmakers bring these stories to life through brilliant scripts and powerful cinema. Over the course of the Festival you’ll see reflected both the depth and breadth of what our students create; we are proud of their remarkable achievements.

This festival may be the hard-earned result of their time in our program but it is also the auspicious beginning of the next step in their creative work and careers. From here, these films go on to screen at the top film festivals around the globe and garner many, many awards. Tonight, I invite you to watch the next generation of storytellers as they step out into the spotlight!


Maureen A. Ryan
Chair, Film Program
Columbia University School of the Arts



A Message from the Governor

Carol Becker

Dear Friends:

It is a pleasure to send greetings to everyone gathered for the 31st Annual Columbia University Film Festival.

New York is a vibrant center of art and culture, and a magnet for those with creative vision.  Many of today’s accomplished filmmakers are graduates of the prestigious Film Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, where an excellent education and intense coursework allow them to develop skills in screenwriting, directing, and creative producing, combined with resources for business and technical training.  Among them are some of best known names of individuals in the industry who have gone on to garner critical acclaim, highest accolades, global nominations, and prestigious honors – including recent Academy Awards.

This annual festival highlights the works of MFA film students who have shown they have the vision and talent to be among the next generation of great and influential filmmakers.   Welcoming an audience of thousands, this festival celebrates these creative young minds and the culmination of their academic and artistic efforts.  I join in congratulating this year’s participants for their impressive accomplishments and thank Columbia University’s Film Program for keeping New York in the spotlight of cinematic excellence.

Warmest regards and best wishes for another wonderful festival.


Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York
Governor’s Office of Motion Picture
& Television Development



A Message from the Commissioner

Carol Becker

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 2018 Columbia University Film Festival (CUFF)! 

The Columbia University Film Festival presents a unique and wonderful cinematic experience here in New York each year. As the culminating event for Columbia’s MFA Film students, CUFF provides attendees with the opportunity to view films made by some of our City’s most impressive emerging talent, whose innovative perspectives ignite vital conversations year after year. 

We’re especially pleased that CUFF calls New York City home. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) supports the media and entertainment industries in New York, encompassing film, TV, theatre, music, publishing, advertising, and digital media. Our Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting is a one-stop shop for all production needs in New York City, and has helped grow the industry here. We also oversee NYC Media, the official TV, radio, and online network of the City of New York reaching 18 million viewers. Our city is a thriving center of media and entertainment, and home to groundbreaking storytellers who representing diverse viewpoints within the media landscape. 

Each year, our office works directly with hundreds of film, television, digital, and commercial projects that film on location in the five boroughs. We provide these productions with a range of useful resources, including the “Made in NY” Discount Card, which provides discounts at more than 1,200 local businesses. We also offer educational and workforce development programs, such as the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, which has placed over 700 underserved New Yorkers in entry-level jobs on film and television sets. Additionally, our “Made in NY” Marketing Credit program offers promotional support for projects in which at least 75% was produced in New York City.

We invite you to take a look at our website—www.nyc.gov/film—and follow us on Twitter—@MadeinNY—to discover everything New York City has to offer the creative community. 

Enjoy the show! 

Julie Menin 
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment