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

HIlary Brougher

The stories we share with each other on screen not only reflect our past and present, but also powerfully frame and inform our future.  The work that comprises CUFF reflects the diverse voices of our student body, and the exchange of ideas and perspectives from around the world that we are fortunate to share every day. We are proud of the range of form and genre we see our students take on. The common thread is fearlessness, and something true and human discovered along the way.

The Faculty of the MFA Film Program is immensely proud of the craft, creativity and humanity that we see in the culminating films, screenplays, and teleplays of the Columbia University Film Festival. These works embody our students’ commitment to years of rigorous filmmaking and writing practice, and also their commitment to each other. None of it would be possible without the spirit of collaboration that is the hallmark of our program. As we joyously mark the emergence of this next generation of filmmakers, we hope these collaborations will continue and wish our filmmakers every success on the many “screens” to come.

Hilary Brougher
Chair, Film Program
Columbia University School of the Arts



A Message from the Governor

Carol Becker

It is a pleasure to send greetings to everyone gathered for the 32nd 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 outstanding educational resources and intense coursework allow them to develop skills in screenwriting, directing, and creative producing, combined with 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 several 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 achievements 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

Anne del Castillo

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the 2019 Columbia University Film Festival. New York City is a thriving center of art and culture, and the Columbia University Film Festival showcases some our city’s most impressive emerging talent—directors, screenwriters, producers and editors—whose work never fails to inspire us and ignite important and timely conversations. 

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is pleased to celebrate this work. Our office supports the city’s creative industries encompassing film, TV, theatre, music, publishing, advertising, and digital media, with the goal of strengthening the media and entertainment industry to provide jobs and opportunities for all New Yorkers.  Through programs like the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program in partnership with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and the “Made in NY” Writers Room, in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, we are fostering the city’s diverse talent and creating career pathways to jobs in these industries.  Our Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting is a one-stop shop for all production needs in New York City, facilitating on location filming for hundreds of film, television, digital and commercial projects throughout the five boroughs each year. Films and television shows that do 75 percent of their filming here are eligible for promotional support through our “Made in NY” Marketing Credit program. For more information, visit our website—www.nyc.gov/film —and follow us on Twitter—@MadeinNY— to discover everything New York City has to offer the creative community. 

We congratulate this year’s class of talented filmmakers and we look forward to supporting and celebrating their work as they continue to pursue their careers in film. 

Best wishes for another amazing festival.

Anne del Castillo
Acting Commissioner
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment