Film Festival | ARCHIVE


Banner courtesy of Lilly Parker
ENJOY LUIFF trailer by Isaiah Marcellino

Lesley University Independent Online Film Festival
LUIFF 2022, April 19–30, 2022

Lesley University is hosting the 2nd annual online Lesley University Independent Film Festival April 19th–30th. Enjoy three programs: Dawn, Dusk, and Dark.

Free Tickets for this event can be found at this link: and a link to the Vimeo site and platform will be sent to you.

see below for program and enjoy the Q&A with directors.

Program 1: DAWN

With a new day comes hope for the possibility of what can be. Opening the second Lesley University Independent Film Festival is the program Dawn. The films in this category are lighter, even when they do explore serious topics. The themes discussed involve nostalgia, identity, and exploration through a more accessible tone and approach.

Sounds of the City

Wyatt Cunningham; USA; 2021; Experimental; 6 mins

An exploration of Boston’s urban environment through sound and super 8, with an emphasis on the rhythms of city life

My Name is Nostalgia

Ana Graziela Aguiar; Brazil; 2020; Short; 4 mins

The new coronavirus pandemic surprises the world. In Cuba, on a farm in the interior of the country, film students are isolated because of the virus. My name is nostalgia invites us in this short to experience this quarantine from the farewells and the sadness of an interrupted dream.

The Bell Tree

Serena Bartlett: USA; 2021; Animation; 3 mins

This film reflects on the environmental devastation that affects our world today as the protagonist navigates a world that has been ravaged by natural disaster. Inspired by watercolor, and sumi-e, The Bell Tree expresses the belief that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and one small act can make that light shine brighter.

I’m an American

Marley Steen; USA; 2022; Animation; 2:45 mins

An experimental animation exploring peoples different views on the american govenrment.

It’s Not the Same Anymore

Hannah Elizabeth Burke; USA; 2022; Music Video; 6:25 mins

This music video tells the personal story of a student struggling with the transition between high school and college, and the effect the external factors are having on herself mentally, even if she does not show it to others.

Take Care of Yourself

Wyatt Cunningham; USA; 2021; Animation/Documentary; 3:03 mins

A stop motion animated documentary showing the repetitive and isolated experience of life and school during the global pandemic. A reminder to take care of yourself and support one another because life isn’t easy, especially inside. 

Bluebird Variation

Jeremy Epstein; USA; 2021; Animation/Experimental; 00:53 secs

A handmade rotoscope of a performance of The Bluebird Variation from The Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky

Just Leave it: Vignette I

Willow Machado; USA; 2022; Music Video/Experimental; 1:45 mins

an experimental vignette which explores mood and sound. The piece is set to the song “Just Leave It” by Eleanor Elektra.

A Seal Story

Willow Machado; USA; 2021; Animation; 3:08 mins 

“A Seal Story” follows a day in the life of a mother seal and her pup as they navigate the challenges imposed by human interference on the beach. 


Siana DiGregorio; USA; 2021; Animation/Mixed media; 3:41 mins

MultiBird is about a baby bird’s journey through mixed media to find its way home.

Program 2: DUSK

As the day transitions into night, as does the mood of the films in our next program, Dusk. These films examine moments of realization and decision making, with a slightly darker tone than the previous program.

Mahalia Melts in the Rain

Emilie Mannering; Canada; 2020; Drama; 11 min. 

Mahalia, a timid 9-year-old black girl, feels different from the other girls in her ballet class. Hoping to boost her confidence, her mother brings her to the hair salon to get her hair straightened for the very first time.

History of Civilization

Zhannat Alshanova; Kazakhstan; 2020; Drama; 15 min. 

Indira decides to restart her life and move to London. However, on her last day, she dares to explore what she will leave behind.

Snap out of It

Quentin Gong; USA; 2021; Drama; 6 min.

Down on himself after losing a boxing match, a young Vietnamese man prevents a purse snatching, while somewhat gaining his confidence back.

It’s Nothing

Anna McGuire; UK; 2019; Drama; 15 min. 

Recent graduate, Robin, returns to her parents’ house and obsessively starts to dig a hole, encouraged by an impossibly perfect girl; but as she digs, she heads further down a path of self-destruction.

Luz – A Witch Story

Julie Roy; Canada; 2019; Drama; 15 min. 

LUZ is an ambulance driver. Her work brings her to discover the inert body of Dorothée. That’s when her dreams reveal the identity of the murderer: a malevolent woman who pursues her. There follows a duel between the two women, where the supernatural mixes with lightning.

Retreat into Christ Heart

Jordan Parker Horban; USA; Experimental; 4 min. 

Super8 film about returning to a natural state of grace.

Program 3: DARK

The last program in this year’s run of the Lesley University Independent FIlm Festival is Dark. The films in this program are primarily experimental. They delve inside the character’s mental situations and the filmmaker’s thought processes are explored. Films in this category are, as expected, the darkest in tone and approach.


Jean-Francois Leblanc; Canada; 2020; Drama/Thriller Short Film; 23 Minutes

A young journalist goes into the deep wood to interview the heavy-metal duo LANDGRAVES, who records an album for the first time since a murder imprisonment. His curiosity pushes him to follow the band deep in the forest, as a snowstorm arises.

601 Revir Drive

Josh Weissbach; United States; 2017; Experimental Documentary Short; 9 minutes

A series of spatial limits are defined while a maker imbibes. Interdependence is inherited after a substance cannot be shook. An animal carefully guards an outlined space as a river runs backwards.

To All Those

Josh Weissbach; United States; 2020; Experimental Short; 7 minutes

A city symphony in miniature, dedicated to anyone who has gotten lost in thought while stuck on the midwinter train. to all that unfolds in those private reveries.

Matched Perspective

Ben Feldman; United States; 2021; Short Student Film; 24 Minutes

Whilst on a blind date, a young man and woman each have different perspectives on how it went. Diving deep into their inner workings of their minds seeing upfront what their perspectives on each other say about their character.

Q&A with Liam with filmmakers from Dawn and Dusk programs


Q&A with Audrey and filmmakers from Dawn, Dusk, and Dark

We will be showcasing a variety of independent short films including experimental shorts, music videos, horror films, international films, narrative films, and animation. We searched for a diverse array of filmmakers to show and speak about their work at our online festival, and we hope you can join us!

LUIFF 2022 kicks off in the spring of 2022. Follow us on FilmFreeway for submission dates, festival info and much more.

LUIFF 2021

In Spring 2021, Lesley University launched its inaugural Lesley University Independent Film Festival. A student-led festival supported by Professor Kathleen Mullen, the Festival, LUIFF opened this spring and was an open call for short films in these categories: Experimental, Narrative, Documentary, Animation and Music Video Works.

The Festival was held April 24-26, 2021 online, but works will remain up through May 2nd for anyone who couldn’t make it!

Films and Q&As with the filmmakers remain available through registration at the Eventbrite page:

There are wonderful STUDENT Q&A’s with filmmakers, available at the links below to our Digital Filmmaking Students as well:

If you would like further information on the Lesley University Independent Film Festival please contact us at