Students Take Active Role Organizing Trinity Film Festival at Cinestudio

Films Have Been Selected from More Than 100 Submissions for Annual Event on May 5

​Hartford, Connecticut, April 30, 2018—Trinity College students and faculty have been working day and night organizing the seventh annual Trinity Film Festival (TFF), which will feature short films by undergraduate student filmmakers from around the world. More than 100 films were submitted to the festival and a film screening committee has selected two and a half hours’ worth of films to present to the Trinity community, Hartford area movie-goers, and visiting filmmakers on Saturday, May 5, at Cinestudio, located on Trinity’s campus. Red carpet arrivals begin at 4:00 p.m., with the film screenings starting at 5:00 p.m. and the awards reception and ceremony to follow. The full schedule is below.

​The seventh annual Trinity Film Festival will be held on Saturday, May 5, at Cinestudio on the Trinity campus.
The festival would not be possible without the leadership of Trinity students. Kyra Lyons ’20 is a part of the TFF team for the second year and is serving as submissions coordinator. “Trinity Film Festival has directly affected my choice to pursue a film studies major,” Lyons said. “Through the festival, I am able to plug into this inspirational network of undergraduate filmmakers from around the world and it allows me to keep the ‘real world’ side of my film studies major within grasp,” she said.

Jessica Jones ’21 is also helping to organize the festival. “I heard about TFF through some of the upper-year students on campus during the first few days of school, and when I saw their table at the clubs and activities fair, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get involved in both the Trinity and Hartford film communities,” Jones said. Jones is part of both the coordination committee and the communications committee for the festival. “I’ve been involved in calling film departments all over the country to tell them about our festival, helping to organize the ordering of TFF merchandise, and even being featured in promotional skits and brainstorming content for our social media,” Jones said.

Though Jones is in her first year at Trinity and has not yet declared a major, her involvement with the festival has begun to mold her academic track. “Being part of the Trinity Film Festival team has given me the opportunity to learn more about the film community at Trinity and has opened my eyes to another potential course of study,” Jones said. “Being part of TFF has taught me so much not only about film, but also everything that goes into putting on a festival. My favorite part of the process has been being able to connect with the greater Trinity community. Ultimately, the goal of this festival is to bring film to the community, and being part of the process has been really rewarding.”

The festival was created in 2011 by then-undergraduate Trinity student John Michael Mason ’12, who is now associate head coach of Trinity’s men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams. “During my time at Trinity I realized I could make amateur films and have them shown at a beautiful theater like Cinestudio,” Mason said. “I knew students across the country who were working so hard on their film projects and had no way to show them to an audience, as even YouTube wasn’t as massively popular as it is now. At Trinity, I had Cinestudio as a resource and I wanted to utilize it. We worked to create a festival and let any undergraduate filmmaker apply so other students had the ability to screen films in this amazing theater.”

The red carpet arrivals begin at 4:00 p.m. on May 5 outside of Cinestudio. ​Photo by Elhadji Mare '18.
 Joe Barber, director of Trinity’s Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement, assisted Mason and the original student organizers in creating this event and still serves as the festival adviser. “It was a great way to use Cinestudio, which is a resource that is not utilized to its full potential. It is also a good way to engage students with a major event and see it through until completion,” Barber said. The festival has grown in the seven years it has existed at Trinity. “We have films being submitted from all over the world. We also have so many students from across all areas of interest participating in the event. You don’t need to have a background in film, you just have to have passion, interest, and a willingness to learn and work hard. We want this to be embraced by Trinity and have students, faculty, and staff look forward to the festival every year,” Barber said.

The festival also presents a rare opportunity for Trinity to host filmmakers from across the country and world. “Hearing the comments from the filmmakers from other schools and how well it has been done and how well we treat them is one of the best parts of the festival,” Barber said. “We are highlighting Trinity College through this event to the rest of the country and to different countries around the world, and it has become a really positive representation. We are really showing off the college.”

The student organizers and committee members make sure that the visiting filmmakers have an enjoyable experience at Trinity. Mason referred to the slogan of the festival, “More than just the film,” as he emphasized the importance of the weekend. “A lot of people are coming to this festival from across the country and we want to treat them to the best of our ability,” Mason said. “The event is a catered, formal event with a performance by the Trinity a cappella group the Accidentals. We want these students who are traveling to our campus to have a great experience overall.”

​The winners of last year's Trinity Film Festival celebrate at the awards ceremony. Photo by Dan Hughes '18.
This year’s awards banquet is sponsored by XFINITY, which will present the winning film with a first prize of $1,500. Selected filmmakers are awarded the opportunity to have their films made available through XFINITY On Demand in the northeastern United States for a limited time. This year’s judging panel will be announced soon.

Tickets can be purchased online the week before the festival or at the box office starting at 4 p.m. on May 5. General admission: $15; Seniors: $10; Free admission for students and anyone with a Trinity ID. Tickets cover admission to all screenings and the awards ceremony, as well as refreshments.

“The festival is put on by students, for students,” Mason said. “The filmmakers are all undergraduate students, and the festival is completely put on by students. The students don’t need a background or academic focus in film. It’s more about gaining experiences outside of the classroom.” To learn more about how to be a part of the festival, contact For more information about Trinity Film Festival, visit

Written by Lexie Axon ’19



Trinity Film Festival 2018 – Schedule at a Glance


Friday, May 4, 2018

6:00 p.m. Welcoming reception and “Design Night Out: Screen” panel discussion – Cinestudio

8:00 p.m. Screening of Oscar-nominated short films – Cinestudio


Saturday, May 5, 2018

4:00 p.m. Red carpet arrivals; live music – Cinestudio

5:00 p.m. Film screenings, with opening remarks from Trinity College Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Cresswell – Cinestudio

8:00 p.m. Awards banquet – Mather Hall, Terrace Rooms

9:00 p.m. Awards ceremony – Mather Hall, Terrace Rooms