Accepted to the film festival is a film by Lycoming's M. Mitchell Wheary and Emily Shaffer, “She’s Hunting Lions.” It's a narrative film about a young woman who is controlled by an abusive father. Photo provided

Williamsport, Pa. — College students from across the Commonwealth have submitted their work for the 13th Pennsylvania College Student Film and Video Festival, to be held Oct. 17 at AMC Classic 11 in Williamsport, Pa. Of the 98 student films submitted, nine were accepted and will be shown during the program hosted by the Department of Communication at Lycoming College. 

The screening starts at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public. Tickets are limited and those wishing to attend the festival must RSVP at

Since its start in 2008 as a local screening, the festival has grown to include student films from all over Pennsylvania, and this year includes three distinguished film students from Lycoming College. Each featured film will run up to 15 minutes or less.

Awards will be given in the categories of documentary, narrative, and experimental films. Lycoming College students with films accepted into the festival are eligible for the Tom Woodruff Jr. Grand Jury Prize.

“This year’s film selections represent diversity in a way that truly excites us,” said Leah Bedrosian Peterson, associate professor of film and video arts, and chair of the communications department at Lycoming College. “The filmmakers, casts, and storylines entered by student filmmakers are diverse and distinct. We’ve chosen films that address the concerns and interest of emerging filmmakers who value inclusiveness and acceptance.”

Peterson continued, “The narrative film ‘American Love’ is about a young undocumented woman who struggles with her status while living and loving someone in the United States. Another narrative film, ‘Seahorse’ is about a young pregnant man who struggles with his mother’s interest in sensationalizing his private experiences. Other films tell the stories of migrant workers, abusive relationships, love and loss, family dynamics, and the acceptance of one’s sexuality.”

The three films by Lycoming College film and video arts majors accepted into the festival include Jessee Bermudez’s music video “Last Chance,” a song by Nathan Sweeny about love and pain. M. Mitchell Wheary and Emily Shaffer’s film, “She’s Hunting Lions,” is a narrative film about a young woman who is controlled by an abusive father. “The Daniele’s of Italy” by Franchesca Martinez is a film about the Daniele family who owns the popular restaurant “Franco’s” in downtown Williamsport.

Included in the films to be screened at this year’s festival are one music video, five narrative films, and three documentaries, including:



Narrative Film

Director Kelly Tran

Producer Calyx Deroche (Point Park University ’19)

American Love follows Maria, an undocumented person, in the 24 hours after losing her job. While out to dinner with her boyfriend, their waitress accuses Maria of stealing a tip off a table. A simple misunderstanding quickly escalates into a life-threatening situation.


Narrative Film

Director Drew Philips (Temple University)

Producer Eve Siconolfi (Temple University ’19)

What if a special kind of heroin granted you telekinetic abilities and a super intoxicating high? In the badlands of Philadelphia, a heroin-plagued neighborhood, Doctor Cosme gives his test-subject Titan just hours to make a decision: Overcome his eight-year history of addiction and live, or shoot up a super serum a final time and save his neighborhood from a “villain” with the same telekinetic powers.

DOS HERMANOS: The Blood of the California Fields

Documentary Film

Director Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz

Editor Haley Hnatuk (Muhlenberg College ’20)

Luis Magaña, an immigrant rights organizer, recounts two tragic losses of indigenous youth from México working in Central Valley vineyards. This is a place in California where numerous monuments have been springing up to honor those whose lives have been lost amidst the daily hardships.


Narrative Film

Director Siddhartha Jha (Drexel University ’19)

Brandon’s world is turned upside down as his teenage son gets diagnosed with leukemia. Things take a strange turn as he keeps encountering a mysterious man and an ominous flyer, which serves as a reminder of his unsavory past.


Music Video

Director Jessee Bermudez (Lycoming College ’20)

This music video for Nathan Sweeney’s single entitled, “Last Time,” is about love and broken hearts.


Narrative Film

Director Drew Praskovich (Point Park University ’19)

Mars, a pregnant boy, must confront the tabloid persona created by his fame-obsessed mother on the final day of his pregnancy.


Narrative Film

Director M. Mitchell Wheary (Lycoming College ’20)

Director Emily Shaffer (Lycoming College ’19)

Alone in the middle of the woods, a daughter must deal with her abusive father while the rage inside of her builds with each passing moment.


Documentary Film

Director Franchesca Martinez (Lycoming College ’19)

This is the story of Williamsport, Pennsylvania's Franco's Lounge owners, The Daniele family, who face personal life challenges that sometimes overlap with the pressures in running a family business. Despite their obstacles, the family has kept Franco's lounge open for more than a decade and share their greatest achievements.


Documentary Film

Director Lamont Nathaniel Gibson (Temple University ’19)

This documentary follows Travoye Hakeem Joyner, a talented actor through a tremulous time in his life where the dreams have become as heavy as the debt. Travoye is faced with student debt and hyper masculinity while a single mother works to put him through college.

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