Students from all over New York will show off their skills in the upcoming SUNYWide Film Festival, hosted virtually by SUNY Oswego from April 7 to April 10. 

The festival, which will include 56 student films chosen from a field of over 200, has been coordinated by the students in SUNY Oswego’s dedicated film festivals course in cinema and screen studies, CSS 395. 

“We actually hit a near record-breaking number at 209 submissions,” said Noah Ramer, an Oswego student who, on top of serving as a teaching assistant for CSS 395, is directing the festival. “So that’s really exciting, especially because it’s a comeback year for us.” 

Of the 56 total films, seven were made by either current or recently graduated Oswego students. 

Alex Griffin, whose comedic film “Frame Fumble” is among the selections, stressed the importance of the festival in exposing student works to prominent figures in cinema. 

“They are going to have the opportunity to have their work looked at by professionals and industry mavens, industry gurus,” said Griffin. “That’s what really makes it special as well; it’s not just the prescreening by other colleges. They are going to have their work put in front of people who have been in the industry for years.”

Amy Shore, the director of Oswego’s cinema and screen studies program and the instructor for CSS 395, also stressed the importance of the festival in bringing the work of SUNY students to a broader audience that sometimes seems dominated by other schools. 

Showcasing SUNY

“New York state and particularly because of New York City, has often been known as a place where young filmmakers would want to go to study the craft. But, typically, their first thought is of private institutions like NYU or Ithaca College or SU in the local area,” said Shore. “But we actually have a lot of that going on in our public universities, both the two years, four years, and research and graduate problems, so that was kind of one of the visions behind it.”

Mattie Wallace, another Oswego student whose drama work “Between Two Worlds” will be screened at the festival, said Oswego’s faculty has done an admirable job to encourage students to publicize their works wherever possible. 

“Two of them reached out to me from the cinema department and were like ‘hey, I know you, I’ve had you in previous classes before and I know your work, and I know it’s good and I think that you should really consider submitting,’” said Wallace. “I feel like they really encourage students and they really help them be the best at what they want to do… and it really shows when they reach out to you like that.” 

On top of the potential exposure for those students whose works will be shown off, the students and faculty organizing the festival have worked to make sure prize winners will receive awards donated by the several sponsors of the festival, including companies like Canon and The Criterion Collection.

“Professor Tiffany Deater, she got us a partnership with Canon. They’re giving us a full camera setup that’s worth over $3,000,” said Ramer. “Professor Jake Dodd has reached out to a lot of his contacts to provide film stock, film reels, that sort of thing, so they’ve just been incredible.” 

'Extra mile'

Shore said that this year’s festival would have been impossible if not for the work ethic of Oswego’s students. 

“Our students are always willing to go the extra mile to create something awesome for their fellow students,” said Shore. “We have a class of about 20 students who are putting work in to put this festival on, and they’re doing way more than you need to do for a typical class, right. This is a labor of love, not just credit hours.” 

Between the potential awards for students, the wide variety of films on display, and the other networking-oriented events that will be occurring for involved students, there will be much for attendees to watch and participate in over the course of the festival weekend.

You can check out the schedule online and learn more about the festival at

-- Written by Collin Knapp of the Class of 2023