15th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival
January 22-26, 2004
Carey Auditorium, Hesburgh Library

Featured Films

South Bend By Night (13:16)
Joe Muto and Garrett Fletcher

Did you know that vampires roam the streets of South Bend? Neither did we. But after watching SOUTH BEND BY NIGHT, Garrett Fletcher and Joe Muto’s irresistible inside look into a quirky band of incognito midwest bloodsuckers, you may think seriously about keeping an extra clove of garlic on hand in your kitchen. (2003)

Civil Wars (7:48)
Justin Rigby and Ryan Steele

A paean of sorts to the most popular and most dangerous guy in their high school’s senior class… Bill. Bill is a top “A” student, captain of the wrestling team and popular with everyone. And… he is the guy selling illegal drugs to our kids. Bill tells it like it is about the superiority of marijuana over alcohol as a social drug and how beer and liquor companies gloss the dangers of alcohol. “When is the last time you saw date rape in a beer commercial?” Bill asks, and winks. (2003)

Lucky Rock (8:47)
Todd Boruff and Emily Smith

The tale of a junior high school girl, Lizzie, who thinks she’d be better off dead. From high a-top a sky-scraper, she drops a rock and watches it fall. “Lucky rock,” she murmurs, when it hits the ground. When she tells her father that “life isn’t worth it”, he asks her to make a list of everything that “sucks” and then together they’ll try to fix them, but nothing works. Then she digs herself a grave. Todd Boruff and Emily Smith have fashioned this beautiful (and probably familiar) story about the ups and downs of pre-teen life. Yes, Lizzie lives. (2003)

Assuming Identity (9:35)
Taylor Romigh and Liam Dacey

A fresh, and to many, enlightening look into the very enjoyable personalities of some of Notre Dame’s finest students and staff, who, by the way, just happen to be gay. ASSUMING IDENTITY is an unassuming portrait of a campus face often mistaken, misread, and misunderstood at Notre Dame. (2003)

Molly Has Three Jobs (7:57)
Ernie Grigg and Garrett Fletcher

A tough film about the discipline and love it sometimes takes for a working class mom to keep it all together. Molly is a single mother with a 10 year old son. At the beginning of the film she has three jobs: she works a 40 hour week at SAV-A-LOT; she sells drugs; and she takes good care of her child. In the middle of the film, she takes on a fourth job — her son wants a saxophone to play in the school band and 4 jobs is what it takes to get him one. (2003)

Spanglish (8:25)
Andy Gomez and Lance Johnson

SPANGLISH tells the story of co-director Andy Gomez’ experience of coming to this country as a war refugee from El Salvador — poor and without a word of English. Gomez walked into his first grade class assuming that everyone in America spoke Spanish. Fortunately, his first grade teacher volunteered to spend her lunch hours teaching Andy “red”, “blue”, etc., a gift for which the film expresses a tender gratitude. The film — one third in Spanish, one third in English, and one third in “Spanglish” (a hybrid of both) is an education in the kind of struggle our immense immigrant population suffers when they first come to our country and a Spanish lesson as well. (2003)

Bye Bye Birdie (14:19)
Alex Grunewald and Juli Baron

BYE BYE BIRDIE follows straightfaced filmmaker Alex Grunewald on his surreal journey to find a suitable resting place for Birdie, the family poodle recently diagnosed with cancer. Partner Juli Baron records Grunewald on his trek from dog cemeteries to pet support groups, and is by his side for the surprise twist that takes his clunker of a car down a different final path. (2003)

Theresa C. (9:13)
Sara Cunningham and Joe Muto

A young woman struggles to come to consciousness about her unwanted pregnancy. Over the course of two months, she shares her diary’s most intimate thoughts: fantasies, hopes against hope, denial and finally rage… “Whatever,” she writes, at the end of every day. (2003)

Roses Are Red (4:10)
Kristina Drzaic and Kateri McCarthy

In this small but effective black-and-white film, handsome undergrad Shawn is being tracked by a secret female admirer perched high up in a nearby tree. When Shawn encounters danger her voyeurism turns to heroism …or does it? (2003)

Martinsville (7:25)
Kajal Mukhopadhyay and Matt Amenta

MARTINSVILLE is the name of a student film, and it’s the name of an Indiana town about 4 hours south of South Bend — a town with a long history of racial violence. Krishna, a young office worker born in Calcutta, drives through Martinsville every day on his way to and from work. One day he runs out of gas there and panics. Much too slowly, the gas meter clicks off the gallons, as Krishna imagines burning crosses and white-hooded men moving in on him. This is an absurd fantasy because Krishna is not an African-American. Or is it? His skin is brown. Filmmakers Matt Amenta and Kajal Mukhopadhyay shot their film in Elkhart and South Bend… they didn’t want to take any chances. (2003)

Ad Nauseum (8:23)
Chris Bannister and Saleem Ismail

A formal examination of the language and reactions we had to 9/11 and how they compare to the early moments of the Iraq War. Intertwined, we hear the haunting thoughts of an overworked gravedigger trying to keep pace. A striking indictment of a seemingly never ending cycle of death and destruction. (2003)

Quieres Camerografo?
or Searching for Love in a Post Title IX Era
Justin Leitenberger and Derek Horner

Justin Leitenberger is a senior with a dilemma familiar to many Notre Dame men. Academically, he’s ready to graduate, headed onto medical school. Socially, he’s beyond desperate, unable to find even a casual date after four years under the Dome. QUIERES CAMEROGRAFO? OR SEARCHING FOR LOVE IN A POST TITLE IX ERA is the often hilarious look into Leitenberger’s pathetic attempts at finding romance by turning the tables on the campus stereotype of the “jersey chaser,” a person whose sole goal is to date a Notre Dame athlete. Accompanied by the sometimes undercover cameraman Derek Horner, Leitenberger fumbles from athletic fields to athlete bars, searching for love in all the wrong places. (2003)