Columbia wins the most prizes at Chicago Shorts fest

Shelley LaMantia, Professional Arts Dean at State Street-based business-oriented Robert Morris University, was very pleased at the turnout Thursday night’s 4th annual Chicago Shorts Film Festival.

The festival not only attracted about 100 entries, but the screening and awards ceremony played to an SRO audience of largely college students from the Loop and beyond, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

LaMantia’s original idea was to bring together Loop students (an estimated 28,000 attending 22 schools) who are also housed downtown, to exhibit their short, self-expressive films and perhaps collaborate with each other in the process.

The collaboration didn’t happen. But entries flowed in from some Loop students and also foreign countries and other US cities.

Of the 15 category winners and Audience choice, Columbia College dominated the festival awards. Out of the 15 category winners and Audience Choice, it won seven prizes.

Five awards went to filmmakers in other cities and countries; three to DePaul and one to the Moody Bible Institute.

Columbia College winners: Dramatic Narrative category: Shanice Allen won first and second place and Irene Yang won third.

Documentary: First prize, Maria Clara Dantas.

Experimental: First place, Joseph Shelleh, Ryan Tynan, third place.

People’s Choice Award: Joseph Shelleh.

DePaul winners: Animation, Jens Erickson second and Chaz Bottoms third place.

Experimental, first place, Terrian Williams.

Moody Bible Institute: Documentary, second place, Kayla Dutton.

Other cities and countries: Animation, first place, Michaela Lovecka of Tomas Bata University Zlin, Czech Republic.

Comedy: First place, Elmi Karbordi Sanandaj of Sama Hossein of Tehran, Iran; second place Tomer Werechson of Tel Aviv University, Israel; third place, Alvaro Martín, University of Cordoba, Spain.

Documentary: Third place to Linnea Langkammer, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Each of the five first place winners received $1,000, generously donated by Robert Morris University, Boston Bureau Productions and Cinespace Studios. LaCie hard drives went to second and third place winners.