Tri-Co Film Festival Celebrates Creativity and Diversity in Film

Now in its 12th year, the Tri-Co Film Festival showcases outstanding film and media works from students at Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr colleges and serves as a platform for emerging filmmakers to showcase their talents and share unique perspectives.

On May 8, members of the Tri-Co community once again gathered for the annual event at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute to view the 18 short films that the festival’s jurors selected for their creativity, craft, and intentionality across various genres and aesthetics.

Haverford students featured in this year’s festival lineup included Logan de Raspide Ross ’23 (“Love Has Wings” and “The Present Moment”); Aby Isakov ’24 (“A Photograph,” “Lying Still,” and “Art Without Boundaries”),Hunter Logan ’23 (“Death Sentences,” “Lying Still,” “Chalked Up,” and Atomic Time),and Maggie Weisblum ’24 (“Four”).

Logan de Raspide Ross ’23 presented two compelling narratives that delve into the complexities of love and memory. “Love Has Wings” follows a young man grappling with a possible breakup, whose path intertwines with an older man navigating a divorce during an encounter at a bar. In “The Present Moment,” Ross takes viewers on a journey as a man begins to revisit his relationship through the photographs he took, and how they may or may not line up with the memories he has left.

“Lying Still” by Ems Myers BMC ’23, Aby Isakov ’24, and Hunter Logan ’23 shows a mortician’s struggle with the impossibility of understanding the woman that they’re supposed to prepare for her funeral.

Among these films, “Lying Still” was awarded the Character Study and Audience Choice prizes. The other awards went to Jake Rothman, Swarthmore ’23, who won the Collaborative Filmmaking prize for “Sad Green Milk,” and Sadie Chernila BMC ’25 who won Collage Work award for “I Will Not Let it Be a Baby.”

The festival was organized by Co-Directors Marcelo Jauregui-Volpe ’18 and Ruby Bantariza, Swarthmore ’20. This was Jauregui-Volpe’s first year in a leadership position for the festival. Bantariza previously served as associate director in 2022.

Jauregui-Volpe shared his enthusiasm for working with the Tri-Co film community, which had played a significant role in his own development as a student.

“I have many fond memories of attending and submitting to the festival as a student, and it was exciting to be on the other side of things and still be able to be a part of the Tri-Co film community. I learned so much on the job and am thankful for my co-director, Ruby Bantariza,” said Jauregui-Volpe. “Organizing a film festival is a team effort, and this year’s edition could not have run so smoothly if it weren’t for the Tri-Co professors and administrators, our jurors, and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.”

The festival’s jury was comprised of Khaula Malik, a Pakistani-American filmmaker and artist, and Sydney Alicia Rodriguez, an Afro-Latinx producer and filmmaker committed to amplifying Black and Brown voices. Malik’s short film How the Air Feels premiered at AFI Docs, and she was associate producer on the award-winning feature documentary, Of Love & Law. Her latest short is There Was Nobody Here We Knew, about a middle-aged Pakistani immigrant couple who spot a UFO outside their window during lockdown. Rodriquez has worked at MTV, helping to develop such shows such as The Real World and Jersey Shore. They worked on the BlackStar Film Festival and served as a producer on the first season of BlackStar Live! They are currently artists program manager at Black Star Projects.

“Each year, the festival continues to be a fitting ‘grand finale’ to the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities’ public programming,” said James Weissinger, associate director for the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and the College’s VCAM facility. “The Tri-Co was incredibly lucky to have the superstar team of directors Marcelo and Ruby, along with jurors Khaula and Sydney curating this year’s festival, as well as the more than a decade-long support of our host and partner, Bryn Mawr Film Institute.”

For those who were unable to attend the in-person event, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute’s website provides an opportunity to view the films online. Click here to access the films.