Panther Film Festival was a Roaring Success!

Pop the champagne its time for a recap of the Panther Film Festival. The crowd swarmed GC140 waiting patiently for the doors to open. Many were excited to see the work produced by their fellow peers and they were not disappointed. For those of you who missed out, here’s a few of the shorts that won awards!

Best Technical WorkPopulation Inc.

Mauro Merconchini’s short film Population Inc. is a stylistic mix between A Clockwork Orange and the youtube series Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared. It begins by masterfully setting up an ominous tone with sustained shots and a chilling sound design. By the end, a rapid barrage of edits is used to drive the message of the dark side of advertising and consumerism.

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Best Cinematography Jon Actual

Jon Actual is the story of Jon Dufresne, a veteran who after returning home is inspired to help others out. Karina Forler and Charlotte Alba prove that you don’t need showy visual effects to be an award winning cinematographer. Through their gifted eyes they manage to weave beautiful visuals into the heartwarming story of Jon Dufresne.

Best Screenplay Working Title

When a bunch of film students get together to make a movie, comedy ensues. Written by Mario Avalos and based on a “true” story, the film explores genres ranging from horror to avant-garde. Each joke and scene is written with love and care for the movies they are parodying, while maintaining a fresh perspective.

Best Performance – Catherine Berendsohn in TRAFFICK

Catherine Berendsohn’s performance in TRAFFICK is reminiscent of Timothee Chalamet’s Elio in last year’s Call Me By Your Name. This emotional story of sex trafficking is near and dear to Berendsohn and the passion she puts into it is palpable. The final shot lingers on Berendsohn as all the emotions flood out and you can’t help but to shed a tear alongside her.

Best Picture Population Inc.

Population Inc. wins Best Picture at the first Panther Film Festival as it displays an innovative and profound look at American society’s reliance on consumerism. It is a film that checks out all the criteria for Best Picture, stellar editing, visuals that mesmerize, and message that packs a punch.

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A huge thanks to all the hard work and dedication from our student filmmakers, event organizers, and judges. With your love and help we were able to put together a night filled with hearty laughs and enjoyment all around. We hope to see even more films in next year’s festival so get those cameras rolling!


Jose Gil is a Senior at Florida International University, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, along with Certificates in Film Studies

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