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DeSales Film Festival Celebrates “Generations of Storytellers”

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski Feb 27, 2020

The Division of Performing Arts is pleased to announce the 20th annual DeSales University Film Festival featuring “The Best of the Fest” screening on Friday, March 27, at 8:00 p.m. and a screening of the visions of our emerging filmmakers on Saturday, March 28, at 8:00 p.m. Both events will take place in the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of DeSales University.

An exciting showcase of world premiere films, the 20th annual DeSales University Film Festival – DUFF for short – features the emerging voices of film directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, designers, editors, animators, and actors in the DSU film department.

“This year’s festival celebrates the history of DeSales filmmakers through the theme ‘Generations of Storytellers,’” says Maggie Durkin, head producer of the 2020 DeSales University Film Festival. “We are celebrating the first twenty years of the DeSales University Film Festival on Friday with a night of award-winning films from past DUFF years during our ‘Best of the Fest’ night, followed by a night of our current student films being shown in our Main Stage theater."

Considered the leading film school in the Lehigh Valley, the DeSales TV/Film department boasts 17 Emmy Award winners from among its students and alumni. The 20th annual festival is the perfect time to show where our successful alumni began their careers, as well as a launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television, and entertainment industries.

The student filmmakers represented in this year’s festival include Jennifer Marinello, David Toolan, Sophie Goad, Aliaah Boardley, Alexander Deola, Evan Werner, Christopher D. Shaw, August Schweitzer, and Vernard James.

List of Student Films to be Presented at the 20th Annual DeSales Film Festival:  

Tragedy or Triumph

  • Jennifer Marinello (Junior)
  • A young man harasses his friends to play a board game that no one wants to play.

AJ SAMMY - “Been A While”

  • David Toolan (Freshman)
  • Rapper & singer AJ SAMMY takes you into a soundscape of heartbreak.


  • Sophie Goad (Senior)
  • A young woman must face the guilt she feels in order to heal a friendship.

Guiling Design Solutions

  • Chris Tocchet (Junior)
  • A mockumentary about a pompous architectural designer.

Kinks (pictured above)

  • Aliaah Boardley (Senior)
  • A girl who is unhappy with her appearance makes a big change in order to impress her crush.

The Payment Plan

  • David Toolan (Freshman)
  • Tony's briefcase isn't filled with money, and Vinny needs to fix that.


  • Alexander Deola (Senior)
  • A young couple’s relationship risks crumbling into nothing over one long, awkward, stressful night.

Dream State

  • Evan Werner (Senior)
  • A girl struggles to determine what is truly reality while avoiding the past sins of her life.

I Built A Friend

  • Christopher D. Shaw (Junior)
  • At an early childhood, a lonely boy builds himself a friend.

931 Miles Away

  • Jennifer Marinello (Junior)
  • A freshman in college returns home to find her two best friends want nothing to do with her.

One Night Stand

  • August Schweitzer (Senior)
  • After hooking up with a girl at a party, Jake begins to suspect she is a vampire.

Five Stars

  • Vernard James (Class of 2019)
  • A poor service driver is on the fence about going through with a kidnapping that would benefit him financially.

The DeSales University Student Film Festival takes place on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $6 for DSU and LVAIC students. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center box office at 610.282.3192 or by visiting the website at