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DeSales University Film Festival: Back in Action

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski Mar 18, 2021

The DeSales University Division of Performing Arts is happy to announce the DeSales University Film Festival, now in its 21st year. The festival will stream live on April 9, 2021. Please note that, due to careful timing, this event will only be available starting promptly at 8PM on Friday, April 9.

An exciting showcase of world premiere films, the DeSales University Film Festival (DUFF) features the emerging voices of film directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, designers, editors, animators, and actors in the DSU film department. The event also includes photo highlight segments, showcasing beautiful and compelling art by the talented photographers of the TV/Film Department and the entire University.

Each film in this year’s DUFF demonstrates the craft, hard work, creativity, and dedication that is necessary to tell a captivating story. The theme this year is Back in Action. 

After the onset of the pandemic, and the subsequent closing of DeSales University last March, DUFF was fortunately able to livestream their films. From that point on, however, it was necessary for many of the filmmakers to put an unexpected halt to their films and video projects. When DeSales University reopened in August, the proper mitigations were in place to ensure that the filmmakers could once again begin to create films and tell stories in a way that was safe for both the crews and actors. 

 “While that story has of course been told many times, a full year later it’s still being written. Over the summer, last year’s pivot became this year’s fulltime reality, and we had to discover new and safe ways to create and share our work.  But just like the characters in their films, our students consistently rise up to meet challenges with courage and persistence in a dogged pursuit of their goals. It is the way of the filmmaker. We adapt, overcome, and create.”

 Michael Wagner, TV/Film Department Chair

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 21st 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.

Films to be Presented at DUFF:   

Please note: This program may contain sensitivities to potentially objectionable content (i.e., violence, suggestive situations) Viewer discretion is advised.

New Life

  • Chris Tocchet
  • During this time of monotony and solitude, we are called to be creative to keep things fresh.

The Fifth Time

  • Connor Brost
  • A killer wielding a sledgehammer approaches his next victim in a college dorm.

Chain Reaction

  • Jenn Marinello
  • Three dancers who feel trapped, realize they are not on their own.


  • Produced by Zac Gutherman
  • The year is 2025, and a group of friends are on a video call, remembering and reliving the horrors of quarantine.

Side Effect

  • Mikayla Gaier
  • Maybe it’s a bad day, but it’s not a bad life.


  • Elizabeth Junkin
  • A look into what you see on a daily basis in the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts .

A Blood Moon Night

  • Connor Brost
  • A sleep deprived college student finds herself trapped during a lunar eclipse and is then stalked by the presence of a demonic entity.

Brittni – Dependent

  • David Toolan
  • A musical journey into a colorful world.

You vs. You

  • Sometimes the toughest times can really shape us into who we were meant to be.

Trina v. Time

  • Doug Koons
  • A woman organizing a time capsule gets trapped in the future where she has to plead her case when she’s accused of destroying the space-time continuum.


  • Zac Gutherman
  • After the death of his grandfather, a Lego mini-figure learns that his grandfather’s legacy has been preserved through pictures and videos.


  • Derek Rahm
  • After looking into a mysterious mirror, a woman goes through a life-changing journey of self-reflection.

Cherry Tree

  • Chris Tocchet
  • Something as simple as a tree can remind us of the simplest times in life.

Just for Us (pictured above, photo by Alex Deola)

  • Alex Deola
  • Grieving the loss of his wife, Noah discovers a way to communicate with the dead.

DUFF streams live on Vimeo April 9, 2021. Please note that, due to careful timing, this event will only be available starting promptly at 8PM.

The cost is $12.00 per viewer. Order viewing passes online at or call the Labuda Box Office at (610) 282-3192. The day prior to your selected production date, you will be sent a reminder email which will include your production link & password with instructions on how to view.

Please be advised that groups (ten tickets or more) are not available online. To purchase a group viewing, please call the Group Sales Manager, Melody Marshall, at (610) 282-3654, Ext. 2.