Student Photo & Film Contests

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ACM sponsored its Off-Campus Study Photo Contest annually from 2008 to 2018, inviting students to share images and impressions gathered while studying in locations around the world.

Building on students’ enthusiastic participation submitting and voting on prize-winning photos, in 2016 and 2018 ACM sponsored student-authored film conferences and contests.

Please see below for 10 years’ worth of powerful stories and transformed perspectives that resulted from students’ off-campus study experiences and creative film endeavors.

2017-2018 Photo Contest Winners

2016-17 Photo Contest Winners

2015-16 Photo Contest Winners

Previous Photo Contest Winners

2016 Film Festival

Colorado College students holding their awards at the 2016 ACM Student Film Conference & Festival.

April 1-3, 2016 at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI

The first ACM Student Film Conference & Festival showcased the best work of student filmmakers, screenwriters, and scholars from ACM colleges. The event provided a forum for students to exchange perspectives and learn from distinguished media artists and industry professionals.

In addition to screenings of 70 films created by students, activities included:

  • A panel discussion and individual presentations by the four film industry professionals who served as guest judges and selected the winning entries
  • Scholarly research presentations by students
  • A staged reading of the Best Screenplay winner
  • The awards ceremony to honor the judges’ selection of award-winning scholarly research papers, screenplays, and films

Awards Presented to Students

The following awards were presented to students at the 2016 ACM Student Film Conference & Festival.

Scholarly Research

  • Best Paper — Michelle Risacher (Grinnell College): “Women’s Time: Analyzing Female Subjectivity in Maya Deren’s ‘Witch’s Cradle’ “
  • Best Paper Runner-Up — Julia Downs (Grinnell College): “Return of the Revolutionary Politic: Sexuality as Advancement in ‘Anna Lucasta'”
  • Best Paper Runner-Up — Pat Commins (Lawrence University): “Cars: Spectacles and Embodiments”
  • Best Foreign Language Paper —  Hannah Shryer (Lawrence University):  “Gender or Genre?: Elements of Horror and Identity in Victor Erice’s ‘The Spirit of the Beehive'”


  • Best Screenplay — Malcom Barnes, Dillon Tanner, and Charles Bayley (Colorado College): “Dog Days”
  • Best Screenplay Runner-Up — Leo Leventhal (Lawrence University): “Janitors”


Use the links to view the films.

  • Best of the Midwest — Brendan Young (Colorado College): Barkley 100
  • Best of the Midwest Runner-Up (2nd place) — Saw Min Maw (Grinnell College): Zastaveni (Stalling)
  • Best of the Midwest Runner-Up (3rd place) — Thomas Crandall, Andrew DesLauriers, and Elle Gannon (Colorado College): Solo
  • Social Impact Award — Charles Theobald (Colorado College): Turning Point
  • Production Value Award — Robert Mahaffie (Colorado College): Black Forest
  • Original Concept Award — Kaitlyn Hickmann, Georgia Griffis, and Corrina Leatherwood (Colorado College): XO
  • Audience Choice Award — Finn Bjornerud (Lawrence University): A Moment of Consideration: Townies Skateboarding at Lawrence University

Guest Judges

Four members of the independent festival jury — Alan Berger, Phyllis Berger, Garrett Brown, and Louis Massiah — selected the top submissions in each category of the ACM Film Festival. In addition, the four judges gave presentations during the festival and Brown led students in public readings of the award-winning screenplays.

  • Alan Berger is Television Agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment and sports agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Nashville, and Beijing. During his long career he has also worked with International Creative Management, Artists Management Group, and the William Morris Agency.
  • Phyllis Berger’s career has included executive positions in series development at ABC and feature films at Paramount Studios, as well as producing network television series and being a casting director for Broadway, television, and films.
  • Garrett M. Brown, an award-winning actor, writer and theater producer-director, has worked in the industry for nearly four decades. In addition to many movies and television series, he has appeared in over 100 plays both in Los Angeles and New York and was artistic director  of Ensemble Studio Theater Los Angeles from 1998 to 2001.
  • Louis Massiah is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the founder of the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, a media arts center that provides educational workshops and equipment access to community groups and emerging independent media makers.


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