Connecting the World Through Film

USF will join audiences around the world Thursday watching a screening of the Manhattan Short Film Festival.


By Jenna Withrow News Writer


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2010) – Members of the Tampa Bay community will raise their voices and votes with thousands of filmgoers worldwide in a one-of-a-kind film festival at the University of South Florida Thursday night.


USF is among the first universities in the nation to host a screening of the Manhattan Short Film Festival, the world’s first global film festival. In one week, 10 short films from 10 different countries will be viewed in more than 200 cities– including Tampa. Votes will be cast to choose the best film.


What started as a small, single event where films were projected on the side of a truck in Manhattan 12 years ago has grown to a week-long festival that is screened across six continents. The Manhattan Short Film Festival is the only film festival to be screened in all 50 states of the United States. This is the first year the festival has come to Tampa.


Founding director of the festival, Nicholas Mason, never imagined his small event would eventually span across the globe, uniting audiences under his passion of film.


“I want to see the world come together to view these films. That’s why I’m excited to have screenings on university campuses this year. I believe college students are in the right age group and demographic to make that message resonate. I can’t wait to see what they bring to it,” Mason said.


President of the College of the Arts Council Ryan Salazar worked closely with Mason this summer to bring the festival to the USF campus. The music education major is excited to unite his fellow college students with a global audience.


“Manhattan Short is a wonderful opportunity for USF students because it uses independent film to expose the audience to international issues. In a university of such cultural diversity, this global festival will unite students through the art of film. This evening will be an exciting time for our students to join the world as judges, while enjoying great film,” Salazar said.


USF is joining such universities as the University of North Carolina and Washington State University to bring the film festival to college students and the surrounding communities this week. Mason said he hopes to expand the number of American university screenings to at least 30 states next year.


Tampa audience members will have the opportunity to cast their vote along with filmgoers from 642 other international screenings for the best film of the festival, which features entries from Australia, France, England, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Mexico, Poland, Canada and Ireland. The 10 films, which are all 15 minutes or less in length, feature six different languages.


The winners will be announced Sunday, Oct. 3 on the Manhattan Short Film Festival website at 10 p.m. EST.


President of the University Film & Video Association @ USF (UVFA), Rodrick Colbert, said the festival will provide entertainment for both film aficionados and the general public.


“Audiences can expect to see and hear great stories. That’s one of the major differences between independent and Hollywood movies. They most likely won’t see big special effects here. Independent films focus on telling wonderful stories with limited resources,” Colbert said.


The UFVA, along with the College of The Arts Council, Office of Multicultural Affairs, International Affairs, Humanities Institute, Latin American Student Association and Humanities & Cultural Studies Organization, is sponsoring the event.


The festival will be screened in the USF Marshall Student Center Oval Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


For more information on the festival, visit the Manhattan Short Film Festival website. For local contact and event directions visit the USF College of the Arts Council website or call Ashleigh Gallant, Director of Marketing for the College of The Arts, 813-974-1756;


Jenna Withrow covers student activities and events at USF. She can be reached at 813-974-4014.