Columbia U. student film fest will unspool 50 pics

Prizes total $70,000

Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division will hold its annual student film fest beginning today and continuing Friday through next Tuesday. Sponsored by Polo Ralph Lauren, fest will unspool 50 films and will award $70,000 in prizes, including three development awards sponsored by New Line Cinema, HBO and Ralph Lauren.

Highlights of this year’s fest include Rona Mark’s “Finbar Lebowitz,” produced by Jennifer Smith and winner of the 1999 HBO Film Producers Development Award; Adam Phillips’ “Bibles,” produced by Fred Strype and winner of the 1999 New Line Cinema Development Award; Jon Chang’s “shorty”; Tim Sheehy’s “Turnstile,” winner of the Sundance Channel Short Film Contest; and Joan Stein’s “One Day Crossing,” winner of the 1999 Polo Ralph Lauren Development Award and screened at this year’s New Directors/New Films series.

Alum hosts

The first event, Screenwriters Night, will be held today at the Lighthouse Theater. Friday’s opening ceremony held at the DGA Theater, will be hosted by Co-lumbia U. alum Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”). New this year is a screening of digital video shorts, hosted by Doug Liman (“Swingers”), this coming Monday, and sponsored by iFilm.com.

For more information on the fest, contact (212) 854-1547 or visit www.newworksfestival.com.

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