Two from Purchase Win at Woodstock Film Festival
On Saturday, October 1, 2022, the Woodstock Film Festival announced their annual jury award winners in each category for this year’s films in competition.
Two filmmakers from Purchase were named winners—Ghasem Ebrahimian ’79 for cinematography and Jordan Tetewsky ’16 for his narrative feature debut.
Ghasem Ebrahimian ’79 earned the prize for Best Cinematography for his work on the feature narrative film Amerikatsi, directed by Michael Goorjian, which also landed the top prize as Best Narrative Feature. View trailer.
“Ghasem Ebrahimian’s careful, classic naturalism allows beauty to emerge quietly, even within the gray stone walls of a prison. His camera lingers on the eyes of its protagonist, and that gaze softens the hard shadows of his cell with a humor and humanity that cannot be contained,” the jury wrote.
An Iranian-born filmmaker and a director of photography, Ebrahimian has written and directed his own projects as well as run his own production company.
He was also the cinematographer on 2021’s Land of Dreams, the English language debut by Iranian-born filmmakers and visual artists Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari.
Jordan Tetewsky ’16, with cowriter and codirector Joshua Pikovsky, earned the Ultra Indie Award Winner prize for their feature debut, Hannah Ha Ha (2021).
The jury writes, “This film’s late-coming-of-age story faithfully captures small-town ennui and the hazy journey of finding oneself, all while navigating well-intentioned (and frequently misguided) demands of family.”
The jury also remarked on the “ultra-real and affecting performance by Hannah Lee Thompson.” Thompson ’17 (studio composition) is a musician based in Baltimore.
The film also earned the Narrative Feature Grand Jury prize at the Slamdance Film Festival in February.
The film is available on slamdancechannel.com.
The pair released three short films in 2021, Bergmensch, Sharon 66, and a short also titled Hannah Ha Ha, all comedy/dramas which mainly feature casts composed of friends and family.