The Program in Visual Arts and the Department of Art and Archaeology present an installation showing of the animation, documentary and narrative thesis films made by junior and senior students in the programs. The show features work by seniors Alex Serna Castillon, Alexander Deland, Jr., Ilene E, Brooks Eikner, Risa Gelles-Watnick, and Noa Wollstein and by juniors Ethan Curtis Boll, Dylan Fox, Monique Legaspi, and Javin Lu. The students’ work was advised by film faculty members Su Friedrich, Tim Szetela, BJ Perlmutt, and Charlotte Glynn. The faculty would like to acknowledge an additional senior film concentrator, Zhamoyani McMillan, whose thesis is a feature-length screenplay.

In typical years, junior and senior thesis films are presented in a screening in the James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street or at the Princeton Garden Theatre. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this installation will safely bring the films outside to be enjoyed freely by all audiences.


Around the clock from May 10-24, 2021, the films will screen as an outdoor installation via a large monitor in the front window by the entrance on the Forum level of the Lewis Arts complex (across from the Dinky NJ Transit station and WaWa). Outdoor speakers will stream the audio. When staying to watch the films, viewers are asked to follow all campus safety protocols required by Princeton University.

A video archive of senior film work from the past 2 decades will soon be available, including films from the current year. Some of the films made by Class of 2021 graduates are circulating now at film festivals, and these works cannot be streamed to the public at this time. Please check back later this summer for the full video archive.


小尾巴  |  Little Tail

by Ilene E ’21
(6:18 minutes)
Narration by Hongjun Li & Manjun Li

An animated archive of the relationship between my mother, Hongjun Li, and my aunt, Manjun Li, through childhood, separations, immigration, and reunions.


On the Sidewalk, at Night

by Alexander Deland, Jr. ’21
(8:40 minutes)


Produced, Written, Directed and Edited by Alexander Deland, Jr.
Cinematography by Adam Hazelton ’22
Featuring: Austen Danielle Bohmer and Misha Brooks

After a string of failed auditions, a disillusioned young dancer goes to a liquor store to drown her sorrows. While waiting for her ride outside the store, her night is interrupted by a chatty stranger. Hope and realism clash under the streetlights.


Until Her Last Breath

by Noa Wollstein ’21
(16 minute sample; projected final film, 1 hour)

Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Noa Wollstein

Until Her Last Breath is a work-in-progress documentary about Dannielle Brown, a mother who went on a 237-day hunger strike in order to get answers and closure about the death of her son. The work being shown is two scenes from the work-in-progress.


What If It Works?

by Ethan Curtis Boll ’22
(11:50 minutes)

Written, Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Ethan Curtis Boll
Featuring: Elliott Nagler, Hannah Perault, and Keegan Arnold

When Jack convinces his high school girlfriend Melissa to go with him to visit the local hippie drug dealer to solve their problems, they wake up the next morning trapped in each others’ bodies, and only a few days out from Jack’s big audition and Melissa’s important interview. Matters are further complicated when each realizes that they enjoy at least some aspects of being in the body of the other.



by Monique Legaspi ’22
(4:00 minutes)

Written, Directed, Animated and Edited by Monique Legaspi

OR/ange explores a futuristic world in which the orange, a once-delicious but now highly-toxic fruit, has been repurposed as the latest source of clean energy. We follow a rookie delivery boy as he travels across the city to help power up various businesses in need, but we quickly discover that not everything is as it seems. This is a work-in-progress animatic, which is an earlier stage in making an animation. Key images are stitched together, showing the direction of the figures and the intended pacing. The final product will be fully animated.



by Dylan Fox ’22
(21 minutes)


Directed, Filmed, and Edited by Dylan Fox
Featuring: Dylan Fox, Drake Baer, and Kaitlyn Knight

A young filmmaker tries to do good in the world by participating in a non-partisan political internship with the goal of making short videos that expand voting rights in America. Months later, he tries to piece together the failure of that internship, his own ambivalence to politics, and the depression he suffers after months of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Last Noel

by Alex Serna Castillon ’21
(3:17 minute sample; final duration TBD)

Directed, Written, and Edited by Alex Serna Castillon

After a virus decimates humanity, a young man afflicted with severe germophobia must venture through the desert and avoid its ravenous inhabitants to acquire medication for his sickly little brother. The work being shown is a short film displaying some of the storyboards made in preparation for filming. The film couldn’t be shot this year because of Covid travel restrictions.



by Brooks Eikner ’21
(9:47 minutes)


Written, Directed and Edited by Brooks Eikner
Cinematography by Adam Hazelton
Featuring: Emily Liushen, Kathleen Simard, Mark Dodici, and Isabel Rodrigues

Dahlia, a rural postal worker, begins to suspect that someone on her route may be a murderer. Is she really onto something, or has she just been listening to too many true crime podcasts?

old woman lifts her face upwardNew Year

by Javin Lu ’22
(4:05 minute sample, final duration TBD)



Written, Directed, Filmed and Edited by Javin Lu
Featuring: Lianling Zheng, Irene Zheng, John Lu, Alvin Lu, Pansy Lu, and Javin Lu

On the 8th day of the Lunar (Chinese) New Year, I learned that my grandmother was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer and had only a few weeks to live. I quickly flew home to see her. Through a series of scenes at her apartment and interviews with family, I reflect upon the ways in which we cope with death, familial responsibility, and what it means to reconnect with family during the most unusual of times. The documentary is a work-in-progress. This is one scene from the film.



by Risa Gelles-Watnick ’21
(22:39 minutes)


Written, Edited, and Performed by Risa Gelles-Watnick

A three-part analysis of race, gender, and the U.S. in the films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and American Honey.


Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts