Columbia Student Film to be Included in 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Wins Multiple Awards Including Student Academy Award, Gotham Annual Focus Feature

Close Ties to Home
Short film by Cinema and Television Arts students Akanksha Cruczynski and Felicia Ferrara receives recognition, honors

The short film Close Ties to Home Country, written and directed by Akanksha Cruczynski, an MFA Cinema Directing student and produced by Felicia Ferrara an MFA Creative Producing student in Columbia College Chicago’s Cinema and Television Arts Department, has been named as part of the Short Film program for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film has also recently won multiple awards.

Close Ties to Home Country was recently honored at Gotham Film & Media Institute’s 3rd Annual Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase. It also received a 2021 Student Academy Award and a 2019 Albert P. Weisman Award. The film was on the BAFTA Student Shortlist 2021, won the Best Comedy Award and a cash prize of $1000 at the Oscar-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival, won the Audience Award and a cash prize of $1,250 at Academy Award-qualifying Aspen Shortsfest, and won two Best Performance awards at the Walla Walla Movie Crush. It has also played at Oscar-qualifying LA International Short Film Festival, Salute Your Shorts Film Fest, Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival, Nevada City Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Shorts Market and Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival Market.

Close Ties to Home Country follows Akanksha, an immigrant dogwalker who finds home in the hearts of the rich people’s dogs she dogsits.

Akanksha Cruczynski (writer and director) is a Chicago-based writer and filmmaker who grew up in India and was raised in Saudi Arabia. Felicia Ferrara (producer) is a Chicago-based filmmaker who was born in the Midwest and raised in Southern Africa.

Read the official press release here.