CTVA Professor Josef Steiff's Film Recognized at Festivals Nationally

PhotoA still from the short film "Jesse James."
Steiff's short film, "Jesse James," won Best of LGBTQ+ Film at The Santa Fe Film Festival and will be screened around the country.

Columbia College Chicago is proud to announce that Cinema and Television Arts Professor Josef Steiff's new short film, "Jesse James," has been recognized at The Santa Fe Film Festival and will be screened at the Open Vision Film Fest, the Tokyo International Short Film Festival, Bare Bones International Film Festival, Desperado LGBTQ Film Festival, and MLC Awards & Screening. 

In "Jesse James," two lovers must confront the limits of their relationship and the consequences of loss in the time between a neighbor calling the police and the police arriving at the scene of a domestic dispute. 

For director Steiff, the film presents an opportunity to discuss subjects that are often not broached on screen. "Just as in heterosexual relationships, domestic violence in queer relationships is often hidden, at least until it can be no longer," Steiff says. "My hope is that “Jesse James” serves as a reminder that love is complex and complicated; that domestic violence among gay couples does exist even if it is not readily visible." The film incorporates mythology, fables, and narratives from other cultural touch points in its exploration of these difficult themes.

"Jesse James" stars Spike Mayer and Joey Bicicchi. Columbia College Chicago alums Dylan Love and Catherine Nguyen composed the score for the film and won Best Original Music for the film at the La Dolce Vita Cine Roman monthly film series. Other CTVA alums on the crew included Assistant Director Sean J.S. Jourdan, Director of Photography Gabriel Patay, Editor Melissa Lawrenz, Production Designer Derek Ligas, and Mark Novak, who did wardrobe. Columbia staff member John Cavallino worked as a color and post-production supervisor on the project. CTVA faculty members who assisted on the project include Cari Callis, Sue Mroz, and Wenhwa Ts'ao. 

Festival information can be found here:

You can follow the film on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more information, contact Josef Steiff directly at jsteiff@colum.edu


Rhiannon Koehler
Communications Manager