Columbia College Chicago Student Film Garners Awards Worldwide

the movie poster for hole punch ear
"Hole Punched Ear" started as a class project at Columbia College Chicago and is now earning worldwide acclaim.

The short film "Hole Punched Ear" captivated both audiences and critics with its storytelling and captivating visual narrative. Garnering praise for its raw honesty and artistic storytelling, the film secured three prestigious awards across various film festivals. Among its accolades, “Hole Punched Ear” earned Best Editing /Honorable Mention For Best Sci-Fi Short and was nominated for Best Cinematography at Indie Short Fest in November 2023. The film also won Best Sci Fi film at Rome Indie Film Festival 2024 in Italy and Best Student Film and Best Experimental Film at Golden Gate Istanbul Short Film Festival. Additionally it was nominated for Best Action Film at Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival December 2023 in Greece.

“Hole Punched Ear” started as a Columbia class project, but the assignment quickly turned into an independent film. The talented students formed a creative team that brought together talented creatives from across disciplines in the Cinema and Television Arts Department.

The film’s main crew includes:

  • Directors: Alan Yammin ‘22 & Ben Tull ‘22
  • Screenwriter: Mya Lyman ‘21
  • Cinematographer: Alan Yammin ‘22
  • Producer: Samantha Dwyer, Grayson Spitzer & Alan Yammin
  • Editor/Sound Design: Blake Huang ‘23
  • Color: Blake Huang ‘23 & George Whitehill ‘24
  • Production Designer: Brianna Ramirez ‘24 & Alec Richard ‘25
  • Composer: Connor Bohn ‘24

Blake Huang ‘23 who was a part of the editing and sound design for the film has a rich background in filmmaking. She has worked in various production and post-production positions, including Digital Image Technician, Video Editor, Sound Designer, and Sound Mixer. Blake has experience in multiple genres, including advertising videos, feature films, sci-fi short films, and documentaries.

“Columbia taught me everything I know in film. The well-designed classes, the helpful faculty, and endless opportunities, the last few years at Columbia really opened so many doors for me,” Huang says. “The award-winning film ‘Hole Punched Ear’ started out as a student project for class, and it let me learn so many things outside of the classroom, it all started because of Columbia.”

The film takes place in a dystopian Chicago of the future and follows a poet named Zorina Harcrow who is imprisoned with a digital clock embedded in her arm that counts down from eleven minutes. Her sister, Faye Harcrow, attempts to break in but only succeeds on her second try. Zorina finishes her final poem just as she is executed in a red chair, with Faye discovering her poem moments later and filled with revenge, grief, and rage.

Watch the trailer

"Hole Punched Ear" is screening at Otherworld Theatre at 2 p.m. on April 20.