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DePaul University
21 November 2023
SAC 254

The 15th annual Jump/Cut Film Festival features 11 short films–all of them produced by DePaul students in the course “Ethnographic Documentary Film Production,” taught by Dr. Greg Scott, professor of sociology. The Faculty Scholarship Collaborative, the Department of Sociology, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences all provided the resources and infrastructure within which the students created these important scholarly works of ethnographic film. Special thanks to Nandhini Gulasingam, Tracey Lewis-Elligan, and Black Hawk Hancock for their ongoing support of this initiative.




by Amira Hady

Making of SLQ is a short film that dissects the nuances of a rehearsal and how it fits in within the context of building genuine relationships between people. The power of collaborative art is expansive, tangible, and yet imaginative. By way of exploring how theatre contributes to creating sincere human connection through a dissection of rehearsals, we learn more on how collaborative art is an effective tool in building community.


by Ben Lee Buccella

"Press Start" gives a look inside DePaul Esports, one of the largest student-led organizations on campus. The club is home to competitive teams and sub-communities in over 15 different video game titles. The film explores how social interaction through engagement in video games can generate both individual and communal benefits. It considers the role that virtual spaces play in providing players with the opportunity to express themselves and their identities; and how these experiences transform social interactions offline. 

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by Jacob Vallone

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This film intricately captures the dynamic world of competitive elderly Pickleball players in the Western Chicago suburbs. Guided by symbolic interactionism, this ethnographic exploration unfolds the undying spirit of aged athletes within a unique subculture. The film immerses viewers in the nuanced community dynamics of the Pickleball courts, highlighting the shared passion that transcends age boundaries. The narrative introduces Glenn, a retired Battalion Fire Chief, and his wife Kim. Glenn embodies the fervent competitive spirit forged through a lifetime of organized sports and leadership. As the film progresses, it provides a poignant glimpse into Kim's serene art studio, offering a compelling juxtaposition of Glenn's outgoing competitive nature with Kim's artistic and calm demeanor. This interplay adds nuanced context, revealing the dichotomy between the competitive and non-competitive aspects within the elderly community. "Rallies Beyond Time" unfolds not only as a testament to the enduring flame of competition but also as a vibrant exploration of the diverse paths within the golden years, where Pickleball becomes a metaphorical court for the undying spirit of aging.


by Jorge Guzman

“May The Best Drag Queen Win” takes a look at a drag competition entering its semi-finals and being hosted by Chicago drag queens Ari Gato and Kara Mel D’Ville. Seven fierce Chicago drag queens step onto the stage and will spin, kick, and dip in order to impress the audience. By the end of the night only one queen will move onto the finals come December. No two performances are the same and most definitely no two queens are alike.

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by Sophia Torres

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“I Don’t Carry Cash” shows sidewalk visitors' relationship with camped-out street-level fundraisers. By observing facial expressions, fluidity in space, rejection/approval, compliments, and dismissal, we see this awkward relationship daily and have yet to question our strong aversion to their greetings. As much as street-level fundraisers rely on donations and connections, their non-profits are met with strong aversion. In this “do-it-yourself” ethnography, you are introduced to the universal strategies fundraisers use to gain traction in donations. The content contains raw, undisturbed footage of Nature Conservancy volunteers on the famous six corners of Wicker Park, Chicago. Two women representing Nature Conversancy stand tall with exuberant smiles and emotionally charged greetings, fighting for a cause. The filmmaker, Sophia Torres, observes the dual relationship between the performer and the audience. In this case, the volunteer, on behalf of Nature Conservancy, performs on a busy sidewalk and, unlike most performers, is confronted by a stream of grunts and snubs. Regardless of the blatant rejection and annoyance by prospective donors, fundraisers continue with the understanding that their actions will continuously be evaluated. What will you do the next time you pass by a volunteer on the street corner?


by Marie Purich

This film is an ethnographic exploration of the 606 multi-use recreational trail in Chicago. The 606 is a communal space that caters to a diverse range of users. The film delves into the everyday experiences and subcultures of bikers and other active users, revealing how this urban space fosters interactions and shared meanings. Through participant observation, interviews, and visual documentation, the film highlights the 606’s role as a vibrant communal space, drawing together different subcultures and commenting on how all of these people interact with the path itself. It captures the symbolic meanings and rituals that underlie the behaviors of these groups, as well as the potential for social change and community building within this urban setting. 



by Halle Randolph

“The Making of Ruth” explores the culture of the crew and cast members who were a part of the short film “Ruth”. Film sets generate a very unique and different environment and culture within themselves, and no two are ever the same. This cast and crew came together for four days at various locations and worked together to create something special. In doing so, they created a culture of individuals who, while working toward the same goal, all had different experiences along the way. This film examines the differences in people's communication, work ethics, and attitudes while also looking at the way that hierarchy plays into the culture of a film set.


by Sarah Riddle

This film explores the dynamics and relationships of a recreational women’s flag football team composed primarily of women who identify as queer or lesbian. The Diesel Daisies have two squads, and it is the day that they are to play each other, but the quarterbacks of both squads have Covid. Karissa gets tapped to play quarterback for the Poets despite never having played the position and is coached by Linda, a decades long veteran. The film follows the team as they warm-up, prep, and play the game which is competitive and playful. Some of the longest tenured players discuss what it is that keeps bringing them back. The players are not simply a team, and through the course of the film the sense of kinship they share determines that the Diesel Daisies are much more than a team playing a game.  

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by Sydney Hofstra

Live music performance and instruments have been a key part of human culture for almost all of humanity in some form. Today, it's a multibillion dollar industry with many different sectors that can cater to everyone. During this film, the focus is on a very specific sector of live music: local college aged Chicago bands. The content of the film contains a specific emphasis on the musical instruments being played and the collective consciousness, shared set of expectations, behavior and values that the instruments/musical performance creates with both the band members and the audience in this shared space.


by Angel Do

This captivating film will take you on an exciting journey as we explore cup sleeve events where diehard fans come together to celebrate their Korean pop idols. Feel the thrill as we explore creative K-pop merchandise, fan art, and planning into this event. Buckle up as we get to witness a lively concert where fans unite with ritual chants while waving with their light sticks in chorus. This film offers a culturally vibrant experience that defines the global fan culture.




by Izzy Reno

Pop Up Karaoke is a Midwest-based event company that hosts weekly karaoke nights at bars across Chicago’s North and West side neighborhoods. Loyal to the thoughtful and welcoming environment cultivated by host Eamon Daly, regular people flock to Pop-Up Karaoke nights to sing, drink, and be merry amongst friends and strangers. Amateur singers of all skill levels turn themselves inside-out onstage and transform the ambience of four different venues over the course of this short ethnographic film. 

“The Part of Yourself That Sings” witnesses the amicable dichotomy between interchangeable performer and audience, why karaoke is a mainstay in the lives of “regulars,” and what makes Pop Up Karaoke a special standout within the Chicago karaoke community. This film lends an additional spotlight to the embodied experience of amateur public singing and the camaraderie that collective vulnerability inspires. 

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