Undergrad alumnus Henry-Alex Rubin ‘95 Won Honor at Screen Short Film Fest

BY Nina Mahesh, March 9, 2020

Still from Back to School Essentials, short by Henry-Alex Rubin '95, image courtesy of Short Film Fest.


Film and Media Studia BA alumnus Henry-Alex Rubin ’95 won Best-of-Show at Screen Short Film Fest last week for his short Back-to-School Essentials.


Back-to-School Essentials, which also topped the Best Branded Content category, highlights the anxiety and fear students face in the reality of school shootings. The public service piece starts off as a familiar back-to-school ad but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive a shooting, shedding light on the gruesome violent reality that students face.


Rubin won initial acclaim with his first feature, a documentary film titled Who is Henry Jaglom? The film won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the New York Avignon Film Festival, and was a finalist at the Dallas Film Festival.


In 2000, Rubin produced Freestyle, which won Best Documentary at the Woodstock, LAIFF and Urbanworld Film Festivals. This was followed by him co-directing Murderball with Dana Adam Shapiro. Murderball won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award in 2005. 


Since 2004, Rubin has been directing commercials for Smuggler. This includes award-winning campaigns for brands such as Adidas, Volvo, Samsung, AT&T and Coca-Cola. Rubin directed several landmark campaigns including "Whopper Freakout" for Burger King and "Pizza Turnaround" for Domino's and was named one of the top 5 most award-winning commercial directors in the world with over 30 Cannes Lions and 5 Clio Awards over his career. Rubin directed the 2012 feature film Disconnect, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice International Film Festival in 2012. Rubin's newest feature, Semper Fi, was released in 2019.

Viewers can watch Back-to-School Essentials here.