More than 2,500 aspiring filmmakers competed in the ninth edition of the prestigious contest, representing all 50 American states and more than 40 other countries.
“It’s the first time I had a film screened at such a big event and I was excited to have it shown in a place that’s famous around the world,” Szymczyk told the Polish state news agency.
“I think my filmmaking colleagues who attended the screenings were equally enthusiastic,” he added.
His 10-minute movie, entitled Memento Mori, is a post-apocalyptic tale inspired by science-fiction films, notably the work of Christopher Nolan, the PAP news agency reported.
It said Szymczyk wrote, directed and edited this story of two people looking for their lost friend, set to a soundtrack written and performed by another Polish American student.
Szymczyk appears in the movie, too, in a minor role, PAP reported.
Memento Mori was screened on Sunday, the final day of the three-day festival, at the AMC Empire 25 cinema in New York’s Times Square to an audience composed mostly of young film fans from America and beyond.
Since making the film, Szymczyk has graduated from Regis High School in New York's Manhattan borough and enrolled at the business school of Georgetown University in Washington, the Polish news agency said.