2022 RTF Media Fest winner Niko Ioannou offers advice to fellow filmmakers


Film has always been humanity’s way of looking at life through the creative lens of filmmakers who can take one inspired idea and turn it into something impactful — beautiful and out-of-this-world.

21-year-old RTF major Niko Ioannou is one of those many creatives with plans to become a YouTube content creator and dabble into documentary filmmaking.  

Ioannou knew filmmaking was his calling after touring a few colleges during his senior year of high school, despite applying to several universities as a computer science major. The realization came while Ioannou was touring Syracuse University and saw a promotional video about communications and TV production. 

“I felt the light bulb over my head physically turn on,” loannou said. 

Since then, his journey into filmmaking has taken off.

Ioannou described his taste in film style to be more cinematic, largely impacted by the rawness and originality he observes in the aesthetics of his inspiration films — preferring contemporary reality films over vast science fiction worlds and visual effects.

Last year, Ioannou and his classmate, Tyler Baldi, won Best in Film during the 2022 RTF Media Fest for their short film, “Twisted Faith.” He described the creative process of “Twisted Faith” to be “very collaborative and intimate.”

“All six of us crew members were taking turns doing everything to make this film. There were script rewrites, last-minute, on-set changes and a crazy time crunch to get out of that church by 11 p.m, but in the end, we had fun,” Ioannou said. 

Since that moment at Syracuse, Ioannou has continued on his path toward becoming a content creator. Once declaring himself an RTF major at Rowan, he has never looked back. 

Ioannou’s advice for aspiring film students comes in the form of a quote from the BBC Series “Peaky Blinders”: “Because we can! Because we f*****g can! And if we can, we do!”

“This industry can be very unforgiving to those who are not in love with it so if you are feeling lost, find the spark that you once had when you first watched your favorite film or picked up the camera for the first time and bring that feeling into your lens,” Ioannou said. 

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