John Hunt Lamensdorf entered this world on November 17, 1986, a beautifully sunny day in Sarasota, Florida. John was the cherished son of Kathy and Dr. Michael Lamensdorf and the dearly loved brother of Jennie K. Lamensdorf.

He was the most attentive grandson imaginable and a loyal supporter of his aunts, uncles and cousins.


Reading perfectly at three, John completed the Hardy Boys by age four and never looked back. He read numerous books at one time and always had a text by Proust, Kerouac or Hunter S. Thompson at hand. John was also an opera aficionado with Puccini his favorite composer. He was a generous supporter of the N.Y. Metropolitan Opera.

John attended Pine View School for the Gifted in Sarasota for elementary, middle and high school. John excelled in school and received many awards across all subject areas. He was very proud to accept Pine View’s award for Creativity in his senior year. John displayed an early interest in music, studying and mastering the piano at a young age and beginning a lifetime love of the guitar at age 10. John worked daily and tirelessly on becoming proficient at the electric, acoustic and bass guitar. Attending the fantastic National Guitar Workshop ( in 2004 and 2006 was an ideal experience for John as he gained much confidence and was exposed to so many styles of music.

In high school, John received a National Merit Scholarship and the highest AP Scholar designation. However, he was far more motivated by his growing interest in music and filmmaking than his academic prowess. John attended the New York Film Academy’s summer workshop at Harvard in 2004, solidifying his desire to study filmmaking in college. It was truly the first intellectual challenge he faced. At the film academy, John agreed to be the male lead in co-student Indrayudh Shome’s film, Untitled, which won the Grand Prize at the Hong Kong Spring Film Festival in 2005.

John’s short film, Heroin, filmed at the film academy, was accepted to the Sarasota Film Festival’s Student Filmmaker’s Showcase in the Spring of 2005 and received the award for “Best Editing.”

John was accepted to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the University of California’s School of Cinema Studies. John traveled to Los Angeles to be interviewed for a Presidential Scholarship at USC. In speaking with other students vying for the same scholarship, John realized that they could not afford to attend USC unless they received the scholarship. He quickly told USC that if USC was his first choice, he would be able to attend without a scholarship and he asked to be dropped from scholarship contention so that someone more needy could have the opportunity to attend.

Faced with the challenging decision of whether to actually embark on a study of Filmmaking or accept a scholarship to Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music or study philosophy and literature at other prestigious universities, John chose the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and accepted a scholarship to participate in the Tisch Scholar’s program in which select students’ scholarly and service potential is nurtured.

John traveled to arts communities Appleshop, Kentucky and Salvador, Brazil as a Tisch Scholar. These experiences resulted in new friendships and awakened an interest in other forms of artistic expression such as singing and poetry.

John was privileged to attain an internship with Goldilocks Films, in NYC, where he worked on Rice and Meat, a film by Diego Ongaro. John is credited as Editor on this tender 14 minute film. Rice and Meat won Best Short Film in 2008 at the Milano Film Festival, was an Official Selection at Slow Food on Film in Bologna and received Special Jury Mention at the Audi Talent Awards in 2009.

Enrolled in NYU's semester abroad program in Dublin, Ireland during the Fall of 2007, John participated in the program's capstone Music Video course. John was excited to return to Ireland, a country and culture he admired having visited previously with his family. Working with the band, House of Cozy Cushions, John created and directed a music video for their song "Up and Down the Hill." John returned home with many stories of pubs, Irish theatre and independent travel. He was most proud of the completion of his music video and appreciative of the opportunity to merge his passions for music and film.

John was thrilled with his acceptance into the Advanced Production course led by professor Ezra Sacks during his senior year at NYU. Through this class, John wrote, directed and began editing his short narrative film, Only Criminals. His progress from just four years prior and his understanding of and skill at his craft is profoundly noticeable in Only Criminals. Although he was just a student, the professional actors whom he directed, uniformly relayed their admiration for John’s professionalism, vision and talent.

John graduated from NYU with a BFA on Wednesday, May 13, 2009. He then traveled to Georgia with a group of NYU students and other recent graduates on May 26, 2009 to assist in the filming of a co-student’s senior thesis film. John was excited for this road trip and was looking forward to just being a secondary player on the shoot, with no supervisory responsibilities. Tragically, John lost his life on May 28, 2009, during this film shoot, being electrocuted when machinery being used for lighting struck overhead power lines.

John was fearless in life whether taking on Florida Little League, skateboarding, rowing or his three year independent study of Chinese. He was the most trusted and loyal of friends and was the first to acknowledge a friend or co-student’s talents. He enjoyed nothing more than to be with friends or family, enjoying a film or a great meal and especially helping them in any way they needed.

John was blessed with beauty and intellect, but will be remembered more for his humor, humility, integrity and generosity of love.