Institute News

2014 Student Voices Short Film Contest Underway

USC students who are passionate about filmmaking and history are gearing up for USC Shoah Foundation’s annual Student Voices Short Film Contest. The registration deadline for this year’s competition is Nov. 1 and all videos must be submitted by Jan. 27, 2014.

An information session for interested students is scheduled for Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Leavey Auditorium.

Student Voices invites all USC graduate and undergraduate students, regardless of major, to create short films that incorporate testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. The Visual History Archive contains 52,000 testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. The testimonies 2013 Student Voices winner Cecilia De Jesus (r) and finalistswere conducted in 57 countries and in 33 languages.

The films must be up to 10 minutes long and be inspired by one of this year’s themes: Preserving Humanity, Renewing Rwanda, and Risking Everything. All themes represent the coinciding 20th anniversaries of Schindler’s List in 2013 and the founding of the Shoah Foundation and the Rwanda Tutsi genocide in 2014.

USC faculty and special guests will judge the competition. The winner and finalists will each receive cash prizes, and the winning film will be shown at USC Shoah Foundation’s annual gala in spring 2014 and receive a certificate signed by Steven Spielberg. Viewers will vote for their favorite of the finalists online and the top two films will be screened at a panel discussion in March.

Participating students are invited to attend an “Ethical Editing and Searching the Archive” workshop, to be held on campus throughout the semester, to guide them in using the archive in their projects. A schedule of the workshops and a workshop video are available here.

The 2013 Student Voices winner was Cecilia De Jesus, whose film Where Is My Home? uses sand animation to bring the testimony of Holocaust survivor Vera Gissing to life. In the film, Gissing recounts her experience being sent from her loving home in Czechoslovakia to England on the Kindertransport.

To watch videos from past contestants, please click here.

Questions about Student Voices can be directed to studentvoices@dornsife.usc.edu.