Institute News

Student Voices Film Contest Jurors Include Filmmakers Eric Kabera and Sam Kadi

Two USC Cinematic Arts professors, a former Student Voices winner and two independent filmmakers will judge this year’s Student Voices Short Film Contest.

Independent filmmakers Eric Kabera and Sam Kadi will serve on the Student Voices jury for the first time.

Born in the former Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo, Kabera was a radio journalist with the BBC in Africa and an east Africa correspondent for Global Radio Network. He founded Kwetu Film Institute and the Rwanda Cinema Centre, which organizes the Rwanda Film Festival. He has produced and directed films including Africa United, Keepers of Memory and 100 Days – the first feature film about the Rwandan Genocide.

Kadi (who grew up in Syria) has written, directed and produced films including Schizophrenia, Raised Alone and The Citizen. He was recently acknowledged by the prestigious Foundation Cinema for Peace for raising awareness for human rights through films and was invited to address the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands in June 2012. Kadi will show clips from his new documentary about Syria, Veto, at the Student Voices screening and discussion at USC in spring 2014.

From USC, Michael Renov and Holly Willis are returning as Student Voices jurors. Renov is professor and vice dean of academic affairs of the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and Willis is a research assistant professor at SCA and director of academic programs at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy.

The 2013 Student Voices winner, Cecilia De Jesus, will return to USC to judge this year’s entries. De Jesus’ winning film was a sand animation called Where is My Home? She graduated with an MFA in animation and digital arts in May and is currently a designer at Picture Mill Studio in Hollywood.

The Student Voices Short Film Contest is open to all USC graduate and undergraduate students, regardless of major. Students are invited to create original short films, 7-10 minutes long, that incorporate testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. The films must be inspired by one of this year’s three themes: Preserving Humanity: Assistance and Resistance; Renewing Rwanda: The Genocide and After; and Risking Everything: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Actions.

Winners will receive prizes of up to $750 and their films will be presented at a screening and discussion on campus and at the USC Shoah Foundation’s annual gala in spring 2014. They will also receive certificates signed by Steven Spielberg.