Student Voices FAQs

What is the Student Voices Short Film Contest?

During Fall 2013, the USC Shoah Foundation will hold a contest for students to submit a seven-to-ten minute film that incorporates video testimony from the Institute’s Visual History Archive as a basis for the narrative of the submission. The short-film should focus on one of these themes: 

Preserving Humanity: Assistance and Resistance

Renewing Rwanda: The Genocide and After

Risking Everything: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Actions

Who can participate in the competition?

The competition is open to all currently enrolled USC undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major.

What are the important dates I should know?
  • December 18, 2013 Registration Deadline
  • January 17, 2014 Competition Ends
Must I watch the online workshop?

Each participant can attend one of the “Ethical Editing and Searching the Archive” workshops offered throughout the semester. While we encourage you to participate in as many of the optional workshops as you can, you are not required to attend any others in order to submit a film. There are also online workshops available to participants to use as additional resources.

Who do I contact for help searching the Shoah Foundation archive?

The Shoah Foundation and the Institute for Multimedia Literacy are co-hosting workshops so that students can learn the best methods to search and retrieve relevant video in the Visual History Archive and to develop an understanding of the ethical considerations around editing testimony material.

For help outside of workshop hours, do not hesitate to contact Crispin Brooks, Curator of the Shoah Foundation Archive, at (213) 740-5463 or

Can I Get Started Now?

Yes! You can start searching the archive and developing your narrative, even before you attend a workshop.

What is the USC Shoah Foundation for Visual History and Education?

Inspired by his experience making Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in 1994 to gather video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. While most of those who gave testimony were Jewish survivors, the Foundation also interviewed homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) survivors, survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants. Within several years, the Foundation’s Visual History Archive held nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages, representing 56 countries; it is the largest archive of its kind in the world.

In January 2006, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation became part of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where the testimonies in the Visual History Archive will be preserved in perpetuity. The change of name to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education reflects the broadened mission of the Institute: to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies. Today the Institute reaches educators, students, researchers, and scholars on every continent, and supports efforts to collect testimony from the survivors and witnesses of other genocides.

We’re located in the Leavey Library building, Suite 114. For more information visit

What will happen at the screening and panel discussion event in March of 2014?

In March of 2014, a special event will take place to announce the jury awards, screen the winning works, and present a moderator-led discussion with students, faculty, and special guests to discuss the role of eyewitness testimony.

Is there someone I can contact for additional questions not covered here?