In October, Union College students received a media challenge: produce a short video for use on the Web and social media that answers the question “Do we understand the world of the blind?” Six film makers rose to the challenge and on January 17, three were awarded cash prizes at the first In:Sight Video Awards event—hosted by Christian Record Services for the Blind and Union College.
First prize and a cash award of $1000 went to Eric Bing, a senior biomedical science major, for his film, Color, about a women who learned to appreciate the world even without sight. Second place and $500 went to Benjamin Baugher, a junior physics major, for his film, Ed Carpenter, about a blind military veteran who finds fulfillment through creating in his wood shop. Third place and a $250 cash award went to Elliott Moseley, a sophomore elementary education major, for his film Staying on Key, a stop motion animated film about frustrated man who finally has his piano tuned properly by blind piano tuner. All six videos can be viewed on Union College's Youtube and Vimeo channels.
The idea for the contest came from Rajmund Dabrowski, assistant to the president for marketing at Christian Record. “In creating the contest theme, I felt it was important to invite and involve the students themselves communicate to us in their language,” he said. “Our hope is that we will be able to use the winning videos to bring awareness to a larger audience about the world of people who are blind.”
“I think it’s really exciting that Christian Record Services for the Blind is looking for new and innovative ways to communicate to new audiences and to tap into the incredible creative potential here at Union,” says Ryan Teller, director of public relations Union College. Video entries were reviewed by a six-member judging panel, including filmmaker Terry Benedict and faculty representatives from both sponsors.
The awards ceremony featured special presentations by Terry Benedict and Dan Weber, associate communication director for the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Benedict, who directed an award winning documentary film, The Conscientious Objector, premiered his newest documentary, The Economics of Poverty, at the event.
Teller, who teaches video production at Union, said, “I work with them every day and I see the ideas that they have, and to have somebody believe in those ideas and give them an opportunity to express them is fantastic for not only for Christian Record but also for our students.”
“When they see what they create being used and valued by an Adventist organization, that helps them feel more connected to our church, and it helps them feel ownership in our church,” Teller added.