Finalists' Films Announced For The Fourth-Annual IES Abroad Student Film Festival

IES Abroad, a leading not-for-profit organization providing access to study abroad and internship programs in more than 20 countries and 34 locations around the world, is pleased to announce the three film finalists for its fourth-annual IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival. Students participating in the Film Festival produced their films based on their study abroad experiences around the world with IES Abroad. 

This year, 93 films were submitted by IES Abroad students, which is nearly double the amount of submissions from the Film Festival's first year, in 2014. Over a span of four years, 113 colleges and universities have been represented through 262 student film submissions, all documenting the various experiences at IES Abroad study abroad programs around the world. The Film Festival provides students a platform to voice their global journey through their own words and video footage, capturing unique views into their life-changing study abroad experiences.

"We are continually inspired by the story-telling potential of film, and these student films are a remarkable testament to the powerful role that studying abroad plays in cross-culture understanding and education," says Amy Ruhter McMillan, Associate Vice President of Marketing and founder of the IES Abroad Film Festival. "The Film Festival participants benefit from the inherent reflection that comes from producing a film, and carry their experiences of international study and cultural engagement with them as they become our next generation of open-minded global leaders."

The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen by the public, who can vote for their favorite film on the IES Abroad Facebook page: https://contest.fbapp.io/saff2017 now through October 30 at noon CST.  

The winner will be announced at the first ever IES Abroad Film Festival event, on Wednesday, November 1, at Chicago's renowned Museum of Contemporary Art. IES Abroad will roll-out the red carpet with emcee Kate Flannery – best known for her 9 seasons as Meredith, on NBC's hit show, The Office – and present the grand prize winner with a $1,500 cash prize and 1-year distribution deal with INDISTRY TV- a first-of-its-kind subscription streaming service that offers content shaped by its audience. 

This year's IES Abroad Film Festival finalists are:

"Sapporo" | Jacob Hatfield | Penn State | IES Abroad Tokyo, Fall 2016

"Solitude: A Companion Abroad" | Ismael Byers & Jake Hatfield | Hope College & Ithaca College | IES Abroad Santiago, Fall 2016

"The Journey of Healing in Japan" | Wennicha Yang | University of Minnesota - Twin Cities | IES Abroad Tokyo, J-Term 2017

The finalists were selected by a prominent jury of directors, editors, producers and screenwriters, all of whom are either IES Abroad film studies faculty from their international Centers or IES Abroad alumni.

"As an IES Abroad (Paris, 1965) alum, and a filmmaker, I understand and appreciate the power of study abroad and film," says Oscar-nominated Willard Huyck, acclaimed motion picture writer, director and producer, and IES Abroad juror. "My study abroad experience had such a meaningful impact on my life that I returned to Paris 12 years later to shoot French Postcards, a film about a junior year abroad. Film is a magnificent outlet for these students to share how study abroad influenced their lives, and their views of the world."

The IES Abroad Film Festival event is an opportunity to engage with students, alumni and the local film and entertainment communities, as well as to raise awareness about the power of study abroad. Tickets to this year's event can be purchased on the IES Abroad website for $20. The event is also sponsored by Charles Schwab, GoAbroad.com, Lockton, and Marquette Associates. 

For more information on IES Abroad's study abroad programs, the Study Abroad Film Festival, and this year's first-ever Film Festival event, please visit www.IESabroad.org

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