On October 14th, Penn State University student Ezekiel Winnitsky won the IES Study Abroad Film Festival.
According to Abby Baric, director of communications and outreach at IES Abroad, the event was held at Venue SIX10 in Chicago.
Winitsky (Senior Film Production), along with three other contestants, was nominated by the IES jury, which, like the previous year’s winners, included filmmakers. After the finalists have been chosen, the voting will be made public.
“The event was so cool. It was really nice and official,” Winnitsky said. “They flew me over there and put me in a really nice hotel.”
But before all this is done, the film is sent to the jury and passed through IES’ marketing team, which includes multimedia marketing manager Kiah Zellner-Smith.
Zellner-Smith said he works on the festival year-round and advises participants throughout the filming process. Later in the process, she helps nominees like her Winitsky arrive in Chicago and works in the tech room on festival day.
“We have a large team of volunteers helping us out. [in the festival and supporting the nominees]So there are a lot of hands as the date approaches,” said Zellner-Smith.
Patrick Jager is IES Abroad’s media executive and judge for several years.
“It was such an honor. This year they asked if I would host the event,” Yeager said.
As a juror voting for the semi-finalists, Jager said: [to them]”
Yeager believed Winnitsky’s film leaned towards the latter, saying it was “a powerful, eye-opening glimpse into history and family”.
Zelner-Smith said that along with Winnitsky’s film, one of the nominated films was completely silent, another was an exploration of queer identity, and another was about mental health abroad. said.
“The venue was great. They had posters for our film and press,” Winnitsky said. “
According to Yeager, he welcomed more than 250 guests, talked about studying abroad, recognized people in the audience, showed videos of people who received scholarships to study abroad in the past, and talked about the history of the film festival. We talked.
After that, four films from other four years were screened, followed by four films nominated for the 2022 festival.
Past winners were unable to attend the film festival due to prior commitments, so videos were created and presented to the guests. Finally, Jager announced her Winitsky as this year’s winner.
“Their film was so great that I immediately wanted to shake hands with the other finalists,” Winnitsky said. “And as I walked in, I was like, ‘What are you going to say with this speech? ”
Fortunately, according to Winnitsky, the candidate had been told to prepare something, so he knew the outline of his statement, including who he wanted to thank.
“The first thing I said in my speech was, ‘Whenever I win something, the first person I thank is my mother,'” Winnitsky said.
According to Winitsky, the experience was a great opportunity for him to talk to other filmmakers from around the world, and the event was a “great experience.”
Yeager said he was confident Winnitsky would finish in the top two and said he was “very happy and encouraged” by his win.
“I rarely see movies more than once, but I’ve seen his movies more than once,” Yeager said.
According to Zellner-Smith, what stood out in Winitsky’s film was the importance of genealogy, history, and family and how it intersects with the study abroad experience.
“I was very happy with him [when he won]said Zellner-Smith.
Winnitsky says the whole experience was “inspiring” [him] not sell [himself] Lacking in terms of professionalism. ”
He said he wanted to thank everyone who supported and helped him through this process and brought him to where he is today. He said he is applying it to his next project, Astroweb Total, which started filming on the 22nd.
Winnitsky said he encourages everyone to create projects.
Female madness hasn’t looked this good since “Black Swan.”