2016 Study Abroad Film Festival Grand Prize Winner

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Kiah Zellner-Smith
August 31, 2016

Our 2016 Film Festival Grand Prize Winner is….


Through three rounds of voting—starting with a record-breaking 70 total film submissions, 18 semifinalists that were then rated by a highly-esteemed international jury, and 5 finalists voted on by the public—Jordan Cain danced his way through Europe (and the competition) and came out on top as the 2016 Film Festival grand prize winner!

Jordan (Indiana University | Vienna, Spring 2016) explains, “These are the highlights of my semester studying abroad in Europe! I took a camera with me everywhere I went and danced, walked, and had fun hanging out in front of the what I thought was beautiful and unique to the city. I am so thankful I had this opportunity to travel and learn about so many different things in the world and this production is my way of communicating my feelings and experiences throughout.”

While the jurors unanimously enjoyed the film, Naomi Seekings, Juror & IES Abroad London Film Studies Faculty put it best when she said, “This uplifting and entertaining video is a technically accomplished piece of work. Jordan Cain is a charismatic front man with a winning smile who makes this fun film a joy to watch.”

Juror Dr. LeLand L’Hote (Program Dean and former Film Studies professor) also raved, “Through completely visual storytelling and an amazingly well-selected song choice, Jordan offers a very complete and uplifting account of his experience abroad. He also demonstrates a constant beaming smile that packs each scene with joy and gives the viewer the sense that he is fascinated with everything that he sees.”

The 2016 Film Festival had an amazing 2,129 total votes, and the five finalist  videos received 6,487 views on YouTube in just one week’s time.

As the grand prize winner, Jordan will receive an  award of $1,500 and an invitation to IES Abroad’s Annual Conference in October, where he will be recognized in front of IES Abroad member institutions and worldwide staff.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a film to the Festival, our international jury, and those who voted! An especially big shout-out to our other four finalists who kept us on the edge of our seats as we viewed their films:

  • With Love – Shannon Sotomayor (Dublin | Brown University)
  • I Choose Openness – Thamine Nayeem (Rabat | University of Richmond)
  • FOMO – Rachel Beavers, Rod Flucas, and Courtney Testa (London | University of Georgia, University of Redlands, and Penn State)
  • Si Sabe Algo – Paul Holden (Salamanca | Yale University)

If you haven’t already, watch Jordan's winning film, Even in Europe…!

Congratulations again, Jordan!

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Kiah Zellner-Smith

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