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Moving Image Archive

2024 graduate uses Safer Together video contest to focus on alcohol misuse

By: Michelle Crowe

IU Media School undergraduate Audra Sapp is the 2024 winner of IU Libraries Moving Image Archive Safer Together contest.

In Spring 2024, IU Libraries launched its second ever archival remix contest, Safer Togetherwith support from the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive Collections. In response to the alarming number of IU Bloomington students who report binge drinking and consuming hard alcohol, participants were invited to create a short, compelling video using archival footage to raise awareness about alcohol misuse. 

For winner Audra Sapp, the vintage videos were the best part of the contest. “I thought the archival element was extremely interesting,” she said. “I stand beside the fact that Bloomington is the prettiest campus in the entire country and it was awesome to see that it has been like that for a long time.”

Sapp will receive $2,000 from IU Libraries for her winning entry, news she received in the same weekend as graduating with an undergraduate degree in Sports Media from IU’s Media School. The funds will assist in her next steps as she furnishes an Indianapolis apartment and begins full-time employment at Lumen Technologies.

After viewing nearly all 30 of the archival films made available online through the contest, Sapp found her focus. “I realized I wanted to emphasize that the four years at IU are so special. I was really feeling that myself as a senior. As an alumni, you want to walk away with all these memories,” she said. Her winning video offers the perspective that misuse of alcohol can make the details in those memories out of focus.

The video will be shared to incoming IU students through online orientation this summer, and will be played regularly on screens in the Wells Library and across campus in August and September. It will also be included in an IDS social media campaign this fall and shown before some films at IU Cinema.

The winning video by Sapp, In Focus: Creating a Safer Drinking Experience at IU, is presented and preserved through IU Libraries Media Collections Online (MCO).  

Think Before You Act: Alcohol Misuse” was created by School of Education undergraduate student, Wesley Kopis, and “Play a Little Longer, Live a Little Better” was submitted by Media School undergraduate student Michelle Obioma. Kopis and Obioma will each receive $500. Prize money is provided for this annual contest by IU Libraries financial supporters, including many alumni who may have worked at the libraries as students.


About the contest

In the spring of 2023, IU Bloomington students were invited to create short, compelling videos using archival footage related to street safety from the Moving Image Archive. They could select clips from 30 archival films dating from 1935 to 1977 to re-edit for a public service announcement. Ten students entered. Four professionals representing the IU LibrariesPublic SafetyCommunications and Marketing, and Cinematic Arts judged videos for originality, quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness.  

“The project originated from discussions between Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Diane Dallis-Comentale and Director of IU Libraries Moving Image Archive (IULMIA) Rachael Stoeltje about the significant number of students involved in accidents from scooters, bikes, and cars,” said Carmel Curtis, IULMIA’s moving image curator & digital initiatives lead. 

Following the first year’s success, the Libraries once again offered Safer Together in 2024, this time focusing on archival films in the collection that addressed alcohol misuse. During the 10 weeks of the contest, many students viewed the 30 archival films (dating from 1934-1985) and 21 different films were used in videos submitted to the contest.

In 2024, the number of participating students grew. 18 videos were submitted from both graduate and undergraduate students from many areas of study including the College of Arts & Sciences; Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; the Media School (Journalism, Media, Cinematic Arts); and the School of Education. 

All videos were judged by a Review Board in categories of originality, quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of raising awareness around alcohol misuse.

Thank you to members of the review board:

  • Madeline Webb-Mitchell Media Archivist, IU Libraries Moving Image Archive;
  • Susanne Schwibs, Senior Lecturer, Media School;
  • Heather Barrett Director, Substance Use Intervention Services;
  • Sarah Robertson, Substance Use Prevention Coordinator, Substance Use Intervention Services, and
  • Jill Trimbach, Director of Social Media, University Communications and Marketing

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