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TDMP Students Place First in Short-Form Documentary

Three FSU TDMP students place first in their Short-From Documentary Category in the BEA Festival of Media Arts

March 9, 2023

Mystic Michigan

Mystic Michigan with Mark Jager

As described by the BEA Festival of Media Arts, this festival is the premier international academic media organization for educators, students, and professionals. Students competed against over 1,650 entries from 82 differing colleges and universities.

Ferris State University students Elizabeth Cherry, Sawyer Thiebaut-Near, and Mariah Vongphachanh, in the TDMP 466 Instructional Design course, worked together in the Fall 2022 semester to create their entry, Mystic Michigan. The students worked with TDMP faculty member Nick Kuiper to produce the documentary. The team worked incredibly hard over 16 weeks to gather the materials needed for the film, spending every class period and many all-nighters working together. 

The interviews included in the documentary and the breathtaking footage collected from across Michigan were no easy feat. The team traveled an estimated 1500 miles by car and hiked many more while carrying their camera equipment to embody their vision of what they aspired this documentary to be. 

Vongphachanh spoke for the team when she said, “We loved the process from start to finish. It was a unique experience that most college students don’t have the opportunity to do.” 

The students and Professor Kuiper were ecstatic when they learned they had won their category. Vongphachanh recalled, “It was awesome to earn the recognition for something we all worked so hard in and spent so many hours creating.” She said, “I was already extremely proud of Mystic Michigan, but seeing that other people appreciated it too feels great.” 

In Mystic Michigan’s category of Short-Form Documentary, FSU students competed against entries from Arizona State, University of Central Florida, Texas Christian University, Ball State University, University of Florida, and Syracuse University, among others.