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Student- and faculty-produced film focuses on the College’s Corn on the Quad sustainability project

Dig The Earth, a student- and faculty-produced film documenting the College’s Corn on the Quad sustainability project, has been shown in several venues in the U.S. and Canada since its premiere on campus in May.

The documentary, which was created through the film theory course taught by Andrew Smith, assistant professor of English, will be shown at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival in January, followed by a screening at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture annual conference in February. Smith says PBS is also considering airing the 45-minute film.

The film aired in October at the 10th Annual Black Bear Film Festival in Milford, Pa., and at the Third Annual Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference at DeSales University.Over the summer, excerpts from the film were shown at international environmental humanities conferences in Portland, Ore., and Victoria, British Columbia.

Smith directed the film along with John O’Keefe, director of academic technology and network services. Students in the course operated camera and editing equipment, conducted on-camera interviews, edited footage, and reviewed and critiqued the work. English graduate Natalie Cothren ’09 served as lead production assistant and associate producer. Patrick D. Kelley ’09, a math and music graduate, composed the movie’s original score, and Courtney Bentley, instructional technology program coordinator, provided technical support for the project.

The Corn on the Quad project consisted of three plots of corn planted by students, faculty, and staff at the center of campus to coincide with the fall 2008 first-year student orientation. After the summer, academic projects and discussions concerning aspects of food production and use took place in classrooms from all four of the College’s academic divisions. The film not only chronicles the physical planting and growing of the corn, but also follows many of the related projects on campus and explores the local farming community and beyond.

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