A student-produced documentary received third place last week from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
Senior Reagan Gensiejewski, senior Lily McHale, junior Gabs Bessette, and sophomore Carter McNish made the film in Adjunct Instructor Buddy Moorehouse’s Video Storytelling class in the fall of 2021. “Defending Liberty” follows the stories of four Hillsdale students who served in the Civil War.
“The story of Hillsdale College and the Civil War is truly exceptional, and it had never been told in a documentary before,” Moorehouse said. “Gabs, Reagan, Lily, and Carter were the ones who had the honor of getting to tell that story and they did an amazing job with it. And now they’ve won an award for it, too. That’s just so cool, and I’m so proud of them.”
Gensiejewski said Moorehouse’s guidance enabled her class to finish the documentary.
“When you’re starting off with a new medium in journalism, it’s daunting,” she said. “We knew this was a really important topic, so we started to get stressed a few weeks out about if the film would be good enough. Buddy was always so confident in our abilities, and I think that’s reflected in the film.”
Moorehouse said he is impressed that the students finished in the top three, considering the number of colleges and universities which enter the MAB awards.
“It was a nice validation of the job they did telling the story of Hillsdale College and the Civil War,” he said.
Director of the Dow Journalism Program John J. Miller said he is also proud to see Hillsdale students receive this recognition.
“They produced a very good documentary about the college and the Civil War, telling stories that many of us wouldn’t have heard but for their telling it,” he said. “If we can keep offering courses in video, our students will keep winning awards.”
Students in Moorehouse’s course on documentary filmmaking this semester screened their film, “Aliens in the Arb,” last night in Plaster Auditorium. It tells the story of an alleged UFO sighting on campus in 1966.