IUSB professor's Indiana-based documentary now available to stream

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Indiana University South Bend Professor of Sociology Zach Schrank released his first film, "Big Enough, Small Enough: South Bend in Transition," back in 2020, and now he's back with a new Indiana-focused feature, "Liminal: Indiana in the Anthropocene."

Schrank's first film is available to stream on Amazon Prime, and his new one will be available on the streaming platform Hoodox, the title being a play on "Hoosier Documentaries."

“This film represents the same kind of Hoosier filmmaking spirit that inspired the founding of Hoodox— that a few creative individuals saw something incredible on a global scale and said, ‘We should make something like that here, just for Indiana’,” Hoodox Executive Director Rocky Walls said.

According to a release from the university, the new film, created by Schrank and Aaron Yoder, uses drone footage from 40 different locations around the state to show the human impact on Earth. The film encourages the viewer to reflect on their relationship with the local environment.

The film has been shown during screenings throughout the state over the past six months and won the Indiana Spotlight Award at the Heartland International Film Festival in October.

Schrank says the ideas for the newest film emerged from an assignment he created in an Environmental Sociology course.

“I challenged students to consider how they could detect and visualize the Anthropocene (the current geological age) in their local environment," Schrank said. "From there, I developed the concept for Liminal as a way to distill global processes along various nodes within the boundaries of our state."

He says he plans to incorporate photographic and film elements of the project into a sustainability course he will teach in the spring titled “Life in the Anthropocene.”

“I hope people watching the film feel immersed and mesmerized as they float around on a strange and unfamiliar tour of Indiana with music accompanied to bring it to life in striking ways," said Schrank. "It would also be great if Hoosiers come away thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that was all in Indiana’ and begin to see where we live differently."

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