Presentation Title: Night Light: Documenting Discussions on Sexual Violence in College Communities


Location: , 

Date & Time: 


After hearing of the opportunity to make a documentary as our final project in Professor Leger Grindon's documentary film class, Elli, Aaron and I all discussed our excitement about having the chance to make a non-fiction film of our own. Elli’s idea to investigate instances of sexual violence on Middlebury’s campus captured not only an essential component of the college’s discourse, both institutionally as well as informally, but also inspired us to take our documentary film in artistic directions that we had studied over the course of the semester. Throughout the filmmaking process it grew to be more and more evident that sexual violence was a very ambiguous, if not taboo, subject for many people. The result of such ambiguity seemed to be a discomfort to discuss, in precise terms, what sexual violence is or entails. However, dialogue surrounding sexual violence has grown on college campuses nationwide, leading to the creation of organizations like Middlebury College's It Happens Here. Elli, an active member of It Happens Here, was a wealth of insight regarding the specific issues facing the Middlebury College community. The three of us did our best to bring together various voices in our own community's dialogue so as to give a variety of perspectives pertinent to Middlebury College. In making Night Light (2013), we wanted to isolate factors on Middlebury’s campus that entrench acts of sexual violence, and thus find ways in which the Middlebury community can establish a system of sexual empowerment that eliminates the perpetuation of these factors. In the process of creating the film we grew to understand that the final product both could, and should, act as a vehicle for further discussion. The Student Symposium is an excellent platform to display our piece and continue this very discussion. The film is around fourteen minutes long and features interviews from Atwater Commons Head Scott Barnicle, Gender and Feminist Studies major Ashley Guzman ’13, Professor of Sociology/Anthropology Chong-suk Han, as well as a re-enactment from Juliette Gobin ‘16 and a speech from It Happens Here member Kristina Johansson ’14.

Type of Presentation: Class oral (15 minute)

Oral presenters
Presentation Area: Film & Media

Presentation Topic: Sex

Arts presenters
Format: Oral Session

Class Project
Course name: Documentary: The Art of Nonfiction Film
Course Instructor: Grindon, Leger
Number of presenters: 3

Presenter Information
Presenter(s): Brennan-Arffmann, Will B., Itin, Elinor Lee (Elli), Slater, Aaron Robert
Major(s): Arabic; Undecided; Philosophy/Sociology Joint
Class Year(s): 2016; 2016; 2016

Sponsor(s): Grindon, Leger
Dept(s): Film and Media Culture

Moderator: ,