Two Years Away From Home
From the Nominator
"Many of our international students weren’t able to return home once the pandemic started. For various reasons, they were stuck in Boston, thousands of miles away from their families and support systems. Many struggled in silence. When our publications attempted interviews, many international students made light of the situation to hide their true experiences.
Our International Social Media Specialist Carol Duan asked if we could find a way to tell an honest and personal story that would let struggling international students know they aren’t alone. We found Cecilia Kwok, a senior from Hong Kong, who had been away from her family for nearly two years and wanted to share her story. I used a mix of live-action, voice-over, and animation to create a compelling student profile for our student audience.
Using voice-over removed the pressure of performing for the camera, so Cecilia felt comfortable enough to open up about the sadness she felt losing precious time with her elderly grandmother. She also expressed a sadness shared by many international students: After her parents worked hard for years to send her to school, COVID restrictions may prohibit them from seeing her graduate in person.
Stylistic live-action captured her newfound coping mechanism: building miniature houses. I animated Cecilia and her grandmother into the miniature house, giving life to the scenes she describes in her voice-over.
Social engagement was high, and comments were overwhelmingly positive, proving that the final product resonated with students."
From the Judges
Loved this video. Very effective in showcasing the emotions felt by students impacted by the pandemic. The were spot on with the duration of the video and it was very well executive.