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IU South Bend professor’s film now on streaming platform

Arts News Release Dec 12, 2023

Zach Schrank with his award at the Heartland Film Festival A documentary film directed by IU South Bend sociology professor Zach Schrank is now available on the subscription streaming platform Hoodox.

“Liminal: Indiana in the Anthropocene” 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.

“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.

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

The ideas for Liminal emerged from an assignment Schrank 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. From there, I developed the concept for Liminal as a way to distill global processes along various nodes within the boundaries of our state,” Schrank said.

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. 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,” Schrank said.

Schrank also directed the 2020 documentary film “Big Enough, Small Enough: South Bend in Transition.” That film is streaming on Amazon Prime.

“I don’t have another film project in the works at this time. However, a companion book of photography with more than 150 images captured alongside the making of this project will be published by IU Press and available at the beginning of 2025,” he said.

More information about Liminal can be found at watchhoodox.com.

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