4 years, 12 students, 20+ filmmakers: 'IU 2020' documentary will have world premiere with IU Cinema

When Ethan Gill started a multimedia internship at Indiana University Bloomington's Office of the Provost in 2015, one of his early assignments was production on "IU 2020," a documentary film series that would follow the same 12 students over the entire arc of their undergraduate careers, members of IU's Bicentennial Class who would graduate during the university's celebratory year.

Attrition was expected; Gill and his colleagues, including then-project manager and director Cadence Baugh Chang, envisioned a long-term, massive production unlike any other that they knew of in higher education communications.

The project would require a considerable commitment from the dozen students being filmed, as well as the student interns who were essentially learning how to produce documentaries as they created them. The hope was to end up with at least four good stories by the end of four years -- or, at the very least, some nice campus footage for use in other projects.

"When we started rolling on 'IU 2020,' I didn't realize how ambitious this project was," said Gill, who started the internship the summer after his freshman year at IU. "I was used to promotional video shoots where we'd wrap and move on to the next project. Once I was checking in on the same person every couple of weeks over several years, I couldn't help but get invested in their journeys."

"IU 2020," which will receive its world premiere at IU Cinema virtually on Friday, Nov. 13, was conceptualized by the communications team in the Office of the Provost as a complement to the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington. The project was inspired in part by the film "Boyhood" (2014, IFC Films), which followed the same actors over 12 years. In about 20 minutes per story, the 12 short films of "IU 2020" chronicle the personal growth and evolution of IU Bloomington undergraduate students, from freshman year to a final spring semester during the university's Bicentennial Year and a graduation season interrupted by a pandemic.

The premiere will feature the stories of three of the students, with three more installments shown in Dec. 8. The final six installments of "IU 2020" will be available during the spring semester, with screening dates and times to be determined.

Read the full article from News at IU Bloomington