“The Collinwood Fire” unites digital animation and historical research to tell the story of a 1908 elementary school fire in Collinwood, Ohio that killed 172 children. Through both the short animated film and the multimedia website, the project offers paths into thinking about the horror of the event and the historical moment that surrounded it.
Professor Michael Newbury (American Studies) led the project as one of the DLA 2015/2016 Faculty Fellows. He worked with Arts Technologist Daniel Houghton and a team of students that included Elise Biette (‘16.5), Maddie Dai (’14), Hosain Ghassemi (’17), James Graham (’16), Justin Holmes, Chad Kahn (’16), and Sofy Maia (’16), under the auspices of the Middlebury College Animation Studio to build an animation-rich website which tells the story of the Collinwood Fire. The website debuted in Fall of 2016, concurrent with several screenings of the animation at international film festivals.
The DLA would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to the talented team that worked on the project. You can read more about the project in the followling articles, and visit the Collinwood Fire website below.
The Ray & Pat Browne Electronic Site Award, Popular Culture Association, 2018
“Most Innovative Film” and “Most Creative Use of Archival Footage” awards at the VT International Film Festival, October 21, 2016
“Best Short” the Blender Conference in Amsterdam, October 28-30, 2016
“Best Ohio Short Film” at the Cleveland International Film Festival, March 29- April 9, 2017
“What Did I Just See?” written by Matt Jennings for Middlebury Magazine. January 31, 2018
“Local Film and Multimedia Project Together Illuminate a Tragedy” written by Rachel Elizabeth Jones for 7 Days. October 26, 2016
“Horrific Collinwood school fire of 1908 remembered in new movie (vintage photos, video)” written by Laura DeMarco for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. October 27, 2016
“Collinwood Fire Film Wins Awards at Vermont Film Festival” written by Stephen Diehl for the Middlebury News Room. October 25, 2016.
“A New Animated Short Examines What Happened in The 1908 Collinwood School Fire” radio interview by Kabir Bhatia for WKSU 89.7 (Kent State University, Ohio). January 9, 2017.