We’re thrilled to report that, for the second time in three years, a FIRE short film has won a prize at FreedomFest’s Anthem Film Festival. FIRE’s film “Don’t Cage My Speech! A Student Schools His College” played to audiences at FreedomFest last week, and Ted Balaker, the film’s director, won the award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Short Documentary on Saturday night. The film’s articulation of the legal challenge—and defeat—of the University of Cincinnati’s unconstitutional “free speech zone” and of free speech’s importance in higher education in eight short minutes is a testament to Ted’s craft.
Ted, who with his wife Courtney is preparing for the arrival of his first child, was unfortunately unable to be present to accept the award in person. Worse for Ted, the nearest available substitute to accept the honor on his behalf was me. Hopefully I performed ably enough in his stead.
Ted Balaker also directed FIRE’s film “Don’t Mess With Firefly! How SciFi Fans Made a Campus Safe for Free Speech,” about FIRE’s now-famous free speech case at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. “Don’t Mess With Firefly!” took the top prize in the short documentary category at the Anthem Film Festival in 2012 (Go FIRE! Go Browncoats!), and we’re delighted to add “Don’t Cage My Speech!” to the roster of our award-winning collaborations. We’re privileged by our work with Ted and his team, and we can’t wait to tackle our next project together.