For the second time in the past three years, a Goshen College student has brought home the award for the Everence national video contest called “Money Talks.”
Elizabeth Derstine is a fourth-year film and English writing double major at Goshen College. Recently, Derstine claimed the nationwide award for her video, “Money Talks: The Wallet Diaries.”
The video personifies the wallet of a Goshen College student as it confesses it doesn’t have many friends; only acquaintances that come and go—until the wallet comes across an Everence debit card that sticks around.
“I was hoping to share the idea that money is important, but what can be equally important is how you chose to spend it,” said Derstine. “The final shot of the short shows how what gave the main character joy was using money for people and investing in relationships.”
The Everence Money Talks video contest is a nationwide opportunity for people ages 15-25 to create a video expressing a message about the role of finances in people’s lives.
The grand prize winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, along with an added $1,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. Second and third place prizes receive $500 and $250 respectively, with a match to their own charities.
Derstine selected The Cambodian Center for Human Rights as her charity. Sam Carlson, a senior and the main actor, suggested this organization. “He is currently on SST there [Cambodia] along with some of my other favorite people,” she said. “They do great work on empowering communities and activists.”
Derstine, however, isn’t new to the Everence video contest. The official winner of the 2013 Money Talks contest was Jared Zook, a 2015 alumnus. Zook and Derstine worked together on the 2015 winner, “I Am a Penny.” The two ended up splitting the grand prize, with the additional $1,000 going to the Foods and Resource Bank of Chicago.
Forging ideas for films and stories comes naturally to Derstine, a necessity for someone who plans to pursue a career in film making. “I like creating things, but it can be hard for me to motivate myself if I don’t have a deadline,” Derstine said. “Entering the contest gave me a reason to shoot a short film. It had a purpose and a timeline that I needed to follow.”
Derstine credits much of her success in filmmaking to the hands-on availability she experiences through her production classes and FiveCore Media, Goshen College’s nationally awarded video production team.
Kyle Hufford, the manager of FiveCore Media, said that he greatly values Derstine’s role in the company.
“Elizabeth has been one of our top students in our program the last few years. This most recent accomplishment of hers speaks to her passion, commitment and ability to tell great stories,” he said. “It has been rewarding for us to see her grow and develop as a writer, producer and director.”
“Money Talks: The Wallet Diaries” is available to watch at Everence’s official website.