Liberty Through Film: Leveraging Media and Production for a Freer Future
Calvin Tran, an SFL alumnus and recent graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, is determined to be a part of the next generation of leaders in media, production and fashion. His path towards advancing liberty and civil discourse is refreshingly unconventional and ushers the ideas of liberty into uncharted waters.
Calvin is the founder and Creative Director at NODEHAUS, a media and production company. NODEHAUS is currently working on its first original production for Amazon Prime, a documentary series providing an introduction to blockchain technology in partnership with Coindesk.
“As a filmmaker, I didn’t think SFL would have much to give me. But SFL helped me form deep connections with other students. I actually met my fellow producers through SFL related events. If it wasn’t for SFL, I probably wouldn’t have stayed within the liberty movement and I would have been alone in film school, not voicing my opinions in one of the most progressive college environments. Through being able to express my ideas, I was able to form my identity as an artist.”
Calvin first got involved with Students For Liberty in 2015, during his sophomore year of college. In the Spring of 2016, he attended his first ISFLC, now rebranded as LibertyCon. “That conference was the memorable experience during my time as a coordinator. I met so many people, and there was so much energy in the atmosphere. SFL showed me how many different people there are in this philosophy. That there is a community.”
The following fall, Calvin was the Conference Director for the New York Regional Student Conference and as part of this conference, hosted the inaugural Students for Liberty New York Film Festival. The film festival came from Calvin’s desire to enhance the conference experience by including films and inviting student filmmakers who were not in the liberty movement but created films that centered on themes of human liberty and human flourishing. He believes SFL was central to making this happen,
“SFL helped me raise the funds for this and helped me make the connections with the right organizations to partner with. The previous summer, I had participated in SFL’s development training and fundraising is such a valuable skill now that I am growing my own business. Students For Liberty is very supportive of students launching their own ideas and that’s invaluable. ”
Since May 2018, Calvin’s media and production company, NODEHAUS, has also incorporated a streetwear label. The name of the label, GentrifyPyongyang, is a statement in itself. “The words already have connotations, but you don’t see them used together in that way. Gentrification and North Korea, what does one have to do with the other? The clothes are meant to enable people to cut through politics and create space for conversation.”
On Students For Liberty, Calvin says “SFL helped me form my voice as someone who’s interested in the philosophy of liberty. But more than that, SFL is a connector. You’re able to find your community through the events that are built to engage many different interests. SFL helped me form some deep connections with other students and that is a major reason I stayed within the liberty movement.”