Press Release for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

UNF Hosts Terror at the Voting Booth Presentation

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102



The University of North Florida will host Terror at the Voting Booth at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the Robinson Theater on campus. The evening includes a viewing of the film “Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality” and presentations by social psychologist Sheldon Solomon and filmmaker Greg Bennick. This event is free and open to the public.

Bennick and Solomon will explore how subtle reminders of death can influence political preferences and perhaps even determine how you vote. “Flight from Death,” produced and written by Bennick, examines the role of death anxiety as the root cause of a substantial proportion of human behavior. This seven-time best documentary award-winning film (Silver Lake Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival) is the most comprehensive investigation of humankind’s relationship with death ever captured on film.

Solomon is a professor of psychology at Skidmore College who earned his bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College and his doctoral degree from the University of Kansas, where his training focused on experimental social psychology. He is probably best known for developing the Terror Management Theory, which is concerned with how humans deal with their own sense of mortality. Solomon is the author and co-author of more than a hundred articles and several books and has been featured in several films, including “Flight from Death,” and television documentaries as well as countless radio interviews.

Bennick is a professional speaker and award-winning producer and writer. His film work focuses on projects which explore the depths of human feeling and experience. His “Flight from Death” documentary was inspired by the works and writings of cultural anthropologist and social theorist Dr. Ernest Becker. The film began touring film festivals around the world in 2003 and was released on DVD in 2006. The film has since been screened throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia and has been used in more than a hundred colleges and universities as a means of initiating discussions on aggression and how to curb violence worldwide.

Bennick is currently at work on two new films, including “The Philosopher Kings,” which is slated for release in early 2009 and is a film which seeks wisdom in unlikely places from people who are most often marginalized and ignored by our society. His other current project is “The Lot,” a narrative feature about a group of friends who come together to make amends for a crime they committed together as children 20 years before and in doing so explore regret, making choices and trust. The movie is in preproduction and scheduled to be filmed this fall.

This event is sponsored by Movies on the House, The American Democracy Project, the Ethics Center, Honors Program and the departments of Communication, English, Philosophy and Religious Study, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology and Anthropology at UNF.

For more information, contact Jason Mauro at (904) 620-2273 or by e-mail at jmauro@unf.edu.

-UNF-