Students decked to the nines gathered at Harvard Law School on Nov. 17 for the seventh annual Tortys.

With silver, gold, and white streamers adorning Austin Hall, dozens of students — bedecked in flowing floor-length ball gowns, smart bow ties, pencil-thin high heels, and even a gold crown — ascended the red carpet to Ames Courtroom for an Oscar-style film festival examining important issues of justice and tort law.

Professor Jon Hanson, a four-time winner of Harvard Law School’s Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence, kicked off the night’s event dressed in a black tuxedo with matching mask. Hanson conceived of the ceremony in 2017, as a way to showcase research videos made by Section Six students in his first year torts class.  

The event has since grown into one of the semester’s leading social events. In addition to showcasing creative film presentations, a number of students also displayed their talents, ranging from a singing performance to a piano duo. Emcees handed out golden statues to creators of the winning films. 

Members of the Harvard Law community turned out to support the event, including Harvard Law Professor Jim Greiner, a Harry Potter fan who sat in the front row with a painted lightning bolt scar on his forehead and a stuffed owl in his hands. 

Tort Reports: Student Films on Systemic Issues

Each year since 2017, students in Hanson’s Section Six have committed to working in teams to produce short films centered around a particular case or issue concerning torts. This year’s submissions included films about the recently-revealed connection between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder and cancer (which took home the “Grand Torty,” the evening’s highest honor), and the freight train derailment in Palestine, Ohio, and the “controlled burn” of chemicals that followed. Others touched on everything from TikTok to the cultural narratives surrounding the sensational Depp v. Heard trial that took place earlier this year. 

Here is the full playlist of this year’s winners and submissions, along with several from years past.

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