PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Ten students from Dyson College’s award-winning media, communications and visual arts travel documentary production class premiered their spring project, “Curaçao’s Coral Challenge: Reviving the Rain Forests of the Sea” on Tuesday at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.
This is the first time a documentary produced by the class has premiered on the big screen. The film can be seen on YouTube and, in another first for this course, will air on national television in Curaçao, on TeleCuracao.
The 25-minute film explores the Caribbean island’s efforts to save coral reefs despite a host of threats that include climate change, invasive lionfish and the pollution and fishing impacts that often accompany rapid coastal development. The documentary details how coral reef health affects the businesses of local fishermen as well as the tourism industry and how the key stakeholders and policy makers are working together to find the balance between tourism and conservation.
Nira Herrmann, dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, gave opening remarks at the premiere.
“All of us at Dyson College are very proud of the work our talented Media, Communications, and Visual Arts students do to produce these short documentaries about the enormous challenges involved in balancing human progress with environmental limits," said Herrmann. "Year after year, we look forward to seeing their film and hearing about an important environmental story we may not learn about elsewhere."
Following the film, there was a Q&A session, moderated by Emmy award-winning director Susan Todd, with the student filmmakers and their professors, Maria Luskay, EdD, and Andrew Revkin.
During the panel session, students shared their experiences in making the film. Student Grace Telesco spoke about how everyone on the student team was involved in the process, “some on lights, some on sound, some on camera work, but all truly had a hands-on experience.”
For a behind-the-scenes look, read more about the student team on their blog or webpage or follow them on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter. And to experience the action – visit Pace Coral vlogs on YouTube.