A Coral Film Makes the Silver Screen

 

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This was the moment we were all waiting for: the premiere of our documentary “Curaçao’ s Coral Challenge: Reviving the Rain Forests of the Sea” at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

The room was filled with family, friends, Pace University faculty and film center regulars who came to be the first to see what we had worked on for so long. After an introduction by Dr. Nira Herrmann, Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, the lights dimmed and the opening montage and music began rolling.

As the film went on, we all had a feeling of mission accomplished. But after the credits rolled, there was more to be done. First came a Q&A led by Susan Todd, a prominent filmmaker.

 

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Photos by Andre Infante and Yumeng Ji

Then there were celebratory group photos. It was exciting to realize that the film center was hosting a simultaneous screening of “Antarctica 3D: On the Edge,” by the legendary environmental filmmaker Jon Bowermaster.

It was an unforgettable night.

And today, of course, there are a few final steps — the first being promoting the film to all of you and encouraging you to watch it on YouTube, read more on The New York Times blog Dot Earth and tell all your friends to watch and share the film, as well!

If you didn’t catch the premiere,  you can go to Dot Earth or Youtube to watch it now. And thank you for “keepin’ it coral” (some of us still wish that were the title)!

We are also sending out thank you notes to interviewees and others who helped with this amazing learning and creative process, as well as the staff at Jacob Burns.

Also, we can’t forget to thank Kayla Pacenka, the graduating high school senior who created all of the animations and graphics in our film. She’ll be studying graphic design at Marymount Manhattan College in the fall. They clearly have an eye for talent!

If you’re new to the film and our program, here’s a bit more background:

“Curaçao’s Coral Challenge – Reviving the Rain Forests of the Sea” is the fifth film in an award-winning series of Pace University student documentaries on environmental themes, each featured on The New York Times’ Dot Earth blog: http://j.mp/pacedocs.

As with all of the previous films, this documentary centers on a society seeking to enhance its economy without diminishing its environmental assets. In Curaçao’s case, the challenge is finding ways to move beyond an economy based for nearly 100 years on refining Venezuelan oil to a more diverse one including substantial tourism — but doing so without harming the still-vibrant reefs ringing parts of its coast.

The course, created by Pace Professor Maria Trimarco Luskay some 15 years ago, has made films about efforts to conserve natural resources since 2011, when she was joined by the veteran New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin, the Pace University Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding.

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