Pace Gone Wild

Lights, camera, activism! On October 18, the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival will host free workshops on Pace’s NYC Campus.

For the last three years, the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival has brought together activists, experts filmmakers, non-governmental enthusiasts, representatives of the public and private sector, youth, scholars, and audiences from all walks of life to learn about the protection of biodiversity and sustainability through film.

This year’s WCFF will take place at NYIT with free workshops in Lecture Hall West on the NYC Campus on October 18. One of the workshops will feature Dyson Media and Communication Arts Professor Maria Luskay, EdD, and Pace Academy Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding Andrew Revkin, who both traveled to Baja during the spring to film a documentary on sea turtle poaching, which has been screened at various festivals since its spring debut.

Workshops will be held as follows:

October 18

Orion Magazine: “Rewilding the Planet”
J.B. MacKinnon discussion and book signing
1:00 p.m.–1:45 p.m.

Join author James MacKinnon and Orion magazine Editor Jennifer Sahn as they discuss his numerous Orion essays about wildlife, the documentary film he helped produce in 2012, Bear 71, and his new book The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, which has been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize. A native of British Columbia, MacKinnon has thought long and well about how humanity relates to its fellow animals, and his book charts a path to a saner relationship. Orion has been called “America’s finest environmental magazine” and has won numerous awards. MacKinnon’s book will be available and he will sign copies after the event.

Maria Luskay, EdD, and Andy Revkin
Pace University faculty
Viva la Tortuga
2:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m.

¡Viva la Tortuga! Meshing Conservation and Culture in Magdalena Bay, a documentary by a Pace University student team, chronicles how coastal communities in rural Mexico that once depended on sea turtle poaching and other activities depleting the region’s rich natural resources are now testing a new economic model, one built around fishing with turtle conservation in mind and tourism focused on the area’s extraordinary marine life.

The short film provides an intimate portrait of Grupo Tortuguero, a coalition of groups in the region working to balance economic advancement with environmental protection and striving to create a better life for both the community and the endangered sea turtles. More on the film can be found on the New York Times “Dot Earth” blog: “Can Technology and Tourism Sustain Mexico’s Sea Turtles?”.

Advanced registration is required. RSVP at http://bit.ly/1bzX6Hk.

 

Turtle Power: Conservation and Culture

PLV Media and Communication Arts students present the premiere of ¡Viva La Tortuga!, the documentary they wrote, shot, and produced on location in Baja.

A few months ago, we told you all about Dyson Professor Maria Luskay, EdD, New York Times “Dot Earth” blogger and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding Andrew Revkin, and the 12 Media and Communication Arts students who were headed to Mexico’s Baja peninsula to chronicle how communities that once depended on sea turtle poaching and other extractive activities depleting the region’s rich natural resources are now thriving with a new economic model, one built around conservation and sustainable tourism.

Camping on a remote stretch of beach, they filmed the marine and coastal wildlife around Magdalena Bay, the largest wetlands ecosystem on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California, north of Cabo San Lucas, as part of one of Pace’s unique travel courses.

After days and nights of researching, collecting, and editing, the students’ hard work comes to fruition as they present the premiere of their documentary, ¡Viva La Tortuga!: Meshing Conservation and Culture in Magdalena Bay, an intimate portrait of those working to balance economic advancement with environmental protection and striving to create a better life for both the community and the endangered sea turtles.

This year, both the NYC and PLV campuses will be treated to screenings:

PLV Campus:
Tuesday, May 7
4:00 p.m.
Wilcox Hall

NYC Campus:
Wednesday, May 8
4:00 p.m.
Student Union

The documentary runs 15 minutes and the student filmmakers and their professors will participate in a Q&A following the screening. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP is required. E-mail bsimon@pace.edu to RSVP for the PLV screening. For the NYC screening, e-mail ms63563n@pace.edu. For a sneak peek at what’s in store, click here. You can also read more about their journey on their blog at http://pacebaja.wordpress.com/.

Put a Cork in It

What does a bottle of wine have to do with the fate of forests? Follow Media and Communication Arts students as they head to Portugal to write, shoot, and produce a documentary on the cork industry.

To cork or not to cork, that is the question. On March 10, students in Dyson Professor Maria Luskay’s, EdD, Media and Communication Arts class will travel to Porto, Coruche, and Lisbon, Portugal, for seven days to shoot Battle Behind the Bottle: A Film on the Cork Question during spring break.

There is a connection between the bottle of wine on your restaurant table and the fate of forests that are repositories for wildlife across Southern Europe and parts of North Africa and a source of livelihood for 100,000 people–the cork.

For the past month, students have been hard at work preparing for their documentary: researching the cork industry, debating the pros and cons of different ways to close a bottle of wine, learning about the art of documentary film making, prepping equipment, and even shooting at Crabtree’s Kittle House, one of the premier wine cellars in New York.

Over the last two years, students in Luskay’s award-winning Media and Communication Arts class have traveled to the Netherlands to shoot a documentary on the U.S. Ambassador to Holland appointed by President Obama and to Belize where they chronicled the world of sustainable shrimp farming. The Life of an American Ambassador: The Netherlands won Best in Category for “Documentary” at the 4th Annual Indie Short Film Competition and Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp at a Time was awarded Best Short Documentary in the Best Shorts Film Festival.

There will be a screening of the documentary in May. But until then, follow them as they blog, Facebook, and tweet from PLV and Portugal.