What’s Up, Doc?

There’s a whole lot of film fever going on at Pace this month. Guess it’s time to see the doc…umentaries that are heating up the University.

As you’re reading this, Pace students in Professor Maria Luskay’s media class are knee-deep in shellfish, shooting a documentary on sustainable shrimp farming in Belize.  Follow them as they learn all about the wonderful world of Belizean shrimp farming, locate infant shrimp “imagine an eyelash with two little eyes on the end,” and shoot footage while laying inside a canoe on a shrimp pool. Check out their blog.

This isn’t the first time Luskay has arranged such a great trip. Last year, 15 students in her Producing the Documentary class traveled to Holland, where they shadowed and filmed a documentary on Fay Hartog-Levin, the American Ambassador to Holland appointed by President Obama. That documentary The Life of an American Ambassador: The Netherlands, which was written, directed, filmed, and produced by Pace students, was chosen as Best in Category for “Documentary” in the 2010 Indie Short Film Competition. Check out their blog for information about this life-changing trip and read the latest news release on the win here. You can also watch the documentary here.

The little high school that could…and did. Pace High School, one of the new “small” public high schools in NYC, is the topic of some buzz, too. A new half-hour documentary, Small School Big City, about Pace High School by Ken Browne Productions premiered as the concluding special event at the 2011 Professional Development Schools National Conference in New Orleans on March 12. Narrated by Sesame Street‘s Roscoe Orman, the documentary tells the story of how a chance meeting between a Pace professor of education and a New York City middle school assistant principal turned into a high school that just last year had 4,700 applicants for 108 open spots. View the trailer for the film here.

And that’s not all, folks. A documentary produced by a Pace student in Professor Jim Lawler’s CIS 102W Community Engagement through Information Systems and Technologies course at AHRC New York City, an agency that helps individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, was chosen competitively for screening at the 9th Annual Sprout Film Festival to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 29-May 1. Finding Fred, a film written, directed, and produced by Film and Screen Studies student Geoffrey Kappenberg, “shows the development of love, admiration, and enormous devotion between two brothers once separated by the Willowbrook State School, an institution for ‘children with mental retardation.'”