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.