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With President Krislov’s Backing, Pace’s “Making the Documentary” Class is Set To Film In Puerto Rico

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With President Krislov’s Backing, Pace’s “Making the Documentary” Class is Set To Film In Puerto Rico

Photo by Jakub Lewandowski

Photo by Jakub Lewandowski

Photo by Jakub Lewandowski

Photo by Jakub Lewandowski

Jakub Lewandowski, Feature Writer

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After fifteen trips to make documentaries, Dr. Maria Luskay’s “Making the Documentary” classes have made films on a variety of subjects in many places.

And although Luskay looks for stories before choosing a location, deciding on this year’s destination took many turns.

Originally, the team was supposed to go to Vieques, Puerto Rico to make a documentary about a naval base on the island and the people who live there. However, Hurricane Maria hit the island on Sept. 20. 2017, thus killing 547 people and causing around $100 billion in damage. Vieques, let alone all of Puerto Rico seemed to no longer be an option.

Luskay then decided that the class would go to the Florida Keys to do a documentary about the hurricane and how it affected the people of Islamorada.

President Krislov, however, had other ideas.

“I had a meeting with President Krislov, and he strongly encouraged me to go to Puerto Rico and approved it because he felt that this was a huge story that needed to be told,” said Luskay.

Despite President Krislov’s approval, there were still quite a few challenges facing the team. Currently, FEMA is using all of the hotels in Puerto Rico, so Luskay’s class will be moving into the Marriott in San Jaun as soon FEMA moves out. From there, the team will be traveling around Puerto Rico.

As with every other class, Luskay and this year’s students have ideas of what the documentary may be about, but the story doesn’t develop until they get to the location.

This year’s class includes three students who have previously taken the course. Joe Gonzalez went to Cuba two years ago, and Kelly Whritenour, along with Felicia Robcke went to Florida last year.

Robcke thinks that this year’s documentary will focus more on the people of Puerto Rico, whereas last year’s film focused more on the environment.

Whritenour, meanwhile, believes that this documentary will be more “in the spotlight” than many of the past films, due to how much public attention the disaster is receiving.

Pace is also the first university to be filming a documentary in Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricane.

The film is set to premiere on May 1st at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. The team’s hash tag #pacedocs, can be followed on Facebook (Pace Docs), Twitter (@PaceDocs), Instagram (pacedocs), Youtube (Pace Docs), and their blog (pacedocs2018.wordpress.com) which will all be updated throughout the semester.

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