WASHINGTON, DC, 22 March 2013 — Some of the footage used in this piece about JFK was drawn from “Through Their Eyes,” the one-hour documentary that my wife, Esther, and I made about AU Abroad students in Cuba during fall 2011. We’re proud to see it used in conjunction with coverage of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s speech on world peace.
You can watch the video HERE.
We screened a fine cut of our documentary on 30 January of this year. The final version should be ready for distribution soon.
How curious that the histories and the destinies of Cuba and the United States still are bound together so tightly. And how sad it is that the AU Abroad program that we documented in 2011 will not be conducted in Cuba this year for lack of student enrollment.
- Bill Gentile
22 March 2013
WASHINGTON, DC, 15 March 2013 — This is a brief piece put together by the U.S. State Department on “citizen journalism,” one component of the broader methodology that we refer to as “backpack video journalism.” Erin Finicane is a former student of mine at American University’s School of Communication, and she embodies the ideal of citizen journalism. She’s talented and idealistic, and wants to use media to affect positive change. She made this video during my Backpack Documentary class. I’m so proud of her. You can watch her video HERE.
The State Department also did a video on me, as instructor and practitioner of the craft. You can see it HERE.
I hope you enjoy them.
WASHINGTON, DC, 11 March 2013 — James Niceley (left) uploads sound from our new documentary, “Through Their Eyes,” about six American University students studying in Cuba during Fall 2011. “Jake” is Assistant Professor at Mike Curb College of Arts Music & Science, and Assistant Chair of Music Production Technology, at Daytona State College.
Jake is doing the “sound sweetening” of our documentary, which we screened on 30 January at American University.
(Photo by Esther Gentile.)
WASHINGTON, DC, 12 March 2013 — The State Department recently published this video about “citizen journalism,” which is made possible in recent years by the advances in hand-held digital cameras and the Internet. A State Department crew interviewed me for the piece, and used material generated by one of my students, Erin Finicane. It’s Erin’s work that is featured in the story, because it’s a perfect example of what citizen journalism can achieve.
For her class project, Erin did a short documentary on how a group of tenants purchased an apartment building that had been practically abandoned by its owner, who wanted to drive out tenants to refurbish the building and sell high-priced condominiums. Erin’s documentary was crucial in the tenants’ quest for assistance from the city to buy the building from the owner.
You can watch the State Department video HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC, 23 February 2013 — The seeds that my AU Abroad students planted in Cuba during fall semester 2011 continue to bear fruit. Click HERE to read a story and to see pictures made by Efrain Ramirez, one of six AU students studying on the island at that time. All six students took my “Photojournalism and Social Documentary” course. They took four other classes, all from Cuban professors.
WASHINGTON, DC, 15 February 2013 — American University’s School of Communication (SOC) posted a story about the screening of “Through Their Eyes,” our documentary on six American University (AU) students studying in Cuba during fall 2011. The AU students were part of the AU Abroad program.
You can read the story HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC, 30 January 2013 — Sara Dumont, director of AU Abroad, addresses the audience assembled for the screening of “Through Their Eyes,” our documentary about six American University students who studied in Cuba during fall semester 2011. The screening was followed by a Q&A with students featured in the film.
WASHINGTON, DC, 27 January 2013 — I record the latest version of narration for “Through Their Eyes,” our one-hour documentary about six American University students studying in Cuba during Fall 2011. My friend and colleague, Russell Williams, produced this session at one of American University’s campus studios. His advice on sound and narration are making a critical difference in the quality of the documentary.
“Through Their Eyes” screens on Wednesday 30 January at American University’s Ward Building, auditorium #1. The public is invited to this free event. Food and refreshment is being served.
(Photo by Russell Williams.)
WASHINGTON, DC, 26 January 2013 — Join us for the screening this Wednesday 30 January of “Through Their Eyes,” a one-hour documentary about six American University students studying in Cuba during fall semester 2011. See how each student is transformed by the experience. The documentary will screen in the Ward Building, Room #1. This is the American University building located right at the intersection of Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues. The auditorium is located in the basement level. Food and refreshment will be served. We look forward to seeing you there. Admission is free.
For those of you interested in the craft, this documentary is the embodiment of the “backpack video journalism” model that I introduced to American University in 2007. It’s one properly trained person performing the work of camera, sound, producer, correspondent, writer and narrator. The film is edited by my wife, Esther.
You can watch the trailer HERE.
Thanks and best regards,
WASHINGTON, DC, 14 January 2013 — The workshop, “Religious Responses to Violence in Latin America,” opened Monday at the Founders Room of American University’s (AU) School of International Service. The two-day event is hosted by AU’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), headed by director Eric Hershberg.
The workshop brings together some of the foremost experts of the hemisphere on the issue of religion and violence. I participated in the event because I had conducted an 11-day video assignment on gangs and the evangelical church in Guatemala. I documented the work of Robert Brenneman, of St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. Brenneman is the author of, “Homies + Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.” He traveled to Guatemala this month to follow up on interviews with former gang members.