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Date: Jul 02, 2012
Aspiring Teen Filmmakers To Explore Cultural Diversity in Popular Hofstra Documentary Film Program
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY - Ten students from New York City and Long Island high schools have been chosen to participate in this year’s Documenting Diversity program, an innovative summer initiative at Hofstra University that will teach and challenge them to examine each other’s cultures through the art of documentary filmmaking. Now in its sixth year, the program is funded by The Rosenthal Family Foundation, a charitable organization established by Hofstra alumni Monica Horan Rosenthal and Phil Rosenthal, creator and executive producer of the award-winning television series “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
The five-week program allows students from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds to partner up and make documentaries about each other that explore the similarities and differences that shape their points of view as emerging adults. The participants work under the guidance of Hofstra’s award-winning television and film faculty and student mentors, and they not only learn the technical elements of professional filmmaking in a rigorous academic environment, but also establish lasting friendships and gain a more informed outlook on other cultures and ways of life.
According to program co-directors William Jennings and Aashish Kumar, students will participate in writing, editing and producing workshops that look at themes including identity formation and articulation. They will also be trained in the use of the School of Communication’s state-of-the-art video equipment and editing software. Once their short films are completed, the students are invited back to a red-carpet gala in the fall where their films are publicly screened.
Admission to the Documenting Diversity program is highly competitive and offered free of cost. Students who successfully complete their films also receive a generous stipend. More information, including video clips from past participants, can be found at the Documenting Diversity link below.
BIOS OF 2012 STUDENT PARTICIPANTS:
Maudeline Clervoix attends Flushing International High School. She was born in Haiti, where she saw her home devastated by an earthquake in 2010, leaving her family homeless. She now enjoys working with computers and participates in community service projects through Action Now at Queens College.
Yara de Paula Barbosa attends the International High School at Lafayette in Brooklyn, New York, but she was born in Brazil. She is a mentor for the Explorer’s Club and expressed her desire to be an actress in the Drama Club.
Austin J. Parenti attends Syosset High School. His life is informed by his Christian faith, which he says allows him to “have a deeper acceptance of the people around him.” He plays the saxophone and piano, and participates in the Acting and Theater Program as well as the Marching Band at Syosset High School.
Dona La Forey attends the High School of Art and Design and hails from the Bronx. She is close to her large extended family and is proud of her Caribbean heritage. She is active in extra-curricular activities, the highlight of which was her trip to Madrid, Seville, and Cordoba with her Spanish class this spring.
Juan Carlos Rivera-Morales attends Uniondale High School where he is active in a diverse range of extra-curricular activities including wrestling, art club, and honor society. His goal is to promote a “green outlook on our planet” by becoming an environmental engineer.
Ke Ding attends Flushing International High School. A recent immigrant from China, Ke is enthusiastic about the extra-curricular opportunities available to him. Of particular impact was his experience traveling all over New York City taking photographs as a member of his school’s photography club.
Julia Cupolo attends Garden City High School, but began her life in Queens living in a richly diverse neighborhood comprised of Indians, Haitians and Hispanics. Julia enjoys fencing, is an accomplished pianist, and is currently a candidate for the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Sydney Johnson attends Long Island Lutheran High School where she is active in the Yearbook Club and the National Honor Society. She wants to be a filmmaker someday, and her large extended family has put her to work making her the official videographer for their many family events.
Vamadi Golo attends Hempstead High School. Vamadi was born in Manhattan, but has spent most of his childhood in Ethiopia, his parents’ country of origin. At Hempstead High School, he is a competitive swimmer, the Key Club Treasurer, and involved with social causes such as the AIDS Walk and book drives for local elementary schools.
Catherine Litvaitis attends Our Lady of Mercy Academy where she is very involved in extracurricular activities including Reverse-Shakespeare Company, Video Club, the school newspaper, and the National Honor Society. She returns to Hofstra having previously attended the Hofstra High School Summer Journalism Institute. Music, she says, is her major inspiration.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Engineering and Applied Science, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
Related Link: Documenting Diversity website