I am filled with nostalgia to report that the 2019 Producing a Documentary course has come to a close. 14 weeks worth of hard work and dedication finally paid off as we showcased our documentary over two days in two different theaters. We are lucky to have a department that shows so much support to our class and this project. Tuesday, May 7 marked our initial premiere at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. Pace’s Public Relations Event Planning class prepared the reception area with Hawaiian themed food and decorations for our class and our many supporters who came out to see us.

For an hour before the premiere, we were able to chat with our family, friends, professors, and peers to reflect on our experience. Two seemingly separate aspects of our lives merged as our professors met our family members. The reality of our documentary hit us when we saw so many people who were about to watch our film on the big screen. This project is real; it is truly something to be proud of.  It was a strange, but reassuring feeling to be able to relax and celebrate our work for the first time all semester.

A few short months ago, we were just a group of strangers. After months of supporting each other through our nerves and anxieties, pushing each other to be our best, and working together through stressful times, we are now far from strangers. Through the spirit of Aloha, we came together and created something that will stay with us throughout the duration of our lives.

In hindsight, our fears that we had in the beginning of the semester were unrealistic. Will we make friends? Will we know how to answer people’s questions at the premiere Q&A? Will people like our story? And most of all, will we be able to pull this thing off? The short answer to all of those questions is: Yes!  After the first premiere, we were all excited and ready to do it all over again the next day in the Big Apple. The showing at the Schimmel Center went just as smoothly as the first, ending with a compelling Q&A that brought back many memories of Hawaii.

Although we only spent a week on the Big Island, we were really able to get a feel for the Hawaiian culture and experience the spirit of Aloha. We spoke to so many people that touched our lives in such a short amount of time. There was over nine hours of footage that we wish could have put into our film. Unfortunately, with our time constraints, we had to “cut our darlings” as Dr. Luskay likes to call it and really narrow down our focus.

Without further adieu, here is the official link to Hawaii: Living on the Edge in Paradise? . So the film is released to the public and the class is over… but in reality it is far from over. We are not ready to walk away from our project just yet. Not until we submit our documentary to as many film festivals as we can fit the criteria for. This is already such a great accomplishment for our class, but winning an award would be icing on the cake.

Until then, Aloha and Mahalo!