Students from Pace University have been working on a documentary about the hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico. The film is set to premiere on May 1 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville with a second showing May 7 in Manhattan at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.
Led by Maria Luskay, a professor in the department of media, communications and visual arts at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, the 18 students interviewed more than 60 people in 11 locations including rainforests, coastal and mountain villages and the city of San Juan. They talked with officials from FEMA, social service agencies, the Puerto Rican government and Con Edison about the challenges of restoring normalcy to the island.
Rachel Skopp-Cardillo, one of the students, said, “I was lucky enough to see Con Edison turn on power for an elementary school that hadn’t had electricity since Hurricane Irma (which was followed by Hurricane Maria). I will never forget the smiles, tears and cheers of the children.”
“This is experiential education – students are learning in the field and experiencing another culture, another world, outside of their classroom,” said Luskay. “They learn the value and importance of teamwork and organization as well as how to solve problems and adapt to changes in the story as it develops.”