The Big Move
By: Jialing Zhang
The Big Move will show four Chinese peasant farmers leaving their hometown this summer and moving into a strange land and an unknown future, as they are forced to move to make way for China’s newly-launched South-North Water Diversion Project, one of the most ambitious and controversial hydro-engineering projects in world history. This documentary will show Chinese farmers’ lives in close up, and will bring audience to the despairs and hopes, the struggles and resilience of the large almost “invisible” population behind China’s economy miracle.
Jialing Zhang recently came to New York from Beijing to pursue a Master’s degree in journalism at NYU. She worked as a news researcher for the Beijing office of TV of Catalonia until September 2008, when she covered the Sichuan earthquake, the 2008 G8 Hokkaido Summit and the Beijing Olympics. She hopes to become an documentary filmmaker in the future.
Chinese in Africa: Chinafricanism?
By: Yara Costa Pereira
From China to Africa: An intimate look at the lives of 3 successful Chinese businessmen who make fortunes out of the poor African countries (Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique) they now call home.
Yara Costa Pereira is a journalist from Mozambique. After living in Angola and South Africa and working in Brazil as a reporter, she decided she wanted to tell the untold stories of Africa and help to counter the negative stereotypes that so often characterize the continent in Western media. Last year she received the Fulbright scholarship to study news and documentary filmmaking at NYU, where she is currently working on her first documentary.
Green Buildings in Brooklyn
By: Charlie Hoxie
In Brooklyn, New York, energy expert Henry Gifford is building the most efficient apartment house in North America, but why does nobody care? The “Passive House” technique he employs is widely used in Europe but little known in the US, and building scientists from Germany, Austria, and Sweden explain why. Experts in the US place part of the blame on an American fascination with a green building certification that focuses on environmentally friendly bells and whistles but does not take into account a building’s actual energy use.
Charlie Hoxie is an independent multimedia journalist and Master of Arts candidate at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Before coming to NYU, Charlie worked on several documentary productions for public television and theatrical release, including African American Lives 2 by Kunhardt Productions, the Emmy Award-winning series The Mysterious Human Heart by David Grubin, and several films by Alex Gibney, including Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson and the Academy-Award winning Taxi to the Dark Side. His work has been broadcast on NYCTV and will soon be featured on The Local: East Village, a news site published by the New York Times. He holds a B.A. in geology from Amherst College and covers topics related to science and the environment.
Children of Cambodia
By: Andrew Hongo
Thousands of children live and work on the streets of Cambodia: sleeping on its sidewalks, scouring its gutters for recyclables to sell for pennies, turning to drugs for an escape from the grim realities of daily survival. In a country still reeling from the effects of the Khmer Rouge’s mass genocide, is there any hope for these kids? Documentarian Andrew Hongo follows the lives of two children on the streets, and the fight of those trying to help them.
Andrew Hongo grew up in Hawaii, came out East for college, and has since traveled to over thirty countries. Having worked as a community developer in Vietnam, a high-school teacher in Honolulu, and a choir director in Brooklyn, he has found that the work of an international videojournalist allows him to experience adventure while also giving a voice to those who might otherwise have none.
Gross National Happiness
By: Lily Vosoughi
From one of the most isolated countries in the world known as Bhutan, which implemented Gross National Happiness to take the place of Gross Domestic Product to the U.S., we take a look at the different interpretations of ‘happiness’. The very premise of GNH challenges our values and the way we view success, a movement that is eliciting worldwide debates at international summits called International Gross National Happiness Conferences, the latest of which was held here in the U.S. In this documentary entitled “Happy-ness”, we explore the science of happiness, how this concept of Gross National Happiness challenges much of the ideals maintained in a capitalist-driven environment of GDP and what it means to be ‘happy’ across international borders.
Lily Vosoughi holds an undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and History and formerly worked as an Associate Producer at ABC News, gaining a broad range of experience in varied roles in news production. After documenting her travels to remote regions of the world such as Bhutan, Iran and India, her passion for journalism coupled with a lifelong affinity for foreign cultures proved to make for the most fulfilling pursuit. Upon graduating, she hopes to travel the world as a reporter, covering issues relevant to the international and political news arena.
Without key natural predators, one of the biggest threats to the stability of an ecosystem is deer overpopulation. Once home to a thriving and balanced population of wolves and other predators, the Northeastern United States now faces an ecological catastrophe from a deer population that is eating its way through wild forests and farmer’s crops, and causing accidents and Lyme disease along the way. Several documentaries exist that cover conservation efforts and for America’s top predators – mostly the wolf – out west where those efforts have yielded positive ecological results. However, people pay little attention to the real impact deer have on people and the environment, or to the network of wolf and other predator conservationists in the eastern United States.
Bio I grew up in the New York suburbs, about thirty minutes outside the city, and when I was in fourth and fifth grades I went through a phase in which I was obsessed with all things pertaining to Native American culture (I know it was 5th grade because that fall I spent an entire month researching traditional Seneca attire and sewing together my own costume with total cultural accuracy because no Halloween store had what I wanted). What fascinated me so much about Native Americans was their collective respect for the world they lived in, and the other creatures they shared it with, despite how diverse their individual cultures were. They knew how to live with the world as a member of it. They would give thanks when it was necessary to take something from nature, and took only what they needed, rather than consuming at will and without regard for the impact of their consumption on their surroundings. I hope that citizens of the modern world can learn to respect not just the
planet itself, but to respect one another and see our species as one of many playing our individual role in the collective world.
Leon Huang’s (Junliang Huang) Final Project
“My father’s story: An American Dream in China” is a 30-minute documentary about how the filmmaker’s father realized his American dream of success in the context of the dramatic social and economic upheavals in China over the past 40 years.
Junliang Huang is an international student from Shanghai, China. He received his B.A. in Shanghai China and is currently pursuing his Masters degree in the News & Documentary program of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University. He grew up in a family that lived through the dramatic social and economic upheavals that took place in China since the 1940s. Huang decided to use this long‐form journalistic documentary to record the profound transformations his country has gone through.
Ten years after WWII, the United States initiated 66 nuclear test bombings in the Marshall Islands and conducted secret radiation testing on unknowing populations of displaced Marshallese. This documentary tells the story, in their own words, of the often impoverished people living in the Marshall Islands who survived the bombings, examining the long-term effects of radiation and cultural displacement on these people and their descendents, some of whom now live as immigrants in the U.S. The film also details the continuing efforts by the Marshallese people to obtain the financial restitution promised to them by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal of the U.S. government.
by Steven McCann
In inner city Dublin, young boys and girls are finding an escape from drugs and crime in boxing, a sport with which Ireland has long been associated. Boxing clubs provide a support network for these at-risk-youths as well as, in some cases, giving the children a training in a sport that they can make money and leave the poverty cycle that they were born into.
This documentary will discuss the nelglected rights of millions of migrant workers to have a normal sexual life. These workers live in cities far from their families and usually visit home once a year. Some workers, for the first time, will talk about their sexual suppression while living away from their spouses.
BIO Weier Ge, producer
Weier Ge is a Master’s Candidate of Journalism at NYU and already has a B.A in International Trade and Economy.
Raised and educated in Shanghai, China’s economic center, Weier is always open-minded and eager to explore the world herself. Also, her experience of NYU Journalism has offered her a far more profound journalistic perspective.
During her study in NYU Journalism, Weier has worked individually or with her classmates on stories about hyperactivity students, former offenders fighting back, homeless people and overcrowded housing issues in New York’s Chinatown
SEARCH FOR IDENTITY: The quest of D-Day US Orphans
“Search for Identity” is a 40-minute documentary about the quest of American orphans who lost their father during the Battle of Normandy, France, in 1944. High Definition camera and vérité footage, along with testimonials from three orphans, will show how their fathers’ deaths create a deep need and search for identity. Although most people about D-Day, it is often viewed as history, but we tend to forget that it still has a strong impact on thousands of Americans such as Harry, Ann and Maxine want to keep their fathers’ memory alive and to honor what they died for: our Freedom. This desire to remember is still shared by the French who live in Normandy.
I spent most of my life in Normandy and my parents are still living there. At six years old, I was already singing the American National anthem, for the 50th anniversary ceremonies of D-Day. After welcoming Americans into our home, I finally decided to study at NYU. I am doing a PhD thesis in History at the Sorbonne University as well.
THE LEBANESE COMMUNITY IN DAKAR, SENEGAL: A DISPLACED ECONOMIC ELITE?
This is a 30-minute film documenting the Lebanese population in Dakar, Senegal, and their waning role as the economic elite of the city. Dakar, one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities along the West coast of Africa, prides itself on its cultural tradition of teranga—hospitality and openness to outsiders. Yet the recent arrival of hundreds—according to some sources, thousands—of Chinese immigrants in Dakar has disrupted a post-colonial ‘balance’ premised on Lebanese supremacy in all business and commerce-related affairs.
As the product of a French Lycée education in Canada, the U.S. and Italy, I grew up reading and hearing about the post-colonial world of ‘Francophonie’—French-speaking nations in which the French language and culture are mixed in with local traditions. The case study of the Lebanese population in Dakar particularly appealed to me because it brought together two distinct francophone cultures forced into contact through French colonization.
Moreover, having had a Lebanese-American roommate at Yale, I became particularly interested in the variety of diasporic Lebanese populations around the globe, and the differences in their assimilation and economic success rates.
The recent arrival of the culturally and linguistically distant Chinese population has modified this post-colonial ‘balance’ and highlighted a historical ‘cycle’ of Senegalese hostility to immigrant traders, which seems to contradict the cultural tradition of teranga.
In the Dark: Life and Choices of Chinese Coal Miners
China’s coal mining industry is the deadliest in the world and has the world’s worst safety record. Coal provides around 70% of China’s energy needs, and in a country boasting the fastest economic growth rates in the world, energy is an urgently needed resource. The Chinese government acknowledges a death toll of 2,631 coal mine workers in 2009, a number higher than the total number of people killed in mining accidents anywhere else in the world put together in that year.
“In the Dark” is a 90-minute film documenting three coal workers and their families in east Sichuan, China. Hard choices and tragic situation overwhelmed the families as the story unfolds. Death is witnessed in the film.