Week 8: Student Loan Debt Panel

This week in class, we will be attending the student loan debt panel in SU 243 that I have organized for my third documentary project, called Facing Student Loans: Sentenced to Debt. The videos above are my first interviews for this project. This project will attempt to conduct video interviews with 100 participants suffering under student loan debt in order to provide the face/narrative of this economic crisis. Please watch the 27 minute documentary Default: The Student Loan Documentary. Be sure to have some questions for our panelists. If you are interested in participating in the project, let me know. This would consist of a 30-60 minute videotaped interview that would be posted online.


Week 7: Immigration & Technology

This week in class, we have guest speaker Silvia Mejia, an Assistant Professor of Spanish and American Studies at The College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY). She will be sharing her documentary film Just a Click Away From Home.


Synopsis: Speechless, Arturo and Mercedes see their children on the videoconferencing screen: it is their first reunion since the kids left Ecuador and settled in NYC, 11 years ago. Meanwhile, Gloria–whose husband migrated to Spain–promotes internet access to rescue families separated by migration, whereas Carla takes advantage of email and digital photography to report on the Ecuadorian community in Italy. Through new technologies, Ecuadorian immigrants displaced in New York, Madrid and Milan cope with nostalgia and find themselves “just click away from home.”


Week 6: Documenting Sex Workers

On October 10, 2012, we will have the head Master and Mistress of La Domaine Esemar be our guest speakers. La Domaine Esemar is a professional BDSM dungeon that services clients, hosts monthly parties, and maintains an active BDSM lifestyle. Please explore a bit of the La Domaine website to get an idea of the place. I have been filming my current documentary at La Domaine, exploring this subculture and how it relates to the larger world of sex workers. I will be filming the guest speakers’ discussion to include with my documentary film (students won’t be filmed). I will also be talking about what it was like for me as a filmmaker to find this location and the guest speakers will talk about the ways in which the filming has impacted their experience.

There are no assigned readings this week, but you should explore the La Domaine website and also look up relevant information about the BDSM subculture, and sex worker social issues in general. Here are two clips from this documentary project:

In addition to the hour we will have with our guest speakers, I will talk about the world of documentary films that portray sex workers. Then we will watch Scarlet Road in class.

For your websites, your page on documentary films is also do. Please post a link to it on this blog posting and be ready to talk about it in class, if we have time.

Week 5: Documenting the Tattoo Industry

On October 3, 2012, we had four guest speakers join us to discuss how the tattoo industry is represented in documentary film. The guest included Phil Padwe, children’s book author of Mommy Has a Tattoo; Emma Griffiths, tattooist in NYC; Pat Sinatra, tattooist at Pat’s Tats in Kingston, NY; and Jen Carmean, tattooist at Monarch Tattoo in Newfoundland, NJ.

We watched clips from various tattoo documentaries, covering a span of topics: Hori Smoku, Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy, Tattoo the World, Mario Barth: Under the Skin, Tattooed Under Fire, and Covered.

What did students think of the documentaries and the responses of the tattooists? What did you learn about the tattoo industry?

Also, please post a link to your website on the comment section below.