videojournalismworkshops.com, WASHINGTON, DC, 20 August 2013 -- This is the trailer of our film, "Through Their Eyes," about six American University students who studied in Cuba during fall semester 2011. Post-production of the film has been completed and distribution begins soon.
Get to know this diverse group of students as they explore Cuba. Each changes in subtle but profound ways as a result of the time spent on the island -- forbidden to most Americans because of the decades-old economic embargo against the Castro government. And get to know Cuba "Through Their Eyes."
I spent the entire four-month fall semester 2011 with the students, teaching my "Photojournalism and Social Documentary" class. They took four other classes, all from Cuban professors. I filmed the documentary during my time there. My Cuban-born wife, Esther, produced much of the film, as she accompanied me on the trip for about two and a half months. Esther also edited the film.
In so many ways, this film really is the embodiment of "backpack video journalism," the methodology that I introduced at American University's School of Communication in 2007 and that has impacted visual communication in such a profound way.
Especially now, as the Obama administration loosens restrictions on travel and trade to Cuba, and as the Cuban government opens its doors to economic change, this film and the students' experiences are more timely and more pertinent than ever.
-- Bill Gentile