Pace University's Media, Communications, and Visual Arts students filming with one holding a camera, one directing, and one holding a light

Student-Produced Documentaries

These award-winning films were produced as part of Pace University's Producing the Documentary course that works to prepare students for careers in media, journalism, communications, public relations, advertising, video production and film. Contact course lead Maria Luskay, EdD, at for any questions or media inquiries.

The Cooper: Crafting the Soul of the Cask

Spring 2024 — The Cooper is an exploration of the art of cask making, also known as cooperage. Its rich history that can be traced back to ancient civilizations, with evidence of wooden containers used for storing and transporting liquids found in archaeological sites dating as far back as 2690 BCE in Egypt. The type of cask and the type of wood used in winemaking can significantly influence the taste, aroma, and characteristics of wine in Spain, as in other winemaking regions around the world.

The documentary was filmed in the Andalusian region of Spain, specifically Montilla-Mariles over the course of several weeks. You can also view the Spanish version of The Cooper on YouTube.

For the Love of Food: Pour l’amour de la Cuisine

Spring 2023 — The Slow Food Movement began in the 1980s to preserve the culture of eating locally and combat the popularization of fast food. While eating farm-to-table has become a global phenomenon, nowhere is this passion for clean eating more apparent than in France, where generations have relied on locally grown foods. From family-owned farms and markets in the Laon and Lorraine countryside to beautiful restaurants in the heart of Paris, all the way back to a farm-to-fork eatery in Westchester, New York, this documentary explores the environmental and health benefits of eating clean, locally-grown goods, the value of family traditions, embracing culture and heritage through cooking, and, of course, the love of food.

Tide to Table: The Remarkable Journey of Oysters

Spring 2022 — Oysters rely on the ebb and flow of the tide for flavor. Their survival is determined by their farmers, deeply rooted in their tradition and connection to the water. In the nineteenth century, oysters were a plentiful source of protein that was as popular with the affluent as with the everyman in Manhattan’s oyster saloons. When the city grew, the oysters began to disappear, and so did their place as potent water filters in rivers, bays, and estuaries. Through the grit and dedication of oyster farmers, modern aquaculture technology, and efforts to better understand their ecological value, oyster beds are being protected while once depleted regions are being restored.

Past Documentaries

  • Spring 2021 — After much hard work, dedication and anticipation, Bee Aware, is a film focusing on the environmental threats facing one of the most important pollinators for humankind. In spring 2020, the students really learned how to adapt to change and solve problems as the world around them changed. The film aptly debuted online on Earth Day as it spotlights the vital role bees play in our food supply; their importance to the environment; and some of the challenges facing the insect and the environment. Bee Aware was shot on location at bee farms throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

  • Spring 2019 — During the summer of 2018, hundreds of earthquakes shook the summit of Kīlauea, sparking the volcano’s largest eruption in 200 years. To some it was a disaster. To others, it was the goddess Pele’s way of creating new ʻāina (land). The Hawaiian peoples’ resilience and cultural unity is a lesson in the true spirit of Aloha.

  • Spring 2018 — Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark is the story of the people of Puerto Rico and the faith, strength and hope that has sustained them in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It is the most recent production of students in the Media, Communications and Visual Arts travel documentary course led by Maria Luskay, EdD.

  • Spring 2017 — From the scrubby forests and ranch lands in the interior of Florida, far from the tourist eyes, to the beaches and bays south of the Gulf Coast, we explore the way the Sunshine State balances the needs of its citizens and economy with those of its subtropical ecosystem and wildlife. Through research, conservation, and education, can Florida bear its population increase of 1000 people per day?

  • Spring 2016 — The film provides an intimate snapshot of Cubans’ lives and views at a remarkable juncture for this nation just 90 miles from Florida — between dictatorship and freedom, propaganda and the World Wide Web, suspicion and hope, making do and making a living.

  • Spring 2015 — This documentary centers on a society seeking to enhance its economy without diminishing its environmental assets. In Curaçao’s case, the challenge is finding ways to move beyond an economy based for nearly 100 years on refining Venezuelan oil to a more diverse one including substantial tourism — but doing so without harming the still-vibrant reefs ringing parts of its coast.

  • Spring 2014 — Will the tourism boom accompanying the back-to-back 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics be too much of a good thing for Brazil to bear? From an emerald tropical isle to an ancient port to the hillside favelas and spectacular stadiums of Rio, citizens and experts describe the environmental and social challenges and opportunities in balancing green and gold.

  • Spring 2013 — Produced by a dozen students in Mexico, exploring and recording the evolving balance between local communities and the surrounding ecosystem. The team chronicles how communities that once depended on sea turtle poaching and other extractive activities depleting the region’s rich natural resources are now testing a new economic model – one built around conservation and sustainable tourism.

  • Spring 2012 — This film highlights the unseen issues within the cork industry in Portugal. The students wrote, filmed and produced the entire project, traveling to Porto, Coruche & Lisbon to research and film. The film makes the connection between cork harvested for wine bottles, a source of livelihood for 100,000 people, and the forests that are repositories for wildlife across Southern Europe and parts of North Africa.