Press Release

Pace Documentary Wins at Williamsburg International Film Festival

September 20, 2022

Screenings Set at Hyannis and Mystic Film Festivals in October

The PaceDocs Team focuses its film on the remarkable journey of oysters, their farmers, and their role in cleaning the water

Movie poster with word that read Student Documentary Short Film Competition, Winner, Tide to Table: The Remarkable Journey of Oysters

Pace University’s documentary film team – PaceDocs – is pleased to announce that its film, Tide to Table: The Remarkable Journey of Oysters, has won best student documentary at the Williamsburg International Film Festival.

In announcing the winners, judges noted that the field was competitive and that the festival received a record number of entries in many categories.

The win comes as the team is gearing up for screenings at The Hyannis Film Festival and Mystic Film Festival in October. The festival screenings complement other showings throughout the Northeast, including one at noon on September 25 at Regal Cinemas, 102 North End Avenue in New York City; repeated screenings at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s Riverfest on October 8-10; and a showing in Falmouth, Ma. as part of the Woods Hole Film Festival’s seasonal programming. The film is also a finalist at the Seaside Sustainability Film Festival in Gloucester, Ma. (winners will be announced in mid-October).

The documentary has already had a successful series of screenings at four venues in Pleasantville and across Cape Cod – notably at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, Wellfleet Preservation Hall in Wellfleet, the Chatham Orpheum in Chatham, and Cape Cinema in Dennis, Ma.

“We are enjoying a great run and we are gratified by people’s reactions to the film,” said Professor Maria Luskay. “This year marks the first time in the program’s history that we have showed our film in so many theaters, festivals, and themed events.”

Luskay noted that the process has been an invaluable hands-on experience for students who learned first-hand about the plight of the oyster farmer braving the elements as well as the grit and determination required to complete the film in 14 weeks.

The screening at The Hyannis Film Festival is taking place at 2 p.m. on October 16 at Sturgis Charter Public School East Campus, 427 Main Street in Hyannis, Ma., while the screening at the Mystic Film Festival is taking place at 3:30 p.m. on October 22 at the United Theater in Westerly, Rhode Island.

For people who cannot make the showings, the documentary is available for viewing on YouTube, and, along with other documentaries made as part of the program, will be available on-demand at Dyson College’s Media, Communications and Visual Arts’ YouTube channel.

The film documents how oysters rely on the ebb and flow of the tide for flavor. One oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day; their survival is determined by their farmers, deeply rooted in their tradition and connection to the sea. The documentary, filmed on-location across the flats of Cape Cod, the shores of Connecticut’s Long Island Sound, and the urban waterways of New York City, features scientists, historians, shellfish constables, and farmers. It explores the serendipitous relationship between nature, oyster farmers, modern aquaculture technology, and a movement to better understand their ecological value, while showing how oysters are thriving in areas such as Cape Cod and being restored in once depleted regions such as Connecticut and New York City as a means of improving water quality.

The documentary is produced by Professors Luskay and Lou Guarneri. The popular class, ‘Producing the Documentary,’ is part of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University’s highly regarded film program that requires students complete a full-length environmentally themed documentary within 14 weeks. During the process, they learn teamwork, problem-solving, research, and organization, along with technical skills such as lighting, sound, camera work, interviewing, and other real-life lessons necessary to complete a film.

Tide to Table continues Pace University’s distinguished tradition of producing documentaries that shine a light on important environmental issues. In recent years, Pace filmmakers have produced documentaries around the globe focusing on a number of topics, including the importance of bees as pollinators in our food supply (2021); the impact of earthquakes in Hawaii (2019); the endurance of the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (2018); Cuba at a cultural crossroads (2016); reviving Curacao’s coral reefs (2015); as well as many other poignant films.

About Pace University

Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices.

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