Maui News

Pace University Students Film Hawai‘i Documentary

March 8, 2019, 1:44 PM HST
* Updated March 8, 8:48 AM
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Students from Pace University’s Media, Communications and Visual Arts department will be visiting Hawaiʻi to conduct interviews and capture footage for their upcoming documentary, “Living on the Edge in Paradise.”

The theme of this year’s documentary is the recent volcanic eruptions of Kīlauea. Producers are specifically focusing on the relationship between the active volcano and residents of Hawaiʻi. They are seeking stories from those who have been affected by the events surrounding the eruptions.

“The question at the core of this documentary is how does this affect life in Hawaiʻi?” said Maria Luskay, EdD, professor and program director, Master of Arts in Media and Communication Arts. “We hope to portray the real Hawaiʻi to the world. If you feel like your story needs to be heard, the team is all ears.”

The documentary team, 20 students and two professors, will be staying in Hilo from March 17 to 23, 2019. They will be in and around the Hilo area working to tell the story of the people through a series of on-camera interviews. To schedule an interview and be featured in the film, e-mail [email protected] or contact Luskay directly at [email protected] or (203) 565-8949.

Each year, Pace University’s award-winning film department produces a documentary on an environmentally and culturally relevant subject.


Last year, 18 Pace graduate students went to Puerto Rico to film the destruction of Hurricane Maria, the most powerful storm to make landfall on the island in 85 years. Students conducted more than 50 interviews in their effort to tell the story of the people of the island and capture their spirit as they attempt to rebuild with little assistance.


Last year’s documentary, “Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark,” aired on PBS in Sept. 2018 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria which devastated the island. The film also won Honorable Mention in the Best Shorts Competition 2018 Humanitarian Awards. Other Pace documentaries have received accolades in various film festivals including the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival (Oct. 2018), Miami Independent Film Festival (June 2018), Spotlight Documentary Film Awards (June 2018), and Best Short Competition (June 2018).

The student film producers are part of the BA in Communications and/or the MA in Media and Communication Arts. The Producing the Documentary course, offered by the MCVA program in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace, works to prepare students for careers in media, journalism, communications, public relations, advertising, video production and film. The Hawaiʻi documentary is the 16th student-produced documentary from Pace’s Producing the Documentary course.


Students will be chronicling the Hawaiʻi journey on their blog, Pace Docs.

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