Student-faculty collaborative film to air on NJTV Feb. 6

Atlantic Crossing
Atlantic Crossing

Several student-staffed documentary films out of the newly formed Rutgers Center For Digital Filmmaking are set to reach a wider audience as they air across the state on NJTV, formerly known as NJN. The televised screenings are part of NJ Docs, a new monthly film series devoted to university- and college-made documentaries from New Jersey.

The award-winning Rutgers student-faculty collaboration Atlantic Crossing will kick off the series at 10 p.m. Monday, February 6, 2012. For Atlantic Crossing, Rutgers faculty and students followed researchers and students from the university’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences as they prepared for the voyage of the first robotic glider to cross the Atlantic. In April, NJ Docs plans to air the student-faculty collaboration Thailand Untapped, about three Rutgers Engineering students working to bring potable water to a remote village.

John Servidio is NJTV’s general manager. He says he expects to air three or four Rutgers-produced documentaries per year on NJ Docs. Servidio says he is eager to air local content by filmmakers with a fresh take.

“Students bring in a different outlook, a different feel to what they do,” he says. “Coming in with that attitude—that they don’t have to follow the rules—[means] they have a lot to say.”

Chantal Eyong was an undergraduate English major when she worked on Atlantic Crossing.

“It was a huge learning curve for me, working on a production team and learning how to communicate science,” Eyong says. “It’s exciting to see the movie airing on NJTV, to share a dynamic story that took place so close to home.”

Dena Seidel, director of the Rutgers Center For Digital Filmmaking and the director of Atlantic Crossing and Thailand Untapped, says reaching such a wide audience via NJTV is gratifying. She says students earn professional film production credits on the documentaries, character-driven narratives that take place at Rutgers or involve members of the Rutgers community.

“After all the investment in terms of time, relationship-building and artistic creation involved in shaping a story—to have your film selected for television broadcast in incredibly validating,” Seidel says. Films also will appear on NJTV’s website after the televised broadcasts.

Media inquiries: Laurie Granieri, 848-932-5239.

Posted January 2012