Pace University to film documentary interviews on the Kilauea Eruption in Hilo March 17-23, 2019


“Living on the Edge in Paradise” to highlight the stories of those affected by the eruptions of Kilauea; Hawaiian residents encouraged to tell their stories on camera and be featured in the film

Students from Pace University’s Media, Communications and Visual Arts (MCVA) department will be visiting Hawaii to conduct interviews and capture footage for their upcoming documentary, “Living on the Edge in Paradise.” The documentary team, 20 students and two professors, will be staying in Hilo from March 17 – 23, 2019.

Each year, Pace University’s award-winning film department produces a documentary on an environmentally and culturally relevant subject. The theme of this year ’s documentary is the recent volcanic eruptions of Kilauea. The producers are specifically focusing on the relationship between the active volcano and the residents of Hawaii. 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 Hawaii?” said Maria Luskay, EdD, professor and program director, Master of Arts in Media and Communication Arts. “We hope to portray the real Hawaii to the world. If you feel like your story needs to be heard, the team is all ears.”

The documentary team will explore and capture the rich culture of Hawaii. 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 or contact Luskay directly at or 203-565-8949.

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, is highly regarded for preparing students for careers in media, journalism, communications, public relations, advertising, video production, and film. The Hawaii documentary is the 16th student-produced documentary from Pace’s Producing the Documentary course.

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. The 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 September 2018 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria and devastated the island. The film also won an 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 (October 2018), Miami Independent Film Festival (June 2018), Spotlight Documentary Film Awards (June 2018), and Best Short Competition (June 2018). The Puerto Rico documentary can be viewed at Previous works from Pace Media, Communications and Visual Arts students can be found on YouTube at:

The students will be chronicling the Hawaii journey on their blog, Pace Docs ( For more information about this class and trip, visit

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