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Documentary Filmmaking in Kenya: Techniques in Visual Storytelling on Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation

In Kenya, search for answers to two questions: How can the art of film advance the causes of science? How do communities use media to support their environmental activism?

Documentary Filmmaking in Kenya: Techniques in Visual Storytelling on Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation
The Holly and Henry Wendt, Class of 1955, Global Seminar

June 12 – July 26, 2019
Mpala Research Center, Nanyuki

Katie Carpenter ’79, wildlife filmmaker (PBS, National Geographic TV, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet)
Dan Rubenstein, the Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of the Program in Environmental Studies

This seminar will guide filmmakers and Africanists to search for answers to two questions: How can the art of film advance the causes of science? How do communities use media to support their environmental activism?

Over the course of six weeks, seminar students, in their work with scientists, filmmakers, and environmental activists, will begin to understand some of the international development issues — water, wildlife, agriculture, and land use — and will learn how to  communicate about them through video. ("Lost Boys of Laikipia," produced during the 2013 seminar, can be viewed below.)

Students will be trained in digital video production, screenwriting, and editing and will work in small groups to produce a series of short and long documentaries. Students will also be encouraged to develop independent projects.

Filming will entail trips into the field, interviewing, and recording. Film screenings, readings, and discussions will complement weekly guest lectures by Africa-based filmmakers and journalists who have filmed a documentary or written articles about scientific issues such as desertification and endangered wildlife or about entrepreneurial tribal projects and the work by community activists on environmental issues. The seminar includes a community service component, and a weekly class in Swahili is required.

This seminar is cosponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

This seminar fulfills the literature and the arts general education (LA) requirement.

Course Fee: $7,200

Includes all housing, required course excursions, related academic expenses, visas, required yellow fever vaccination, estimated personal meals and estimated airfare ($2,100). World Travel, the University travel agency, will book all participants’ flights. Details on the required booking process will be provided by seminar administrators.

All participants should budget an additional $500 for personal expenses and be prepared to cover costs of required and routine immunizations (estimated $200) as recommended by University Health Services. The immunization costs are covered in full for students enrolled in the University’s Student Health Plan. For students covered by families’ health insurance or other insurance plans, the associated costs will vary. International phone plans are highly recommended for all students.

Financial Aid

Students accepted into a Global Seminar and receive term financial aid automatically receive funding toward the course fee and personal meals based on the level of term aid. Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Princeton subsidized Student Loans, available from the Office of Financial Aid, are also highly recommended. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Students who accept a place in a Global Seminar and then, before the seminar begins, withdraw or cannot participate because they are no longer enrolled at Princeton will lose the nonrefundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs. There are no refunds after the start of the program.

This seminar is generously supported by the Holly and Henry Wendt, Class of 1955, Global Seminar Fund. PIIRS Global Seminars are also made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.

Questions? Contact Tim Waldron, Manager, Global Initiatives.

Lost boys of Lakipia 5:48