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NY Emmys Group Aids Newmark J-School Student Documentaries

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
Photo courtesy of Max Maldonado

Newmark J-School student proposals for documentaries tackling environmental racism and a daughter’s untangling of her mother’s tragic story have notched grants from the local branch of the organization responsible for the Emmys.

The New York Chapter Foundation Board of ​​The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded two of its four annual Rosalind Black Begman scholarships to Newmark students. Each Foundation Excellence Award comes with $1,200.

Overall, the Newmark J-School documentary makers represented three of the five students with grant-winning projects.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, this year’s crop of entries showed true resilience and an unwavering determination to tell important stories. They left no doubt that the future of journalism is bright,” said Phil Alongi, president of the NATAS New York Chapter Foundation.

Yoruba Richen

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen, who heads the J-School’s Documentary Program, praised her students’ award-worthy entries.

“These grants represent a vote of confidence and give much-needed resources to our students, who are producing some promising work that I can’t wait to see come to fruition,” she said.

Grant winners include Emily Sternlicht and Katherine Clary’s “A Desert is an Ocean” (previously titled “Missing You”), in which a daughter retraces her mother’s final years in the Sonoran Desert, attempting to discover why she died homeless on the banks of an Arizona canal.

A still from Emily Sternlicht and Katherine Clary’s documentary, “A Desert is an Ocean.” Courtesy of Emily Sternlicht and Katherine Clary

The other project cited, Max Maldonado’s “Hidden in the Cane,” looks at the complex relationship of how a community in South Florida has been shaped by the sugar industry.

“Yoruba helped me realize the potential for this film and encouraged me to make it my capstone project,” Maldonado said.

The Newmark J-School’s documentary specialization, part of the existing M.A. in Journalism program, allows students to learn all aspects of production while focusing on creating a single project over the course of their study. For more information on the program, go here.