Alumni to Show Their Award-Winning Films at SUNY New Paltz
NEW PALTZ -- Two recent graduates of SUNY New Paltz will return to their alma mater on Thursday, October 19 for a presentation of their award-winning films.
Claudia Amaya, a 1997 graduate, and Yat-Hong Chow, a member of the New Paltz Class of 1996, each earned a bachelor's degree in radio/television production through the Department of Communication & Media and went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in media arts production at City College in New York City.
"Both films raise interesting and perhaps disturbing questions about cultural identity and integration into another culture," said Lynn Spangler, the alumni's former teacher and the current chairwoman of the New Paltz Department of Communication & Media.
Amaya returned to her birthplace in El Salvador to produce Silent Dawn, a film about growing up surrounded by El Salvador's civil war. Produced in Spanish with English subtitles, it was deemed "best documentary" by City College.
Amaya, who came to the United States when she was 11 years old, said she sought her roots in this documentary and to fill a void left by unanswered questions about the violence, death and destruction that enveloped her childhood.
"I did this piece because I felt I wanted to know more about my history," she said. When children would ask questions about the war in El Salvador, "the adults would say it's not for children," she said.
Chow, born and raised in Malaysia, won the Best Fiction Film Award at City College's 1999 Cityvisions Film and Video Showcase for his narrative film, 'CHINA.'
Filmed mostly in Chinatown, N.Y., 'CHINA' is a story about differing conceptions within one cultural setting.
In 1998, Chow won a Videographer's Award and a Communicator's Award for a promotional video and television commercial, respectively, which he and his colleagues produced for the Language Immersion Institute at SUNY New Paltz.
The two alumni will show their short, award-winning films in Lecture Center 102 at 7 p.m., following an introduction by Spangler. The filmmakers will answer questions from the audience and will be available for subsequent discussion.
The SUNY New Paltz Department of Communication & Media is sponsoring this event. For additional information, please contact Associate Professor Spangler at 845-257-3684.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.