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Archive for December, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC, 21 December 2017 — I produced this film, Fire and Ice on the Mountain, on my most recent assignment for American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS). I traveled to Peru in June to make the film, following a Swedish anthropologist investigating the link between religion and climate change.

Fire and Ice explores how the melting glacier of Peru’s Huaytapallana mountain impacts Peruvians’ cosmovision or, their spiritual relationship with nature and their understanding of their place in it.

I’ve worked as a freelance foreign correspondent on similar stories in other parts of the world. And that is no coincidence. As the impact of climate change becomes more apparent, and as humankind invades deeper and deeper into the dwindling undeveloped regions of the world, the inhabitants of these regions are squeezed tighter and tighter in the vise of “modernity.” And they are forced to either fight back, adapt — or both.

It was fascinating for me to witness, first-hand, how Peruvian pilgrims celebrating the Andean New Year, adapt to the changes imposed on them by the disappearing glacier atop the mountain of Huaytapallana, just outside the bustling city of Huancayo, some 120 miles east of Lima.

As I do on the vast majority of assignments these days, I employed the methodology that I refer to as “backpack journalism,” to make this film. Backpack journalism means, “one story, one camera, one properly trained video journalist.” This is the methodology that I brought to American University’s School of Communication in the early 2000s, when I founded the Backpack Journalism Project. With the exception of the drone footage shot by colleague and friend Carolina Quinteros, I shot, wrote, and narrated the entire film. My wife, Esther, edited the story.

We hope you enjoy the film.

(Photo by Bill Gentile)

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WASHINGTON, DC, 15 December 2017 — YOU are THE BEST!!! Thank you ALL so much for your generosity and your grace! What a great campaign it was, with the contributions coming in right up to the very last minute. Forty days of mostly direct and some indirect contributions add up to a total of over $25K. We believe ours is an important story, and your support of our FREELANCERS with Bill Gentile Indiegogo campaign takes us one step closer to telling it.

Your contributions support more than a campaign or a project. By sharing and contributing to FREELANCERS you are supporting the dedicated men and women who toil overseas to ascertain the truths that we need every day to make crucial decisions about our lives and the life of the countries where we live.

We are thrilled. We are humbled. We are invigorated by your solidarity and your support.

THANK YOU!!!

We have some EXTRA good news to share. American University’s School of Communication, where I teach, this week unveiled a Graduate Assistantship dedicated specifically to my Foreign Correspondence class and to related activities. According to the announcement, “The selected student will work closely with Professor Gentile on a variety of projects and tasks related to his Foreign Correspondence class, his FREELANCERS with Bill Gentile documentary series, and AU’s membership in the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium, all of which are designed to promote awareness surrounding, and the practice of, foreign correspondence.”

For more information, see  http://www.american.edu/soc/admissions/graduate-financing.cfm?utm_source=print&utm_medium=vanity%5Furl&utm_campaign=gradfunding#collapse-4778110

NONE of this could have been done without you, your awareness, your trust in us, your sharing, your contributions. We, the craft of foreign correspondence, and truth itself, are indebted to you.

Our team returns now to the delivery of the perks which you all so richly deserve, to the finishing touches on our documentary, to mapping out the remaining episodes of the series, to our search for distributors.

Please continue to spread the word about FREELANCERS. And never hesitate to contact us with questions.

We’ll keep you posted about the release of our documentary. Until then, thanks once again for your support. We are deeply grateful to EVERY ONE OF YOU!

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