Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp at a Time has won for Best Short Documentary in the Best Shorts Film Festival.

Best Shorts Honors Linda Thornton

Best Shorts is an awards competition that recognizes the achievements of short filmmakers worldwide.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Doc is the News!

It’s been less than a week since we posted our finished product on YouTube and we’ve already had some fantastic reviews. Here is a snapshot of some feedback we’ve received…

1. Andrew Revkin Dot Earth Blog -  NY Times 
Andrew Revkin has helped us every step of the way and wrote a nice piece in his Dot Earth Blog. He’s gotten some comments already, including one from a reader in India: 

(May 14, 2011) “This is wonderful. Sustainability is the key. Here in India and in Thailand farmers could learn from this. In our mad rush to eat more and more, we forget nature's basic rules.”

**We’ve even been recognized in the Twitter world….

2.  Fabien Cousteau's tweeted Congratulations to our Doc Team:>

“Congrats Pace University students for short doc on Linda Thornton, shrimp, and sustainability. Thx Revkin”

**We’ve been posted on a few blogs and was one of the first to pick up our doc.

3.  Documentary Dives Into World of Sustainable Shrimp Farming  

(May 13, 2011) This year, Pace University's award-winning 'Producing the Documentary' class turned its sights on sustainable shrimp farming. Production for the 15-minute film, 'Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp At A Time', was aided by NY Times ... at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. The doc focuses on how the entrepreneurial Thorton managed to overcome devastating adversity in order to kick start some of the most successful shrimp farms in Belize. ...”

4.  Wolfram Publications: Linda Thornton Seeking Sustainability, One ...

(May 16, 2011) “In a new documentary, "Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time," a team of Pace University student filmmakers explore the life of a resilient, pioneering aquaculture entrepreneur as she pushes the frontiers of ... and graduate students in Dr. Maria Luskay's award-winning "Producing the Documentary" course, explores the life of a resilient, pioneering aquaculture entrepreneur as she pushes the frontiers of sustainable shrimp farming in Belize….”

5.  Island Press Eco-Compass Blog: "Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One..”

(May 13, 2011) “Students at Pace University have produced this mini-documentary on sustainable shrimp farming. It tells the story of Linda Thornton, an aquaculture entrepreneur pushing the frontiers of sustainable shrimp farming in Belize. ...”

6.  Western Belize Happenings: Growing shrimp in retirement in Belize ...

(May 14, 2011) “Here's a shout-out to the amazing team of Pace University graduate and undergraduate students who, led by professor Maria Luskay (with my assistance), just completed the short documentary “Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, ...”

7.  The Benshi:  A Compelling Student Video from Belize to Reverse Your ...

(May 12, 2011) “If you're like me and have the blanket (largely uninformed) opinion that shrimp farming has to be disastrous, then you'll hopefully find the lifelong work of Linda Thornton to be intriguing. She is profiled in this nice video produced by the Pace University students of uber-blogger Andy Revkin — a result of their spring expedition to Belize. Contrary to popular opinion, she makes the case that there are sustainable ways to farm shrimp. Check it out! ...”

**Our documentary also reached the Inboxes of those members that follow Shrimp News International with the help of Bob Rosenberry.

8.  Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International

(May 6, 2011) “Students at Pace University (, a private university in New York City with three campuses and around 13,000 students, have completed a documentary titled Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp at a Time!

“It’s a tale of endurance and creativity,” said Luskay.  “We selected this...compelling story of Linda and her travails as a woman in the sustainable shrimp industry.”

Luskay plans to submit the documentary to about six competitive film festivals including the Woodstock Film Festival, NY Film Festival and Red Wasp Film Festival."

The World Wildlife Fund is featuring our documentary on their website next week.  Stay Tuned.....

Friday, May 13, 2011


Belize It or Not...  We are finally finished!!!!   We were having slight technical issues and apologize for not posting sooner.

Please join us for our official film premiere of "Linda Thornton:  Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp At A Time."  It will be presented by Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies on May 19th at 3pm in Lienhard Lecture Hall (Entrance 2) on Pace University's Pleasantville Campus. This event is free and open to the public.

We would like to thank Pace Professor Dr. Maria Luskay and New York Times Dot Earth blogger Andrew Revkin, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies for all their hard work and for motivating us to complete this documentary.  We are very passionate about this film and proud of this semester's accomplishments.  

The Media and Communication Arts Department is proud to present…..

Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time”

TreeHugger, "the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream", was kind enough to feature us on their site. They strive to be a "one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information". They publish an up to minute blog, weekly and daily newsletters, weekly radio reviews, and constantly update their social media sites.  Please check out their post below!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The End is Near

So close…yet so far away. We are in the process of putting the finishing touches on our documentary. It is so close, we can practically smell it, but it feels so far away when you’re in the lab until 5 AM the night before deadline, tweaking cuts, finding the right b-roll shots and trying to stay awake.

As we’ve been nearing completion, the final master script has been completed, sent to the impregnable Barbara Korsen, and returned in delightful voice-over form. Mrs. Korsen has been gracious enough to lend her professional voice-over talents to our documentary for free and we couldn’t be more grateful. It really lends the documentary an air of professionalism that’s as good as anything you’ll see on TV today.

Some of the students have been compiling the credits, checking and double-checking all names and organizations, making sure everyone gets their due credit. Other have been diligently editing at the Avid station, tweaking the timeline for maximum effect, while others have been hard at work on the soundtrack and sound editing.

Exec. Producer and head-honcho Dr. Luskay even brought in a cot and sleeping bag and spent the night in the sound-room of our production quarters. A true testament to her dedication!

We are all really excited for our documentary and we can’t wait to show it to the world. All our students and professors have been putting in as many hours as they can spare to make the best possible film, and we’re pretty sure we’ve done a great job. Keep an eye open for Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp at a Time!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Feeling the Pressure!

With less than a week until our deadline, we are definitely feeling the pressure. In class we edited the opening, completed the script, searched for the perfect b-roll and sent the voice-over script to voice-over specialist Barbara Korsen, who has offered to lend her voice for our documentary.  One of our students is a rising expert in music.  He is focusing his efforts on creating the overall musical feel of the film.  We all gathered around the conference table as he shared his mixing skills with the class.

We finished and finalized the script with the guidance of Dr. Luskay and Andrew Revkin.   We officially have a rough cut of the entire documentary! Now it’s just about aesthetics and adding scenic shots to match up with our script. It’s hard to be selective when Belize caused us to bring home hours upon hours of beautiful footage! Long nights of editing, fine-tuning audio, superimposing images and creating graphics are in our future. Right now our main priority is getting this finalized by next week.  This is going to be a GREAT documentary and I know all of us our eager to see the final product.

In anticipation of our finalized project a few of the students are working on putting together the publicity plan. We are developing contact lists of people and organizations that might be interested in our documentary. While researching we came across two interesting interactive articles about mangroves on The American Museum of Natural History website under Science Bulletins. What’s fascinating is the transformation that is underway in preserving mangroves while continuing economic development in many parts of the world that supply shrimp. Our mission is to show how this movement is happening at a micro level, with the help of Linda Thornton.

The first one, Mangroves: Roots of the Sea discusses how mangrove destruction has become a huge environmental concern. The grassroots NGO, Yadfon was created in the early 1980s to restore the mangroves in the farming areas of Thailand. Similar to Linda Thornton’s actions in Belize, this organization works with the local community to ensure that their economic way of life is preserved while making strides toward sustainability. The Yadfon founder Pisit Charnsnoh,was quoted saying, “The forest sustains the people who sustain the forest.”

A follow up article, Mangroves and Shrimp: Finding Balance discusses the research that shows mangroves and shrimp farms CAN coexist. “By building shrimp farms 1 km from the shore, the land can reduce storm damage and support farmers.” Linda Thornton’s farms in Belize are a perfect example of how this relationship remains in balance. With our documentary we want to show the world how sustainable shrimp farming really can be! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

American Parallels: Developments in US Shrimp Farming

While continuing research regarding our documentary we came across quite a few websites that relate to similar subjects.

This article from Shrimp News International, written and researched by industry insiders, primarily focuses on research done over the last thirty years. They created scientific developments, which we can learn from. Anyone interested in our documentary, as well as shrimp farming, should check out this overview of “The Shrimp Book.”

Ganix Bio-Technologies, Inc., and Blue Oasis are in the process of building a 36,000 sq ft plant to grow shrimp in the desert. Similarly to Linda’s work in Belize, they will be running ponds on the inland and keeping a closed system, never dumping effluence, but reusing all their water supplies. As a parallel to Linda’s operation, they hope to create jobs and eventually branch out, creating shrimp farms close to every major city in the US. As a comparison, Linda and Mr. Michael Duncker created an influx of jobs in rural Belize with their shrimp farms, boosting the economy. Check out a brief CNN Money report on the Ganix shrimp farms here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Crunch Time!

This is the life of a documentary filmmaker. It’s not a 9-5 job. Its 24/7 brainstorming, which means staying (sometimes napping) in the editing lab until the wee hours of the morning.

The class has been putting in extra hours in order to meet our fast approaching deadline. We are sometimes even pulling 12-hour shifts to tie up any loose ends like capturing necessary footage and transcribing interviews.

Today’s class focused mainly on adding narrated transitions, explanations and introductions to key gaps in the script. This meant dropping some interviews and unnecessary footage. There are so many great pieces of information that we want to incorporate, but our enthusiasm has gotten the better of us. At this rate, we would be producing a three-hour film rather than a 20-minute documentary! So how do you squeeze all of the essentials into a succinct film? By working together to make sure everyone is on the same page with the story line and ensuring information follows a logical flow.

But there were signs today that the end was near – literally – as Pedro and Harrison worked on building the closing credits!