Professional University Made Films – Dena includes her film students in the making of professional feature films. She also provides opportunities for them to travel the world directing their own short films. As a mentor, Dena seeks to empower her students as creative, broad thinking and technically proficient artists – willing to take risks shaping and expressing novel non-fiction narratives for the screen.
Antarctic Edge: 70° South © Rutgers University
Antarctic Edge: 70° South is a science-adventure story that combines exploration, dramatic imagery and two decades of scientific collaboration into a compelling character-driven narrative. The filmmakers had unprecedented access to critically important climate research in the fastest winter-warming place on earth: the West Antarctic Peninsula. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the film was made in collaboration with 14 undergraduate film students who served as assistant producers and assistant editors. Antarctic Edge features oceanographer Oscar Schofield.
Antarctic Edge: 70° South is available on iTunes and Amazon and is streaming on Netflix. Antarctic Edge was theatrically released in New York and Los Angeles, was broadcast on Participant Media’s PIVOT channel and is the recipient of several film festival awards.
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The War After © Rutgers University
The War After is a powerful, 70-minute documentary featuring nine U.S. veterans transitioning from active duty to the unexpected challenges of civilian life. The story is told through the voices of dynamic young men and women from diverse backgrounds and varied branches of military service, all sharing their surprising journeys into military service, the intense and at times harrowing experiences of active duty followed by the highs and lows of forging their own independent identities. The War After was produced in partnership with the Rutgers Office of Veterans Services and seven undergraduate film students who served as associate producers and assistant editors in collaboration with director Dena Seidel over the course of three years.
The War After premiered at Rutgers University on February 12th 2015, will have its festival premiere at the Garden State Film Festival in April 2016, and has been contracted by First Run Features for distribution.
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Thailand Untapped © Rutgers University
Rutgers student documentary team, Steve Holloway and Chantal Eyong, follow three engineering students working with the volunteer group “Engineers without Borders” as they travel to a remote village in Northern Thailand to rebuild a water purification system.
Thailand Untapped was broadcast as part of PBS’ NJDocs series in April 2012 and was nominated for the MidAtlantic Emmy award for Best Documentary.
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Atlantic Crossing, A Robot’s Daring Mission © Rutgers University
Atlantic Crossing is a feature length science-in-action film following oceanographer Scott Glenn and his scientific team as they navigate an eight foot autonomous robot across the Atlantic Ocean. Robot Scarlet battles hurricanes, storms and ship traffic during her 9 month voyage, making science history while testing the next generation of ocean observation vehicles. Seven Rutgers undergraduates joined Dena Seidel filming and editing Scarlet’s mission over two years.
Atlantic Crossing premiered at Smithsonian’s Baird Auditorium in 2010 and was centrally featured in the mission’s two-year exhibit in San Ocean Hall. Atlantic Crossing aired on PBS stations around the country and is the recipient of several film festival awards.
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The Princess of Piombino © Rutgers University
The Princess of Piombino was directed, filmed and edited by Seidel’s students Sean Feuer, Gabriela Elise and Adam Nawrot in Rome, Italy. The film stars Princess Rita and Prince Nicolo`Boncompagni Ludovisi who are working to conserve one of the great homes of Europe where their family has lived for almost 400 years.
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Generation at Risk © Rutgers University
Generation at Risk is a feature documentary film about the complexity of childhood obesity as told by the families who experience the challenges and the community leaders and researchers working to effect change. Filmed in New Jersey and Brazil and featuring Cory Booker, Generation At Risk was produced in partnership with the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health. Eight undergraduate students collaborated with director Seidel over four years filming and interviewing families, experts and scientists to weave together a complex and rich narrative.
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The Art of Becoming © Rutgers University
The Art of Becoming follows the creative journey of talented dancers and musicians as they face the newfound pressure of a growing spotlight while battling their personal insecurities. Produced by students in the Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking and in partnership with the Mason Gross Dance Department, The Art of Becoming was broadcast as part of PBS’ NJDocs series in October, 2012.
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The Women Of Nsongwe © Rutgers University
The Women Of Nsongwe was directed, filmed and edited by Seidel’s student Jean-Paul Issacs in Zambia, Africa. Narrated by rural women in southern Zambia, this short film features the USAID funded research of Professor Jim Simon and his African based NGO-ASNAPP-Zambia team, providing women farmers with the means to economic independence.
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Skycatcher © Rutgers University
Produced and Directed by films students Jamie James Deradorian-Delia, Stef Wong and Sean Feuer for the National Science Foundation staring climate scientist Annmarie Carlton.
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ADDITIONAL INTER-DISCIPLINARY DOCUMENTARIES MADE BY, AND WITH, UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS UNDER SEIDEL’S ACADEMIC SUPERVISION:
Out to Swim
Directed by Andrew Germek
Made in collaboration with Scott Lazes and Dean Mark Schuster’s Sports and Sexuality course
Presented at NCAA conference 2010
Zeffirelli © Rutgers University
Student directed film featuring Franco Zeffirelli
By Gabriela Gabbidon
My Father, Magnetic © Rutgers University
Student directed film featuring Elettra Marconi, daughter of radio inventor
By John Riggio
Migrations: The Story of Abena Busia © Rutgers University
About Professor Abena Busia from the Rutgers Women and Gender Department
By Natalie James
Inventing our Futures © Rutgers University
Featuring prominent women artists and leaders
Made in collaboration with Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership
Produced by Pilar Timpane
Planting Change: Growing a Healthy City © Rutgers University
Made in collaboration with the Bloustein School of Urban Planning
Produced by James Monahan
Destination Unknown: Our Changing Planet © Rutgers University
Edited by Laurence Sockwell
Featuring prominent Rutgers environmental scientists
The Hair Architect: The Janet Stephens Story © Rutgers University
By Jenny Kim
The Blue Pearl © Rutgers University
Featuring marine biologist Olaf Jensen in Mongolia
By Gabby Gatdula
The North Pole Now © Rutgers University
Featuring climate scientist Asa Rennermalm
By Laurence Sockwell
Second Family in Borneo © Rutgers University
Featuring anthropologist Erin Vogel
By Russel Dolan
Dan Hoffman-Research in Brazil © Rutgers University
By Adam Nawrot
Ocean Stories © Rutgers University
Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ocean acidification in Oregon
Coast Guard Search and Rescue © Rutgers University
Featuring oceanographer Josh Kohut
Nicole and Filipa: A Story of Female Glider Technicians at Palmer Station © Rutgers University
By Gabriela Elise
Catherine Murphy © Rutgers University
Produced by Tionni Warren