Point Park University-Produced Film "Downstream" Explores Threats to Pennsylvania Watersheds Thursday, October 11, 2018
"Working on this project was incredibly exciting for me ... It's great to be able to show current students the possibilities that lie ahead for them when they commit to their studies and take advantage of all of the spectacular resources and opportunities Point Park has to offer."
Pennsylvania boasts some 83,000 miles of waterways, more than any other state in the nation except Alaska. But the quality of those waterways is under serious threat including everything from active and abandoned coal mines to acid rain, aging infrastructure, urban development, industrial pollution and even the impacts of seemingly mundane human activities such as lawn care.
Pennsylvania’s endangered watersheds are the focus of Downstream, a half-hour documentary produced by Point Park University's School of Communication environmental journalism program, in association with WQED Multimedia, and made possible through a grant from the Heinz Endowments.
“Clean water is essential for economic development and healthy communities. Even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘environmentalist,’ water quality affects everyone because the costs associated with cleaning water ultimately trickles down to all of us,” said Gina Catanzarite, Downstream Emmy Award-winning writer/producer.
Catanzarite, who is a part-time instructor in the School of Communication at Point Park, worked with 2004 cinema arts alumnus Glenn Syska, who served as the director of photography and editor, and Zak Boyle, a 2015 cinema arts alumnus, who was the 2nd unit photographer and assistant editor on the production.
"Working on this project was incredibly exciting for me. As a part-time instructor at Point Park, I get to see current students who are really eager to enter their chosen careers," Catanzarite said. "At the same time, as a TV producer I get to work with these incredibly talented Point Park graduates. It's great to be able to show current students the possibilities that lie ahead for them when they commit to their studies and take advantage of all of the spectacular resources and opportunities Point Park has to offer."
Syska credits his Point Park experience for his career success.
"I had a number of great professors who gave me opportunities to get a start in this field," he said. "I can trace most of the jobs I've worked over the years to the connections they helped me make."
Added Boyle: "Working with Point Park alumni and faculty on this project was great. Gina, Glenn and I have worked on other projects previously, but Downstream was a lot of fun. It was great getting to travel together and learn about our water."
Downstream premiered on WQED Oct. 11, 2018. A screening event was hosted at Point Park University, followed by a panel discussion at the Center for Media Innovation. Downstream will be offered to other public television stations for air.