Kryszak documentary screened internationally, acclaimed by Globe

A film created by University of Maine at Machias students enrolled in lecturer Alan Kryszak’s Downeast Documentary class has been screened internationally at The Hague Global Cinema Festival and the Sweden Film Awards, and cited in the Boston Globe

“Privacy & the Power of Secrets” offers varied perspectives on data privacy and surveillance to spark discussion of how information gathering affects society. The film features a series of vignettes that span oral and recorded history from indigenous communities to the Salem witch trials to modern-day animal rights activism and face recognition technology. A Boston Globe review called the film “artful and engaging,” noting that “it’s the way a movie like this should be made.”  

Students in Kryszak’s CMY 10 class, known as the Downeast Documentary crew, took on every role in producing the film. 

“They are the camera person, the lighting person, the sound, or they are the director saying when it starts and when it stops,” says Kryszak. “They’re always learning and doing it before they can even be intimidated.” 

Kryszak, who encourages the students’ creativity and seeks to develop their collaborative skills, is currently recruiting students for the Downeast Documentary crew.  

The first film produced in Kryszak’s Downeast Documentary class, “Whatever Works: Exploring Opiate Addiction,” will be shown on Maine Public television at 10 p.m. on Sept. 16 as part of the PBS Community Films series.

“Privacy & the Power of Secrets” will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Performing Arts Center on the Machias campus. The free screening is open to the public.