Professor's documentary part of environmental film festival in Turkey

April 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A documentary by Penn State assistant professor Boaz Dvir is being screened in Istanbul and other locations around Turkey as part of the Environmental Short Film Festival.

The festival, which runs from April 15 to May 31, screens at K-12 schools and universities throughout the country that bridges Asia and Europe.

This is the 10th festival to feature Dvir’s “El País de la Eterna Primavera (Land of the Eternal Spring)” as an official selection. The child-poverty short has screened in festivals in Manhattan, Milan, Moscow and other cities around the world.

At 7 p.m. on May 1, Dvir will screen “El País” as part of his documentary shorts program at Beth El Congregation in Baltimore (8101 Park Heights Ave.). The event, which is sponsored by the Loeb Center for Lifelong Learning and the Macks Center for Jewish Education, is free and open to the public.

In “El País,” Dvir follows photojournalist Jason Henry (The New York Times, Vice) and writer Erik Maza (Town & Country, Baltimore Sun) as they trek to Guatemala’s most infamous landfill, Teculután.

Directed, produced and filmed by Dvir and edited by Penn State film-video alumnus Allan Guerrero, “El País” showcases Henry’s striking Teculután photographs.

“There’s no time in this four-minute film to provide any answers, only raise questions,” said Dvir, an award-winning filmmaker (“Jessie’s Dad,” “A Wing and a Prayer”).

The trip to Guatemala was part of the international journalism class at the University of Florida, where Dvir taught before joining the faculty at Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. At Teculután, he filmed Henry and Maza trying to maintain their composure as they capture children searching for shreds of sustenance in a monstrous heap of human and animal waste and burning ash.

“It’s a scene of extreme contrasts,” Dvir said. “Children rampage through what I can only describe as smoke-spewing toxic garbage against a backdrop of the beautiful Sierra de las Minas mountains.”

Last Updated April 29, 2019