Rio Faces Olympic-Size Doubts About Its Preparations for the 2016 Games

By: Samantha Finch


As the days countdown to the 2016 Olympics, everyone is watching to see if Rio will be ready. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

As our countdown continues to the release the Pace Brazil Documentary “Green vs. Gold,” so does the timer in Brazil. With Brazil struggling just to finish preparations for the 2014 World Cup next month, is it even possible to consider that the country will be ready for the Olympics?

In a recent New York Times article, John Coates, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said that Rio’s effort to prepare for the 2016 Olympics is the “worst I have experienced.”

When it was announced on October 2, 2009 that Rio de Janeiro, a city that has risen through the power ranks over the past few decades, was selected by the Olympic Committee to host the 2016 summer games — beating out Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid — the country erupted with joy.

But concerns have built for months, both inside and outside Brazil, about the status and of Rio’s sprawling, multi-billion-dollar Olympic plan. Continue reading


From Class Time to FaceTime in Final Film Push

By: Samantha Finch

 The final sprint is on with only one week left before the Pleasantville and New York City premieres of “Green vs. Gold” – our Pace University documentary on Brazil’s efforts to manage sports-fueled growth.

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Showing our professors the documentary via computers during our Sunday editing session. Photo Credit: Elise Vaux

Since returning from our 10-day filmmaking journey in Brazil, the May 13th deadline of our Pleasantville premiere has been a constant reminder that we were in a race. As a result, every student in this production class contributed several hours a week outside of our scheduled class time, we are now in sight of the finish line.

In last Sunday’s editing session, Cassie, Dallas, Vinny, Elise, and I continued to add and adjust the last pieces of video and sound to the film, which spans three locations and includes a host of interviews. After lining up all the clips, adjusting the “lower thirds” (the text blocks identifying people or scenes and providing translations), replacing a few shots here and there, and creating fades and other transitions, all we needed was feedback from our professors.

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Day 7: On the Surface of Rio

A collection of photographs from #PaceBrazil’s visit to major tourist locations in Rio De Janeiro. Contributing Photographers: Samantha Finch

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Beaches and Businesses in Ilha Grande

The Pace University travel documentary team split its second day on IIha Grande between a visit to the extraordinary and unspoiled Lopez Mendes Beach on the Atlantic coast of the 140-square-mile island and a series of interviews with business owners back in the busy resort town.

The beautiful beach is Lopez Mendez. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

The beautiful beach is Lopez Mendez. Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

One of the most interesting interview subjects was Rennie Jackson, an Australian expatriate who owns Aratinga Inn, a charming pousada on a quiet back lane. She’s devoted to running the inn with the fewest possible environmental impacts, even making laundry detergent by boiling used bars of soap. She said the 2014 World Cup in Rio this June was having a widespread impact despite the distance from Rio to this remote island. Her inn was fully booked for the soccer championship season a year ago.


Rennie Jackson explaing how she recycles to preserve Ilha Grande. Photo Cred: Samantha Finch


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Thinking Globally, Mapping Locally

By Alexandria Corneiro, Charles Cooper, Dallas Ripka, Samantha Finch, and Vincent Melita

While in Brazil to film a documentary about the environmental impact of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, the Pace University Producing the documentary class will participate in a global initiative known as Green Mapping.

photo credit a Dufour

The Brazilian flag flies over the sea. Photo Credit: Carlos Dufour

Wendy Brawer, a sustainability consultant and artist , created green mapping in 1995. Currently, there are over 850 maps of green businesses and environmental assets in 65 countries across the world. Each map is unique to the specific goals of the local mapmakers in their various communities.

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#PaceBrazil’s First Brazilian Experience


Pace Brazil students from NYC and Pleasantville sat together during the meet and greet dinner and spoke about the course.
Photo Credit: Samantha Finch

By Samantha Finch 

Earlier this month, Pace University’s Producing the Documentary class had its first taste of Brazil – in Manhattan. Five documentary students, along with Professors Maria Luskay and Andrew Rekvin, ventured in to the stretch of West 46th Street known as “Little Brazil” to meet and dine with students and faculty from the management program of Pace’s Lubin School of Business before all 42 faculty and students embark on a 10-day journey through southern Brazil.

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