Students present documentaries at annual event

Everything from President Barack Obama, to welfare and pets inspired this semester’s broadcast student documentaries which premier at Doc Night tonight at 7 p.m. in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’s lecture hall.

Kenneth Jones, professor of broadcast journalism, said the students work ethic of the student participants have been fantastic and hopefully people who come to doc night can gain a whole new awareness on the topics from a young filmmaker’s point of view.

“These students go far beyond the call of duty,” Jones said. “The topics have been across the board.”

Jones said some of the documentaries were inspired by Obama’s presidential election. He also said him and his students will continue to cover Obama’s performance over the next four to eight years.

“We are going to continue to follow (the) president,” Jones said.  “We will have another Obama documentary next year.”

Obama inspired Brent Hatchett and Tspoie Trotty’s documentary “Dream Again.”

Hatchett said he was inspired to do the documentary after watching the Obama election and a documentary on Martin Luther King by Solen O’Brien of CNN.

“It’s about individuals who have made mistakes in their life and they have to overcome barriers,” said Hatchett, 22, a senior broadcast student from Detroit.

The documentary, “Killing Myths, Reviving Truth About the Black Man” by Larry Rivers and Denisha Yearby also included the Obama election.

Obama’s win was included in the documentary as a beam of hope to inspire black men to overcome those odds and be successful, according to Rivers, 22, a senior broadcast student from Detroit.

Yearby said the documentary is about black males and why they are contemplated and stereotyped so much in society.

“It deals with black men feeling like they are targets of wrong doing,” Yearby said. “From this I hope people can understand black men better and clear up rumors, myths and misconceptions that black men don’t care about school and purposely do wrong to go to jail.”

Not only will misconceptions about black males will be addressed in doc night, but also myths about blacks on welfare were addressed in the documentary, “Breaking the cycle” by Brooke Paul and Walter Niles.

“Too many black stories are not told. We already know too many black women are on welfare. The stories inside the documentary pertain to all,” said Paul, 23, a senior broadcast student from Miami.  “I want people to understand that they too want to get off. No one wants to be a part of the system-the generational welfare. I want people to know it’s not a comfortable life.”

Some documentaries chose to take a different turn from focusing on the psychological effects on people to addressing drastic effects on dogs in puppy mills.

The documentary, “The Doggy in the Window” by Stephanie Foster and Alicia Mitchell came from an incident that occurred after Mitchell purchased a Chihuahua.

“I went to Petland and bought a Chihuahua for 1500 dollars. Three months along the line, she’s walking on three legs,” Mitchell said. “I went to a veterinarian and found out she had a hereditary disease.”

Jones said the recent audience of students has increased over the last half semester and hopes it continues.

“Once we get marketing funding to market the documentary night, we will move to Lee Hall and hopefully that will be next year,” Jones said.