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Filmmakers Honored at Yale

Written by Collin Moura


From Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23, Yale University was filled with cinema as student filmmakers shared and celebrated eachother’s work. Yale’s 2023 Student Film Festival offered students around the world an opportunity to display their work and form connections with fellow filmmakers.


Tomas Koeck was invited to the festival as one of the centerpiece filmmakers, where audiences screened his 2022 short film, Keepers of the Blue.


Keepers of the Blue is a nature documentary that examines a number of different oceanic environments as well as the organizations that work tirelessly to protect them. The film took Koeck to Guadalupe Island, where he filmed great white sharks in their natural habitat. These beautiful and powerful sharks lie at the heart of his film, a species that he feels is incorrectly represented by the media.


Eric Torrens, the assistant camera and production technician for Keepers of the Blue, joined Koeck at Yale University for the screening.


Keepers of the Blue continues to be an example of what is possible for young filmmakers,” said Torrens. “Tomas’s transparency of his process furthers the accessibility of how others might find partnerships, funding, and resources for their own works.”


As a featured documentarian on the centerpiece panel, Koeck was able to speak about filmmaking from the conservational side of things. His unique natural history perspective and passion for his work resonated with the event’s audience.


The Yale Student Film Festival was a fantastic opportunity for young filmmakers to meet like-minded individuals that share a similar love for creating cinema.


The other films screened on the centerpiece panel were Chicken by Josh Leong, Azulejos by Illaria Paula Arboldea, Dad Jokes by Robert Gordon, and Dreams of Hope by Justin Kaminuma.


“It’s always exciting to meet people who share the same creative passion and see how and why they create things,” said Torrens.


Make sure to subscribe to Flyway of Life for the most up-to-date news on what Koeck is up to next.




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