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Affluent, Boston-based college students embark on a weeklong goodwill trip to the slums of Lima, Peru in this story about the phenomenon of volunteer vacations—also known as "voluntourism" or service trips—which have fast become both a hallmark of global citizenry and a point of controversy for socially conscious millenials. In their attempts to teach English and work with developmentally disabled children, the students must confront the reality of their work and whether or not it’s creating positive change. A fresh take on a classic moral dilemma, H.O.P.E. Was Here deals with the intersection of privilege and poverty by asking what it really means to help people.
I just returned from a very busy 18-day trip to Boston. Here's what the team got done:
- Launched our official website, beautifully designed by Matt Tranzillo.
- Raised $500 to cover room, board, and an external hard drive for our Peru shoot later this month.
- Secured camera package donation from the College of Communication at Boston University for the Peru shoot. We'll be shooting on the Panasonic HMC-150, like we have all along.
- Met with the Stonehill College H.O.P.E. Peru group three times to prepare for the trip. Presented with Travis Kumph at a Stonehill College Learning Community class, where we spoke about Lima and Travis' book Peace of Me, plus screened a 10-minute "First Look" at the film.
- Shot a segment with Kamilia at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, where she volunteers weekly.
- Traveled to Travis' house in Jaffrey, NH to shoot a short segment.
- Applied to Good Pitch.
I'm tired. Time to sleep on the bus back to New York.
Phew! What's next, you ask? We're finishing up our application to the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, sending our letter of inquiry to The Fledgling Fund, and writing an article for the new online travel magazine Frayed Passport. Oh, and we leave for Peru in just three weeks! Yikes!