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A group of student researchers studying educational models in the Latin American country of Paraguay must choose between aiding the high schoolers they befriended with their personal obstacles or focusing on affecting long term change.
Corey Cao Nguyen is a young, Asian-American filmmaker attending UC Irvine in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. He’s a third year student in the Digital Filmmaking program and is focused on cinematography. Nguyen prides himself on placing the story above all in his work as his naturalistic cinematography specializes in truthfully depicting characters within their worlds and building empathy and emotion through light.
“Querer Es Poder: Searching For Sustainability” is a nonfiction narrative documentary shot in the Latin American country of Paraguay. I spent five weeks at the San Francisco Agricultural High School, living amongst both the indigenous students and the international researchers who were sent as part of the Global Service Scholar program, started by the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, in which undergrad UC students are sent to perform service in underserved communities. in the countryside while shooting the film. While in Paraguay, I worked heavily with the nonprofit organization Fundacion Paraguaya to ensure a respectful representation of Paraguayan culture and assistance in projecting a cut of the film at the school for the indigenous students so they could see themselves on the big screen.
Shooting this documentary was an incredible opportunity to not only visit an incredible country, but blend my passion for filmmaking with international service and help tell the story of those who traditionally don’t have a voice in mainstream media.