Keiser University Cinematic Arts students recently examined the dark and bright impacts and ethical ramifications of documentaries on society and film subjects through a study of the film Hoop Dreams.
Led by Professor Samantha Kountz, the Documentary History class students attended the lecture delivered by Keiser University’s Sports Management Program Director Justin Harmon. With extensive experience in the worlds of youth sports and education, Harmon worked directly with the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Foundation (HDSF), as their first full-time employee. “The movie Hoop Dreams and the creation of the HDSF remind us that there are many opportunities in sports for people to have success, and that an affordable college education is one of the many roads that can lead to it,” he said.
The discussion was very relevant to budding film students. “After a study about the history of the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Foundation and how it gained national attention, we were able to learn more about how documentaries can impact the world outside of cinema while noting their positive and negative influences on the world. The findings also provided insights relating to how athletic talent and brand marketing has advanced while making us ponder how our productions will psychologically impact the people highlighted in our films,” said Kountz.
Founded by Susie Kay, a Washington, D.C. public high school teacher, the HDSF was established to help inner city high school students with some of the costs associated with attending college. Although not affiliated with the Hoop Dreams documentary, the creation of the organization was partially inspired by it.
Keiser University’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts provides students with a solid foundation in cinematography, storytelling, and film production; incorporating business principles, as well as more advanced coursework and a strong general education program. An interdisciplinary approach enables students to demonstrate their artistic expertise and application of business knowledge to enhance their career opportunities.