This fall, Kiara Toscano ’16 will begin a new chapter as a student at the New York Film Academy. The Queens, N.Y.-native will pursue a master’s in fine arts. This fall she will study in a conservatory program learning all that goes into a documentary production. In her second year, she will continue her studies in Los Angeles.
As an environmental studies major and theatre minor, Toscano was exposed to the role that film, specifically documentaries, can play in social justice. In the course, “Environmental Justice and Film,” Toscano analyzed several documentaries, learning about film structure and how it can draw the audience’s attention to specific topics.
It was during her study abroad experience in San Salvador, Bahamas, with the HWS Geoscience Department that she discovered her interest in documentaries. After cleaning up a beach and being assigned to document her experiences, Toscano realized that she wanted to tell the story about the environment through film.
“This was the first time I was able to connect my love for production and my passion for the environment,” says Toscano. “It brings me great joy to create films that will advocate change for our natural environment.”
At the New York Film Academy, Toscano hopes to build on the framework that she learned at HWS about filmmaking. “I am excited to learn about production and editing, so I can use these tools to create environmental documentaries,” Toscano explains. “I was always an advocate for conservation and environmental change. My goal was to find an effective way to share my message, and that is through documenting.”
As a student, Toscano was a member of Latin American Organization, where she held an executive position for two years, the Campus Activities Board and HWS Electronic Dance Music Collective. Additionally, Toscano volunteered as an EcoRep and represented HWS at the People’s Climate March in 2014.