The Department of Media and Society held a screening of Covid Diaries NYC, an HBO Max documentary featuring animation by Rosemary Colon-Martinez ’21.
On Thursday, April 1, the Media and Society Department hosted a viewing of the Covid Diaries NYC, a documentary chronicling the lives of five young filmmakers, ages 17 to 21, who turn their cameras on themselves and tell the stories of their families during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. The event was held in the Vandervort Room.
Following the screening, a panel discussion featured Rosemary Colon-Martinez ’21, who created original animation for the documentary. She was joined by former Visiting Assistant Professor of Media and Society Lina Žigelytė and Associate Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies Marilyn Jimenez. Colon-Martinez says both instructors have had a significant influence on her journey at the Colleges.
Colon-Martinez says she hopes the documentary encourages people to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols. She also wants to amplify the voices and stories of people who have struggled and persevered through challenges in 2020.
“I hope that people can understand, just because someone might not look like you, it doesn’t mean that they’re not going through what you might be going through. I hope that gives people empathy, compassion and, hopefully, also comfort,” Colon-Martinez told HBO Docs in a video interview promoting the film.
A senior at HWS, Colon-Martinez is already an award-winning filmmaker. In 2020, she received best short narrative film at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her film Ocean’s View tells the story of a young Black man who is arrested, along with a white friend, on a marijuana charge and is subsequently sent to jail.
The media and society major became involved in the project when, after completing a video documentary that included some of her animation work, she was encouraged by Jimenez and Žigelytė to look into the Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV) in Manhattan. Founded in 1972, DCTV is a community media center that provides free or low-cost production courses and trains students in media arts.
Covid Diaries NYC is now streaming on HBO Max.