ABOUT THE FILM
Join us for the World Premiere at DOC NYC on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11 with special Q&A session featuring Executive Producer Soledad O’Brien and Director Geeta Gandbhir. Follow the link for tickets https://www.docnyc.net/film/hungry-to-learn/.
In a documentary film by Soledad O’Brien and Geeta Gandbhir we meet the faces behind an American crisis -- college students so strapped to pay tuition that they don’t have enough money to eat.
It’s not about Ramen Noodles and care packages from home, it’s a life of suffering from having no food at all, eating at food pantries or off the trays of fellow students. It’s the humiliation of telling teachers and school officials that they need help, of applying for food stamps only to discover how hard it is for students to qualify, of going to class day after day distracted by hunger and rumbling stomachs.
This verité film, shot by award-winning cinematographers Rudy Valdez and Asad Faruqi, tells the story of 4 college students facing hunger and homelessness, and dreams of college degrees just out of reach. Eve Brescia gets so frustrated she declares: “I’m going to be paying back loans for the rest of my life. You gotta spend this much money to eat?” Activist Professor Sara Goldrick Rab nails down a startling statistic about a problem affecting every campus in the country: Forty-five percent of college students are regularly going hungry -- yes, 45%.
45% of college students report struggling with hunger
College tuition has jumped 96% in the last 30 years
There are over 650 food pantries on college campuses
Students owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt
Geeta Gandbhir has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and has won five. As editor, her films have been nominated twice for an Academy Award, winning once. She has also won four Peabody Awards and the Alfred I. DuPont Award.
Gandbhir co-produced the feature documentary The Sentence which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and won a 2019 Primetime Emmy. She co-directed a feature documentary for HBO titled I Am Evidence which premiered at the 2017 TriBeCa Film Festival and won a 2019 News & Documentary Emmy. Gandbhir also co-directed the documentary feature film Armed with Faith for PBS which premiered at the 2017 Sheffield Film Festival and won a 2019 News & Documentary Emmy.
Soledad O’Brien has produced, directed or reported nearly 2 dozen documentary films, including the critically acclaimed Black in America series, and the documentaries Kids Behind Bars and Black and Blue. Her CNN documentary The War Comes Home debuted as a Fathom event in movie theaters around the country. She has been recognized with three Emmy Awards and was honored twice with the George Foster Peabody award for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina and her reporting on the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami garnered CNN an Alfred I. DuPont Award.
Rose Arce is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who has produced or written for 13 documentaries, including Her Name Was Steven, Gary and Tony Have a Baby, Rescued and The War Comes Home. She has worked as a producer for Soledad O’Brien for 12 years, serving as her co-author on 2 books and a producer on 9 of her documentaries. As a print reporter, she shared the Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Rudy Valdez is a filmmaker committed to making cinematic, meaningful documentary films about social, cultural and political issues. His most recent project The Sentence, a documentary about mandatory minimums and sentencing reform, which Valdez shot and directed over the course of a decade, won the Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and a 2019 Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Valdez got his start as a camera operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Asad Faruqi is an award-winning cinematographer and filmmaker. He is the cinematographer and co-director for the 2019 Emmy Award-winning documentary film, Armed With Faith. Faruqi’s other works include A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, which won both the Academy Award and Emmy Award for best documentary in 2016, and Saving Face, which won the Academy Award and Emmy Award in 2012. His other notable work includes A New Homeland, Pakistan’s Taliban Generation, which garnered an Emmy and Alfred I. Dupont Award. Faruqi’s work has been featured on HBO, Channel 4, PBS, CBC, SBS, Arte, and The New York Times.
Deanne Gaston is an associate producer at Soledad O'Brien's production company, Starfish Media Group. She assists the Executive Producer, Rose Arce in the research, planning, and production of editorial, branded, and documentary content. Deanne started her media career as a marketing intern at WCIU-TV in Chicago. She has previously worked in breaking news for MSNBC's Live News hours during the 2016 Presidential election and is also a social media producer and blogger.
Flavia de Souza was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013 for her work as editor on Open Heart, which aired on HBO. Her work as a documentary editor includes the 2019 Emmy Award-winning film Armed with Faith, as well as credits on Naila and the Uprising, Song of Lahore, and Rancher Farmer Fisherman, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on the Discovery Channel in August of that year. de Souza has also done work on USA v. Chapo: The Drug War Goes on Trial, a Facebook Watch original series produced by Jigsaw and Rolling Stone.
Alex Keipper is a documentary editor whose work includes the four-part series The Case Against Adnan Syed, produced for HBO, as well as the mini-series Hunting ISIS, which aired on VICELAND and the History Channel. His feature film credits include the Showtime documentary American Jihad, and the HBO Documentary film Risky Drinking. Keipper’s short work includes various projects for VICE Media, and the New York Times Op-Doc A Conversation With My Black Son. He has additionally worked on music videos, narratives, and commercial projects.
IN THE NEWS
Funding Generously Provided By Conagra Brands Foundation &
William T Grant Foundation