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McDaniel in the News: 2016 Cinema grad wins Global Impact award

Luke Fisher's big win at the Global Impact Film Festival in D.C. reinforced the importance of McDaniel College's entrepreneurial storytelling course, The Forest Online.

McDaniel College Cinema student Luke Fisher in the Peruvian rain forest

Luke Fisher during a trip to the Peruvian rain forest with McDaniel College's Forest Online course. Fisher won the 2016 Global Impact Award for his video from that trip.

There could not have been a better endorsement of McDaniel’s entrepreneurial storytelling course, The Forest Online, than Cinema grad Luke Fisher’s big win at the Global Impact Film Festival in Washington, D.C.

Fisher’s film, “The Forest’s Edge,” won Best Visual Documentary for the compelling story it told about the Peruvian rain forest, inadvertently fulfilling the mission of the class to tell the stories of this richly biodiverse but threatened ecosystem in ways that can — and perhaps will — change the world.

The dozen students in McDaniel’s “The Forest Online” class — which stretched over fall and spring semesters with a Jan Term trip to the rain forest in between — traveled more than 3,500 miles to the remote Las Piedras watershed of Peru’s Madre de Dios region. They gathered notes, photos, film, recordings and other materials they used, each in their own way, to tell the stories of the rain forest.

They spent fall semester preparing for both a jungle adventure, studying ways conservationists are trying to protect and preserve endangered environments, and honing their skills in photography and journaling. After three weeks in Peru, including 12 days in the rain forest, the students completed the third part of the class, processing all they learned, charted, noted, filmed and photographed and actually telling the stories.

Fisher’s documentary was also screened as his capstone project at VideoPalooza in May. Watch a video of Fisher talking about his capstone project here.

Read all about his adventure, his passion and his dedication in this Q&A in the Carroll County Times.