New York Film Academy Filmmaking alum Eliana Álvarez Martínez will premiere her film “Spirit of Discovery” at the San Diego International Film Festival on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The film follows Walter Munk, an American oceanographer on a mission to research the unique flying Devil Rays that bear his name. Munk, also known as the “Einstein of the Oceans,” is renowned for his work on ocean currents and wave propagation. On the brink of 100 years of age, Munk is still active in the scientific community.
NYFA sat down with the film’s director, NYFA alumna and instructor, Eliana Álvarez Martínez.
NYFA: What about this subject inspired you to make this film?
Eliana: When I first met Walter Munk I was just mesmerized by who he was and all the achievements he had had throughout his career. But after that, I fell in love with is humble personality, his young spirit and his desire to keep working and discovering things at 100 years old. It Is very contagious.
NYFA: What were some of the challenges you faced making this film?
Eliana: The hardest part of making this film was to keep pushing forward during 4 years while we didn’t have funds. I was lucky to count on the help of lots of friends and colleagues from NYFA and elsewhere. Without them, this film wouldn’t have been possible.
NYFA: How does it feel to be premiering at the San Diego International Film Festival?
Eliana: I think San Diego is the perfect location to premiere the film. Not only because this is where Walter started his career but also because of the timing. He is turning 100 years old this month so no other film festival could be more perfect.
NYFA: How did your experience at NYFA help you in your career?
Eliana: Constantly having a camera in your hands gave me the experience and confidence I needed to get out there and start working right away. Not to mention all the super talented people that you meet from all over the world while you are in school. It’s an unbelievable network and we all help each other.
The film was worked on by a number of NYFA alumni: Leah Goudsmit is credited as the Co-Producer & Editor; Marco Vital for Additional Cinematography; Susi Dolling as a Colorist; Anna Pascual for Motion Graphics. NYFA instructors Andrea Swift and Ivan Julian are also credited as Story Producer and for Sound mix respectively.
You can watch the trailer for “Spirit of Discovery” here.