Scott E. Schimmel

Two documentaries by Scott E. Schimmel, an assistant professor in the School of Communications in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, will be released to national and international audiences in April. Driven Blind will make its national television debut on the World Channel as part Reel South and My Garden, No Longer will be shown during the Gold Coast Film Festival 2018 Commonwealth Stories on Screen.

A former environmental scientist, Schimmel uses his background to explore the story of the human experience on a variety of topics for his documentaries, ranging from the challenges of coastal sustainability to the fight against poverty and hunger. Schimmel’s research focuses on documentary film, environmental filmmaking, storytelling, multimedia production, media ethics and collaborative creativity.

Poster for Driven Blind

Driven Blind

Schimmel’s Driven Blind tells the story of world champion drag racer Dan Parker. After experiencing a racing accident that has left him blind, Parker’s determined disposition on life is captured through Schimmel’s lens.

Driven Blind originally started out as a film about a blind bowling league. While doing research for that film I came across Dan’s story and knew it had to be told. I hope that viewers of Driven Blind will gain a deeper understanding of the struggles of blindness, and through Dan’s story realize that despite what challenges life may throw at you, you can always achieve your dreams,” said Schimmel.

Driven Blind will air on April 15 as part of season 3 of Reel South, an anthology series highlighting the Southern tradition of storytelling. The film will be distributed to all public TV stations nationwide.

Poster for My Garden, No Longer with a man on the beach

My Garden, No Longer

My Garden, No Longer documents the struggles of the people of Vanuatu as they seek to hold on to their culture and traditions in the face of a changing climate. Once called the happiest place on earth, today Vanuatu faces a grim future as climate change threatens its culture and traditions.

“After learning about the challenges Ni-Vanuatu are currently facing, I knew it was the right place to tell this story. My Garden, No Longer gives a voice to the people of Malekula Island in Vanuatu as they discuss the impacts that climate change is having on their lives. My hope is that this film inspires others to take responsibility for their role in the future of our planet,” he added.

Schimmel will represent Vanuatu during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival 2018 Commonwealth Stories on Screen which runs April 4–15. Curated by Gold Coast Film Festival, this program showcases the talent, perspectives, issues and ideas from more than 50 Commonwealth nations and territories.

More About Scott E. Schimmel

Schimmel is an award-winning filmmaker, educator and environmental scientist. His documentaries, which have screened at festivals worldwide, cover topics such as the fight against poverty and hunger in North Carolina, the challenges of coastal sustainability in Belize, the triumph of overcoming the limitations of disability, and the struggles to adapt to a changing climate in Vanuatu. In addition to filmmaking, he has worked as a consultant on environmental and climate related projects in the Western Pacific and Oceania.

Schimmel earned his BSES in water and soil resources from the University of Georgia in 2009, and his MFA in documentary film at Wake Forest University in 2017.