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Documentary By Greenwich Student To Premiere At Film Festival

Greenwich resident Luke Lorentzen has produced two films.
Greenwich resident Luke Lorentzen has produced two films. Photo Credit: Stanford Arts Institute

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich resident Luke Lorentzen has a good excuse for missing the screening of his documentary short "Santa Cruz del Islote" at the Greenwich International Film Festival this weekend: He'll be taking his finals.

The 22-year-old student, a Brunswick High School graduate, is finishing his senior year at Stanford University.

Between taking classes (he's graduating with a degree in Film and American studies), he's been making movies. It's something he said he's been doing since fifth grade, though his films were mostly about skateboarding back then.

For his first feature debut, he spent the summer of his sophomore year following a fisherman and a 9-year-old boy on the tiny 3-acre island of Santa Cruz del Islote, located 50 miles off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. He had heard about the island from a friend at college and was intrigued.

According to Lorentzen, the island is one of the most densely populated in the world. For years, it relied on fishing. "People used to be able to sit on their porches and watch the fish come in," he said. Now, he said, fisherman can be out on the ocean for an entire day and catch just one or two fish.

His film, a cinematic ode to the island's tropical rhythms, textures and colors, captures the complexity of a peaceful way of life no longer sustainable due to environmental changes, resource management and the increasing demands of globalization.

The film has won numerous awards including "Best Short Documentary," at Princeton Film Festival and "Best Documentary" at the Ivy Film Festival, 2015.

And now: His hometown. "Unfortunately, it's smack dab in the middle of finals, but my family will be there,"  said Lorentzen.

"Santa Cruz del Islote" will be shown Saturday, June 6, at 2:30 p.m. at Greenwich's Bow Tie Cinemas and Sunday, June 7, at 10 a.m. Go here for complete details.

For festival information, go to www.greenwichfilm.org/ .

And be on the lookout for more from this young filmmaker. His new documentary, "New York Cuts," about six different barbershops in New York City and their cultural enclaves, is about to make the festival circuit.

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