MediaLab staff members keep up a steady workflow of award-winning documentaries. All of our documentaries are listed below in chronological order. If you have any questions or would like to order any of the documentaries, please e-mail us! We’d love to talk with you.
The Hidden Forest: The Disappearance of Puget Sound Kelp, 2022
The Hidden Forest: The Disappearance of Puget Sound Kelp explores the alarming loss of bull kelp in the Puget Sound region and what potential damages this could cause to our environment and the Indigenous people’s culture if we continue down this current path. Kelp conservationists, Tribal Members, and others share their insight on kelp’s decline and what can be done to save it.
Turning the Page: The Story of Next Chapter, 2021
Turning the Page: The Story of Next Chapter explores how local nonprofit Next Chapter is tackling the issue of homelessness in greater Pierce County, Washington. Co-founders Monique Patterson and Kathryn Hedrick, as well as Next Chapter clients, share their stories of resilience, hard work and community in their journey to house single mothers and their families.
Eyes Above, 2020
As the United States further militarizes its border with Mexico, the Tohono O’odham tribe in southern Arizona grapples with the encroaching surveillance technologies being implemented on its land under the eye of an increasingly watchful Border Patrol.
Living on the Edge, 2019
North Cove, Wash., founded as a tourist destination in 1884, is one of the fastest-eroding U.S. coastlines, losing roughly 150 feet of land per year. The Pacific Ocean is projected to engulf the area by 2050 if left unchecked. The fates of homes, businesses, cranberry farms and fisheries hang in the balance. However, the residents of North Cove refuse to give up without a fight. MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University tells the story of residents, the tribal community, and farmers as they rally against the waves to save what’s left of their town. For more information, please visit livingontheedgefilm.com.
A World of Difference, 2017
All across the country, people of color, women, immigrants, low income communities, and many others, say they feel less respected, more fearful, and in many places, under attack, because of their differences. MediaLab’s newest production, A World of Difference, investigates how communities experience diversity and ultimately asks the question: How do we value difference?
CHANGING CURRENTS, 2016
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, roughly 50 percent of the nation’s 250,000 rivers are too polluted for swimming or fishing. Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers investigates the threats to these vital bodies of water and explores some of the compelling restoration efforts occurring in communities across the continent. The mission of Changing Currents is to raise awareness, encourage environmental stewardship, and advocate for increased public dialogue about effective river protection efforts.
THESE FOUR YEARS, 2015
In Fall 2014, roughly 21 million American students, chose to invest in a college education, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Yet, only about 30 percent of Americans hold four-year college degrees, which means that college is either undesirable – or inaccessible – for 70 percent of the 319 million people who live in the U.S. MediaLab asks the question: Does a 4-year degree still represent the promise of a better life?
WASTE NOT, 2014
According to a 2013 United Nations special report, an estimated one–third of food produced in the world each year is wasted, resulting in astronomical economic, environmental and human costs. Join the award–winning filmmakers of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University as they dissect the issues of food waste in their 2014 film Waste Not: Breaking Down the Food Equation.
TAPPED OUT, 2013
Water is the basis of life on Planet Earth. But from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle and beyond, many of our major waterways and water supplies are threatened by drought, pollution and population growth.
BEYOND BURKAS AND BOMBERS, 2013
Mass media in the U.S. continually highlight events pertaining to radical Muslim organizations. However, the daily lives of average Muslims living in North America are rarely presented. Such coverage can produce barriers between cultures — and jeopardize relationships. The 2013 documentary by the award–winning filmmakers of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University is Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Dissecting Anti–Muslim Sentiment in America, a film that explores the implications of this tendency and attempts to break down walls of false perceptions.
North America’s population is expected to increase by as much as 100 million people by the year 2050. With oil prices and road congestion on the rise, new strategies for moving people from one place to another will be necessary. Among the transportation options under consideration is higher–speed inter–city rail service that would better connect urban areas such as Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Sidetracked: Redefining Rail investigates the possible effects of higher–speed rail in the Pacific Northwest.
Overexposed, is a documentary about “compassion fatigue,” a condition that particularly affects those working in helping professions such as health care, social services and law enforcement. The film, partially sponsored by the global relief organization, World Vision, premiered Oct. 8, 2011 in Seattle. A second public showing occurred on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in early 2012. Adding to its acclaim, the film was later screened on March 26, 2014 as part of the New York City Filmmakers Anthology Series.
OIL LITERACY, 2010
Oil drives the global economy and supports the lifestyles to which the industrialized world has become accustomed. But fossil fuels are precious and finite, and their consumption continues unabated. MediaLab, in partnership with researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, present Oil Literacy, a new and original documentary that seeks to bridge historical polarizations by exploring the roles of industry, citizens, governments and consumers.
THE NEW AMERICAN FAMILY, 2010
The New American Family: Defining Commitment in a Changing Society, is an original documentary produced by the award-winning filmmakers of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University. “The New American Family” specifically seeks to explore the complex dynamics of relationships in the 21st century and focuses attention on the evolving meaning of “family.” This documentary received the 2010 Accolade Award of Excellence.
POINT OF ENTRY, 2009
Since the time of the Pilgrims, the quests for freedom and liberty have been the primary motivators for immigrants seeking new lives and opportunities in Canada and the United States. But while millions of new arrivals to North America have made successful transitions, others have not been so fortunate. Point of Entry: Migrating to North America is an original documentary produced by the award winning filmmakers of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University. This documentary received the 2010 Accolade Award of Excellence.
A HARD TRADE, 2009
A Hard Trade: Rebuilding Broken Lives is an original documentary, produced by MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University. A Hard Trade chronicles the progress of several female offenders enrolled in the Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching (TRAC) program, a 14–week course at the Washington Corrections Center for Women that boasts a 95 percent success rate for those who complete it.
ILLICIT EXCHANGES, 2008
Illicit Exchanges: Canada, the U.S. and Crime is a winner of a 2009 Emmy Award in the long–form documentary category. Illicit Exchanges explores the effects of drugs and crime on communities across North America. The documentary was accepted for broadcast by KBTC–TV, the PBS affiliate in Tacoma, Wash.
BUILDING CONNECTIONS, 2007
World War II represented the battle for freedom in the Western World. But less well known is the fact that construction of the Alaska–Canada Highway, or “ALCAN,” became a beacon of pride and optimism in the dark days that followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In the award–winning Building Connections: Reclaiming Lost Narratives of the Alaska–Canada Highway, MediaLab at PLU shows how construction of the ALCAN Highway helped alter the course of history.