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Daniel Koehler ’12 screens film excerpt at National Geographic headquarters

The School of Communications graduate produced his documentary, “A House Without Snakes,” as part of the 2014-15 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The film hosted its world premiere in April at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

As part of the 2014-15 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, Daniel Koehler '12 (right) produced a documentary film that tells the story of the San living near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Photo courtesy of National Geographic's website

As the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship commemorates members of its second class, the international program recognized on July 14 one of its inaugural digital storytellers, Daniel Koehler ’12.

The media arts and entertainment graduate screened an excerpt of his short documentary, “A House Without Snakes,” at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. The screening is part of the fellowship’s celebration of its 2015-16 class, and this year’s storytellers led a panel discussion on their experiences traveling the world, with stops in Russia, Japan, Jordan, Turkey and the Pacific Island nations of Kiribati and Fiji.

Filmed and directed by Koehler during a nine-month stay in Botswana, “A House Without Snakes” provides an intimate look at two San men wrestling with the choice between honoring ancestral traditions or following modern possibilities. Koehler chronicled his experiences while in Africa on the Fulbright National Geographic Stories blog.

“A House Without Snakes” hosted its world premiere in April at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham. Among those on hand were (from left) Edward Pettitt, co-producer, Ketelelo, cast member, and Koehler, director. Photo courtesy of Nicole Triche

“A House Without Snakes” received strong reviews at its world premiere in April at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina. In fact, the film had two sold-out screenings and Koehler led Q&A sessions with his co-producer, Edward Pettitt, and film participant, Ketelelo.

Three years ago the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship was launched as a new component of the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. The fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic.

The July 14 program in Washington, D.C., concluded with the first public introduction of the 2016-17 class of Fulbright-National Geographic Storytellers.

Following his Elon graduation, Koehler was part of the production team for "Point and Shoot," a 88-minute documentary film that won best documentary at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. As an undergraduate student, Koehler was a member of elondocs, the university's documentary production program.

Tommy Kopetskie,
Staff
7/13/2016 3:05 PM