Christof's Open Road
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10K Miles From Home
San Francisco, CA
Indie: Team 10k Miles from Home (US)
Africa, Kenya, thesis, travel
Everyone thought Christof Putzel, a Student Emmy-winning documentarian, was crazy during the end of his senior year at Connecticut College in 2001 when he said he wanted to do a thesis, but instead of writing it he wanted to film it. Christof's college gave him permission and $3,000 to film a documentary about AIDS in orphans in Kenya. Christof bought a camcorder and a plane ticket to Kenya, and he embarked on what he didn't know would soon be a life-changing experience. When returned to school, he had a lot of footage, but didn't know how to make sense of it. Before he knew it, the school year was coming to an end and Christof hadn't finished his documentary yet. People were telling him to get on with his life, but he didn't want to leave it unfinished—he knew this was what he wanted to do with his life. He spent the rest of the year at school and finished the piece by the following semester. Christof's hard work paid off; his film Left Behind screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and then went on to win a Student Academy Award, a Student Emmy, and numerous other distinctions.