In 2009, a group of filmmakers set out to Guatemala and Mexico to tell the story of the ancient Maya and the discovery of a once sacred site that lies under the surface of Lake Atitlan. The expedition leads to the 2000-year-old city of Samabaj with breathtaking results. Now completed, the finished film, titled Mayan Blue, has received awards and acclaim at film festivals across the country.
The crew, lead by Director Rafael Garcia included Director of Photography and New England School of Communications professor Todd Eastman. “My goal was to convey the same sense of wonder and discovery I was was feeling at that moment while staying true to the vision of the film” says Eastman as he reflects on the process. In addition to serving as Director of Photography, Eastman was also Steadicam operator and a diver on the production. With filming on land and underwater, the production involved 5 years of complex production that was required to effectively tell the tale venturing into the Mayan underworld known as Xibalba (pronounced /ʃɨˈbɒlbə/).
Mayan Blue was screened at the 2013 SOHO Film Festival. It received an Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Savannah Film Festival and was recognized as Best Cinematography and Best Documentary at the Geneva International Film Festival.
Eastman, who is developing the Digital Film program at NESCom adds; “I consider the experience of making this film both an honor and a landmark in professional growth that I can pass on to students. To be given the opportunity to create images that can take people places they have possibly only dreamed of is a privilege”.
For more information on Mayan Blue visit the film’s Facebook page