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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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NESN airing doc on visually impaired athlete

NESN

Anthony Chasse '15 and Michael Cantalupo '16 are filming a documentary for NESN about a University of Hartford cross-country athlete who developed blindness. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Two Visual and Media Arts students filming a documentary about a college athlete who suddenly developed blindness said their project will air on the New England Sports Network (NESN) this spring.

Anthony Chasse ’15 and Michael Cantalupo ’16, who are roommates, entered a contest in which NESN features sports-related documentaries filmed by college students for a competition-style show called NESN Next Producer. Chasse and Cantalipo's 6-minute documentary scheduled to air on the show's premiere episode on Monday, April 6, at 7:00 pm, or immediately following NESN's post-game coverage of the Boston Red Sox opening season game. The pair have a chance at winning $20,000 and a job at the cable sports network.

(Update: Chasse and Cantalupo's video is now posted on NESN.com.)

DavisChaz Davis, the subject of the documentary, is a member of the University of Hartford cross-country team. Davis, who was a high school athlete in Grafton, Massachusetts, developed severe blindness before his sophomore year of college when he was diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Ocular Neuropathy.

“Low vision diseases seem not to be talked about,” Cantalupo said. “Chaz is doing this documentary because he wants to get the message out.”

One of Davis’ biggest advocates is teammate Bryan Quitadamo, who, coincidentally, was an athletic rival in high school. Quitadamo is from Auburn, Massachusetts, a short distance from Grafton.

“The kid who was his biggest rival is now helping him,” Chasse said. “It’s an amazing story of two friends.”

Davis is an honorary member of the University of Hartford cross-country team.

The film shows Davis learning new ways to live his life—which include regular exercise and inspiring scenes of him jogging down the street with Quitadamo.

Davis is hoping to compete in the Paralympics 5K race. 

“He could have taken a semester off, but he immediately went back to school,” Chasse said.

Both Chasse and Cantalupo have been heavily involved in television production during their years at Emerson.

Chasse, a native of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, is a freelance sports producer at WCVB-TV. He has also worked on-air and as a producer for Good Morning Emerson on the Emerson Channel; and as a graphics manager and reporter for WEBN; among other TV roles.

Cantalupo, from Massapequa, New York, has worked as an on-air personality and as a producer for Good Morning Emerson and Fast Forward Rewind on the Emerson Channel, among other roles. He was recently hired to be an on-air spokesperson for the Bideawee Animal Shelter in New York City, where he regularly appears on pet segments in newscasts on WNBC-TV.