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Students behind NESN film to learn fate

Chasse and Cantalupo

Anthony Chasse '15 and Michael Cantalupo '16 produced a documentary for NESN Next Producer and will find out May 25 if they won $20,000 and a possible job with the Boston-based cable sports network. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Two Emerson students will find out on Monday, May 25, if they won $20,000 and a television job from the New England Sports Network (NESN).

Anthony Chasse ’15 and Michael Cantalupo ’16 produced a documentary about a blind college athlete, The Chaz Davis Story, for the competition-style show called NESN Next Producer, which features Boston Red Sox chairman and longtime TV executive Tom Werner and current TV executive Brad Falchuck as mentors and judges.

The final episode of NESN Next Producer is scheduled for 6:00 pm, or immediately following NESN’s Red Sox broadcast, on May 25.

The Emerson students are among four groups of finalists from Boston University, Curry College, and Sacred Heart University.

“To hear that our work is being recognized in the final episode is a huge honor for us, and really gratifying,” Chasse said.

NESN Next promo

A promotional photo for NESN Next Producer.

The pair said they made revisions to the documentary after it originally aired on NESN last month.

“In our revision process, we’re really trying to tell a story of triumph rather than disability,” Cantalupo said. “We’re really trying to raise awareness that Chaz’s identity as an athlete comes before his identity as someone who has a disability.”

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

The Emerson students’ film shows Davis jogging down the street as he adjusts to a new way of living. Davis hopes to compete in a future Paralympics 5-kilometer race.

Both Chasse and Cantalupo have been heavily involved in TV production during their time at Emerson, and both worked for the Emerson Channel.

“I’m so excited for Anthony and Mike,” said Diana Barton, faculty advisor of the Emerson Channel. “Their production work at Emerson typically includes being in front of the camera, so it’s great for them to have this opportunity to show the talent they have for filmmaking too. They’re both passionate storytellers at heart and that comes through in their moving film about Chaz Davis.”

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