Why Emmy Award-winning documentarians focused their lens on 5 GSEA student entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) encourages young entrepreneurs through its Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), EO’s premier competition for college students who own and operate a business. The annual competition culminates with the Global Finals, where “studentpreneurs” from 50 countries compete and connect with both seasoned entrepreneurs and other student competitors. The 2021 GSEA Global Finals competition will be held virtually from May 4-6, 2021.
In 2019, Emmy Award-winning directors and documentary film-makers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster followed five student entrepreneurs for the months between winning their national GSEA competition and the 2019 GSEA Global Finals. The result is a National Geographic documentary film available on Disney+ titled Own the Room. We asked Costantini and Foster about the experience. Here’s what they shared:
Why did you choose GSEA as your documentary backdrop?
Foster: “After making Science Fair, which followed high school students competing internationally, we wondered, ‘What does it look like when these kids grow up?’ We thought GSEA would be an excellent framework for exploring another generation of students whose brilliant ideas could become big business.”
Costantini: “We loved how international the GSEA competition is, with student competitors from 50 countries. We wanted to tell a story of people from all different parts of the world, with different upbringing, backgrounds, and cultures. GSEA has that; it stood out from other competitions. The creativity of all the students, the diversity of their business ideas, and the number of countries represented made GSEA the right choice for us.”
Foster: “What’s unique about GSEA is that the competition focuses on the entrepreneurs themselves–the students and their stories–not just their companies. As documentary film-makers, we liked that the students are encouraged to share their journeys. You get to see them as complex people. They’re doing incredible things, but they’re also real people.”