Today the curtain rises for the most integral member of our production crew: Jennifer Barbaro, Director and Producer of Racing To Rio. A documentary filmmaker with an MFA in Communications and Film from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, photographer, and mixed media artist, Jennifer is a recipient of the Samuel Z. Arkoff Award, a 2015 Indie Gathering Featured Documentary Film Award winner and a recent nominee for best local filmmaker in Creative Loafing’s Best of Tampa Bay contest.
Ever active, Jennifer is the founder of The Visual Planet, a photography, mixed media, and production company, and the CEO of production and marketing company, HBNB Productions, Inc. She is a lifelong lover of the arts and is also responsible for Exposed Elements, a Tampa art collaborative that began in 2012. Exposed Elements is another project from The Barbaro-Gould Foundation—it provides local artists with opportunities to display their art and makes use of free exhibits to revitalize the community.
For the past two decades, Jennifer has acted on her passion for art and culture by traveling the world extensively in a search of cultural exchange. Her travels have taken her to Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and Europe, and have helped her to forge connections with artists worldwide. A believer of transformational leadership, Jennifer strives to bring a mix of creativity, cultural exchange, and conversation into her films.
Started by Jennifer and her husband, Todd Gould, The Barbaro-Gould Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity that facilitates thee global cultural exchange of art, music literature and film. Racing To Rio, the inspiring story of Paralympic sailor Brad Kendell and his team’s journey to the 2016 Sailing Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, is the foundation’s current focus and its director’s number one initiative for the upcoming year.
Through your tax deductible donation, we can share the amazing story of Adaptive Sailing with the world. Please support Jennifer’s passion for Racing to Rio bydonating today.
A special post Veteran’s Day tribute to Warrior Sailing
In addition to Brad Kendell’s Never Say Never Pirate Camp, Racing To Rio also features Paralympic gold medalist Jen French’s Warrior Sailing Program. The crew of Racing To Rio is ecstatic to film Jen and Warrior Sailing today, including interviews with the program director, Ben Poucher, and program advisor, Ralf Steitz.
Based in St. Petersburg and founded in 2013, the Warrior Sailing Program introduces disabled U.S veterans and active military to the sport of sailing. Participants go through a three-day training session that focuses on boating skills, as well as social skills. Jen says the program’s goal “is to share the spirit of sailing with our military warriors and teach them skills on the water and for a better quality of life.” The Barbaro-Gould Foundation is excited to provide more exposure for this worthy cause.
Program director, Ben Poucher, has a passion for nautical racing, having himself been part of the Skipper Icarus Racing (class 40) team for the 2011 and 2013 Atlantic World Cup. Most of his time is devoted to working with racing sailboat programs and the U.S Paralympic Sailing Team.
Program advisor, Ralf Steitz, is a veteran himself and the president of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Sailing Foundation, which helped Jen create Warrior Sailing with US Sailing. He has over 40 years of sailing experience, having taken part in many national and international competitions. A recipient of the Owen C. Torrey award for outstanding service and the Timothea LARR Award for lifelong contribution towards the advancement of sailor education, training and safety. Ralf eagerly passes on his sailing knowledge to the participants of Warrior Sailing.
The Racing To Rio crew is happy to interview these men and women, documenting the spirit of Warrior Sailing.
The Barbaro-Gould Foundation would like to give a heartfelt thanks to David Bilyeu and his team at Bayou Catering! Bayou Catering’s generosity and support are a clear reflection of the Clearwater community’s unity. Racing To Rio seeks to not only tell the story of Clearwater hero, Brad Kendell, but also of the supportive community standing behind him.
All of us here on the set of Racing To Rio are thrilled with Bayou Catering’s contribution to the project and their enthusiasm for Brad’s story. The film is a project that seeks to unite art, sports, and humanity, and the crew is excited to know that Bayou Catering feels the same. We are honored to have Bayou Catering’s help on set and look forward to cooperating more with them in the future.
And the food was FANTASTIC!
From Largo, Florida, Bayou Catering (727-644-7085) specializes in Cajun and Caribbean food, and provides catering for all events. The crew of Racing to Rioappreciates all the support Bayou Catering has provided and proudly thanks them!
Sailing is an age-old sport and a pillar of human progress. People have been sailing since the beginning of time, both for necessity and for leisure. Advancements in travel and trade not only led to the honing of seafaring skills, but also to the development of great civilizations. Today, sailing is just as important as it always has been, and has even branched out into a sport by itself.
Sailboat racing started out as yacht racing in the 17th and 18th centuries, and has since then, extended to a variety of sub-categories, including Paralympic Sailing. Sailing became popular among disabled sailors in the 1980s and by 1988, the newly formed International Handicap Sailing Community (IHSC) started organizing competitions for the disabled. After sailing appeared as an exhibition sport in the 1990 World Games for the Disabled, the IHSC was recognized by the International Sailing Foundation and renamed the International Foundation for Disabled Sailors (IFDS). Paralympic Sailing then appeared in 1996 as a demonstration sport and by 2000, sailing became an official Paralympic sport. Twelve countries participated in the 1996 demonstration and seventeen countries participated in the official 2000 Sailing Paralympics.
Paralympic sailing is now famous on the world stage and maintains a reputation for being one of the few Paralympic sports that encompasses nearly all ranges of disabilities. It levels the playing field for all disabled sailors and even allows them to race with able-bodied sailors. Paralympic sailing is a sport embraced by sailors all over the world because of this. Racing To Rio seeks to depict this beloved aspect of Paralympic sailing one final time as it films Sonar Team USA 1 and the challenges and victories of its members as they reach for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
In a decision that upset sailors world-wide, the International Paralympic Committee elected to officially remove sailing from the 2020 Paralympics. This decision may cement the Rio 2016 Paralympics as the final Paralympic sailing games in history. Team USA1 recognizes that 2016 may be its final opportunity to compete in the sailing Paralympics and win a gold medal for the U.S. The question of “what comes next?” looms over the minds of every Paralympic sailor as they prepare for what could be the most competitive Paralympic sailing game of their lives.
Racing To Rio will raise awareness for the importance of Paralympic sailing on both the local and international stage. It is the crew’s goal to show the world what an impact Paralympic Sailing has had on the lives of its participants and supporters, as well as those around them. If that goal is reached, then maybe, just maybe, the story of Paralympic Sailing will not end in 2016.
We hope to unite the Tampa Bay community as we film the story of Clearwater hero, Brad Kendell, and his journey to the 2016 Rio Paralympics with his team. The crew thanks Papa John’s in Dunedin for their support of the film’s cause and their generous catering.
No film is complete without a gaffer. Joining the crew of Racing To Rio is Gregory “Grab” Szenas: grip, electric and certified scuba diver. A freelance gaffer and lighting director, Grab has 28 years of experience in the field. He’s worked for both location and studio shoots, using all formats ranging from underwater to high speed.
Although Grab primarily works in Florida and is closely affiliated with Sunwolf Lighting and Grip in the Tampa Bay area, he also lends his talents out globally. In addition to having been a gaffer for HBO and A&E documentaries, his credits also include music videos, commercials, short films, and documentaries.
We are delighted to have Grab on board with the project. With his help, we will make Brad’s story as visually inspiring as it is emotionally in Racing To Rio.
Watch out for more updates as we continue to introduce you to the members of our crew as we collaborate together and journey with some incredible world-class athletes to race to Rio in 2016.
Please help to support Paralympic sailing and this production by making a donation to the project today!
The Barbaro-Gould Foundation is excited and honored to be joined by renowned cinematographer, Bill Mills, and his production company, Digital Cine HD. As Racing To Rio’s Director of Photography, Bill will be bringing a new layer of beauty, passion and expertise to the project.
As an ocean-lover, Bill is licensed as a captain, sailor, master scuba diver and has a myriad of experience with filming both on and under the water. Bill is especially passionate about marine projects, having extensively traveled the world’s waters on multiple projects including National Geographic’s Pursuit of the Giant Bluefin. In addition to his time with National Geographic, Bill has worked on CBS 60 minutes, with the Department of Defense and with the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute, amongst many more.
Bill has done cinematography for television and commercial documentaries, as well as feature films. His work has earned him six Emmys, a Primetime Emmy nomination for Best Cinematography, a Kodak Vision Award, three Cine Golden Eagles, a Platinum Best of Show Aurora, and a fellowship with the New York based Explorer’s Club.
Having spent the past eighteen years in St. Petersburg, Bill has a strong connection to the local community and is an avid sailor, himself.
Our esteemed Director of Photography, Bill Mills, our entire crew, and all of our sponsors are thrilled to be collaborating on a project that seamlessly ties together the arts, the community, and the great sport of sailing.
Stay tuned this week as we profile each of our crew members on the Racing to Rio set.
The clock is ticking and the Barbaro-Gould Foundation can’t wait to start production! At the moment, the crew is gathering more equipment and people. With the best directors of photography, audio technicians, assistant directors, and cameramen we can find, the foundation hopes to kick off Racing To Rio in an explosion of success.
But to reach its full potential, the film is still in need of donations, sponsorship, and support. All support is welcome. The crew needs all the help it can get to tell the story of Paralympic sailor, Brad Kendell, and his team’s journey to the 2016 Paralympics.
This could be the last sailing Paralympic games in history, making it essential for Racing To Rio to capture the essence of sailing and its importance to the local and global community.
Racing to Rio is far more than the journey of a few elite athletes striving for world records, gold medals and personal bests. Racing to Rio is the story of transformation from individuals overcoming personal challenges to become world-class sailors and heroes who inspire others to face their challenges and live life to the fullest through the sport of sailing. Racing to Rio is literally about Brad Kendell's journey to the Paralympics in Rio 2016, but also serves on a larger scale as a metaphor for all people who face challenges and how they can take on life to win their own "races" by being the best they can be.