Returning to Toledo, Filmmaker Focuses on Metroparks

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Ellen Dziubek grew up in Toledo and moved away for school. She has now returned home with new skills in making videos and images, and a fresh curiosity about her home town, particularly the Metroparks. Ellen has taken over the Metroparks Instagram page through November 19, where she will post six videos as well as still images from the parks. Her videos can also be seen on Facebook.

Here, she explains the project and what brought her to it, in her own words:

My name is Ellen Dziubek and I grew up in Toledo with big filmmaking dreams. I went to DePaul University to study digital cinema, and it was there that I discovered Hollywood wasn't for me -- documentary filmmaking was.

I spent the year after graduating in Chicago, feeling a little lost. I began to realize that who I am surrounded by matters to me a whole lot more than the place I'm in. I already had this little network of clients established from my summers at home in between school years, so when my lease ended in August, I moved back to Toledo. I dove into my business and have since been brainstorming ways to create for the good of the place that raised me.

One of my goals was to visit every Metropark before the end of the year.

One of my goals was to visit every Metropark before the end of the year. So when I was contacted to take over the Metroparks Instagram account, I took it as an opportunity to make some video content. As I began interviewing the people of the parks, the idea to create a sort of reoccurring project inspired by Brandon Stanton's photography series, "Humans of New York," arose, but in a different format: simple video vignettes.

I have enjoyed approaching people, chatting about their use of the parks and getting to the root of their stories. It is in these situations that you can instantly feel connected to a stranger. And what better place to plant that connection than here in our Metroparks.

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