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Local teen creates documentary from trip to Africa

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Aspiring filmmaker and recent Dallastown Area High School graduate Cruz Mead is rolling out the red carpet to show his recently completed documentary  "South Africa Through My Eyes."

Mead, 18, filmed the documentary during a 10-day trip to South Africa on an invitation from hunting friend Jim Wilson.

"He (Jim) is just a 74 year-old guy with a passion to hunt," said Mead.

Cruz Mead, 18 of Dallastown, will be showing his documentary "South Africa Through My Eyes" Friday, Feb. 7 at Living Word Community Church.

Submitted photo

While preparing for the trip, which took place during his last week of high school, Mead thought "what could I do over there?" aside from capturing Wilson's hunts. He decided to expose what hunting provides for the local residents.

"I learned that hunting is a huge help for the economy there; it gives locals jobs, it gives locals food," said Mead. 

According to a 2018 study published in ScienceDirect, an estimated 7,600 trophy hunters visited South Africa in 2015-16, contributing an estimated $341 million to the South African economy and supporting 17,000 jobs.

Game farms and lands managed for hunting have also boosted the  number of game animals considerably. 

A trip to a local school was an eye-opener for Mead.

"I didn't know what to expect, but it was like step back in time," said Mead. "It really changed my viewpoint on school — these kids walking super far to school every day and the things they don't have that we take for granted." 

Mead's 25-minute documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Living Word Community Church, 2530 Cape Horn Road, Red Lion. The event is open to the public.