NPR for Florida's Great Northwest

UWF alum Dayna Reggero shares her 'Gulf Coast Love Story'

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Dayna Reggero

An award-winning filmmaker is coming to home to Pensacola to present her cinematic love letter to artists along the Gulf Coast. Dayna Reggero is an environmentalist, filmmaker and the director of the Climate Listening Project. Her new documentary is called Gulf Coast Love Story.

“Gulf Coast Love Story is a journey that I’ve been on listening to artists along the Gulf Coast and a vision of the future that they want,” said Reggero.

“(During this) journey, I met the most amazing people, all the way down to the border in Texas. A dancer named Jackie, a painter in Corpus Christie named Joey, activists and poets and a photographer from Alabama and I’m here in Florida, the whole Gulf Coast coming together. It was a really beautiful journey.”

A graduate of the University of West Florida, Reggero brought herClimate Listening Project to her alma mater back in 2019. Now she is back in Pensacola to present this latest film project. The film has been in production for a couple of years as she traveled the length of the Gulf Coast meeting artists and environmentalists, listening to their stories and enjoying their creations. She was also involved at the time with the Gulf Coast Mural Project along with the Sierra Club. That when Kurt Engfehr joined the project.

“(Kurt is) an amazing Oscar (winning) videographer (and) editor (who came) down to the gulf and spent a couple of weeks with me traveling and (meeting) these artists along the way," said Reggero. "Tour the murals, listen to poetry on rooftops, go on boat rides into the bayous, see the effects of climate change and the buildout of the petrochemical industry. But also to see the beauty and these amazing people. We went to Houma (Louisiana) to see a chef named Justin and just beautiful community along the way.”

This is the first time Reggero has worked with Engfehr, and she was pleased with the unique look he was able to give the film.

“I wanted to make sure that we captured and stopped for the special moments that were weird or interesting or unique and really letting the Gulf Coast arts, the jazz, the blues, the culture really shine through and really try to capture those moments of beauty,” said Reggero.

You can experience those moments of beauty for yourself on Wednesday, July 19 at the West Florida Public Library in downtown Pensacola. The screening of Gulf Coast Love Story will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a discussion of the film with Dayna Reggero.

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Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.