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'Cat Tales

The Bridge Project

bridge project cultural exchange music video documentary
Northwestern students and students from the Soviet Union film a saxophonist on Michigan Avenue as part of "The Bridge Project."Image: Misha Sychev

Fall 2018

In the summer of 1988, Robert Kath ’88 and Paolo Mazzucato ’88 traveled to Moscow to initiate the first cinematic co-production between students in the United States and students in the Soviet Union. 

Envisioned as an opportunity for cultural exchange, “The Bridge Project” evolved from discussions between Kath, Mazzucato and students at Moscow’s All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. The eventual collaboration was a music video for the song “Bridges of Trust.”

“We ended up working on a story that was about trying to connect,” says Mazzucato, who co-directed the video with his Soviet counterpart. “And that was what we were doing too — connecting with film students who were, for all intents and purposes, just like us.” 

Shot over several weeks in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Chicago, the video earned a College Emmy. A short documentary about the project, narrated by Casey Kasem, was released the following year and screened at American embassies during the 1990 summit between President George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev.

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