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Journalism, Filmmaking, and Economics With John Summa

Updated: Feb 25

Award-winning journalist, filmmaker, educator, and author John Summa has carved a unique path through the realms of storytelling and academia. With a career spanning over three decades, Summa's work reflects a commitment to shedding light on critical global issues. Born in Bronxville, NY, and raised in Connecticut, Summa's passion for journalism and filmmaking has taken him to North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

By Gerardo Saenz

January 5, 2024 - 2:00 PM EST

Summa holds a Ph.D. in economics from the New School University, adding an academic dimension to his diverse skill set. His journalistic endeavors have not only informed audiences but have also earned him accolades for his exceptional storytelling. Residing in Burlington, Vermont, with his wife and two children, Summa brings a unique perspective to his work, grounded in a rich and varied life experience.

As a retired economics lecturer, Summa has imparted his knowledge to students, providing them with insights into complex economic systems. His approach extends beyond traditional teaching methods, delving into the sociopolitical implications of economic theories. This commitment to holistic education is evident in his forthcoming documentary, "Occupied Yale: No Business in South Africa!"—a project poised to offer historical context to significant events.

Summa's contributions to documentary filmmaking have been significant. Notably, he directed and produced "The Contra War: In Our Interests?" (1987), a documentary that exposed US-backed terrorist attacks on Nicaragua during the Reagan presidency. His latest work, "The Resurrection of Victor Jara," stands as a testament to Summa's ability to weave compelling narratives, exploring the life and legacy of the iconic Chilean singer-songwriter.

The Resurrection of Victor Jara is particularly noteworthy for its global impact, earning acclaim at the New England International Film Awards, where it was recognized as the Best Documentary. The film captures the essence of Victor Jara's enduring influence and the socio-political climate in which he thrived, providing audiences with a profound understanding of a cultural icon.

Summa's dedication to journalism goes beyond filmmaking; he is also a prolific author. Currently under contract with a publisher from England, he is working on a book that promises to demystify economic principles, making them accessible to a broader audience. This endeavor aligns with his mission to bridge the gap between academic discourse and the wider world, fostering a deeper understanding of economic systems.

John Summa's journey encompasses a rich fusion of experiences—ranging from economic advocacy in academia to storytelling on the global stage. His work reflects a commitment to educating and enlightening, ensuring that complex issues are understood by diverse audiences. As Summa continues to explore the intersections of journalism, filmmaking, and academia, his impact on these fields remains both profound and enduring.

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