Southeastern environmental video wins special jury award at WorldFest International Film Festival
Contact: Rene Abadie
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HAMMOND – A Southeastern Louisiana University-produced video has been awarded a Remi Special Jury Award at the 43rd annual WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston.
“American Crisis, American Shame: The National Consequence of Coastal Erosion,” a co-production of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and the Southeastern Channel, was selected as the best video overall in the Ecology/Environment/Conservation division and named a finalist in the Grand Remi category (Best Film Overall). More than 4,400 videos were entered in the WorldFest competition, the third oldest film festival in North America.
The documentary – which premiered at Southeastern’s Fanfare last year – is the product of three years of research and writing by Samuel Hyde, Leon Ford Professor of History and director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, and Keith Finley, assistant director. Using scores of photographs housed in the center’s collection, the film is part of a larger project that includes a traveling exhibit and lecture series, all funded by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant written by Hyde and Finley with the assistance of Biology Professor Nick Norton.
The Southeastern Channel, the university’s educational cable channel, co-produced the 30-minute documentary, which has received several other recognitions, including a Gold Medal at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, a Gold Award for editing in the national Aurora Awards competition, and an award from the Twin Rivers Film Festival.
“This is a very exciting win for us,” said Hyde, “because it brings additional exposure to our message that the rapid loss of Louisiana’s wetlands is a national emergency that ultimately will produce catastrophic results for the entire nation if not addressed immediately. The oil spill drives home the point of how fragile our wetlands truly are.”
“This is a very prestigious international honor in the film industry,” said channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “It reflects the quality we strive for in all productions at the Southeastern Channel. Steve Zaffuto, who directed and edited the piece, introduced a very fluid visual style to meld original and archival footage.”
The program aired statewide last fall on the Louisiana Public Broadcasting network and runs regularly on the Southeastern Channel.
“American Crisis, American Shame” is the fourth documentary produced by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies in recent years. The work uses an original musical score composed by former Southeastern student Brian Hanson and includes interviews with a number of scientists currently engaged in wetlands research.
“American Crisis, American Shame,” a Southeastern Louisiana University video produced by the university’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and the Southeastern Channel, was named the best video overall in the Ecology/Environment/Conservation division of the WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston. Pictured are, from left, Samuel Hyde, director of the Center, Keith Finley, assistant director, Steve Zaffuto, director and editor at the Channel, and Rick Settoon, Channel general manager.