Southeastern Channel student documentary wins international awards

Monday, October 20, 2014 McCrea Awards
by: Tonya Lowentritt

SOUTHEASTERN CHANNEL WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARDS - The Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University's educational access television channel, recently won an international Telly Award along with a Gold Remi Award from the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival. The awards are for the documentary "McCrea 1971: Louisiana's Forgotten Rock Festival" produced by former Southeastern students and now graduates Nick Brilleaux of Hammond and Scott Caro of Mandeville. Pictured (from left) are Southeastern Channel general manager Rick Settoon, Brilleaux holding the Telly Award, and Caro holding the Gold Remi Award.

HAMMOND – A Southeastern Louisiana University student-produced documentary has won a pair of international television and film awards.

"McCrea 1971: Louisiana's Forgotten Rock Festival," produced by former students and now graduates Nick Brilleaux of Hammond and Scott Caro of Mandeville, won both a Telly Award and a Gold Remi Award at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival recently.

The documentary won a Telly Award in the student production category. The 2014 Tellys received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents. Among other winners were the "History Channel," and the major networks NBC, CBS and ESPN. It was the 35th Telly Award won by the Southeastern Channel in its 11 years of existence.

The Telly Awards is a national competition honoring local, regional and cable television programs, commercials, video and film productions. The awards showcase the best work of television stations, production companies, cable operators and advertising agencies throughout the world.

The documentary won a Gold Remi Award for "Historical Documentary" at WorldFest-Houston, the third longest-running international film festival in North America, behind only the New York and San Francisco film festivals.

WorldFest is an annual gathering of top independent filmmakers and in the past has honored new directors such as Stephen Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott and the Coen Brothers. It was the third Gold Remi won by a Southeastern Channel production.

"'McCrea 1971' is artfully crafted and engages viewers with a little-known, yet fascinating story," said Rick Settoon, general manager of the Southeastern Channel. "Students Nick and Scott produced a professional-quality documentary that richly deserves recognition of their talent, perseverance and work ethic. These prestigious international awards prove that their Louisiana documentary captivates viewers on a wide scale."

"McCrea 1971" documents the disastrous "Celebration of Life" rock music festival staged in McCrea, La., in June 1971. The festival attracted over 60,000 attendees from all over the United States to McCrea, a small crossroads town along the Atchafalaya River levee in upper Pointe Coupee Parish.

Advertised as Louisiana's version of Woodstock that would feature over 70 big-name acts such as the Rolling Stones, Moody Blues and Beach Boys, the festival in reality featured only 10 bands and endured a series of calamities, including local hostility, instances of police brutality, intense summer heat, food and water shortages, and the drownings of four festival-goers in the swift-moving Atchafalaya Basin.

In addition to producing, Brilleaux and Caro wrote, directed, shot and edited the documentary.

"During production, Scott and I strived to produce a documentary that was both historically objective as well as entertaining," said Brilleaux. "We're very proud to have achieved this goal, but to win an award in addition to that is a great honor."

"Winning these awards is a particular honor due to the prestige attached to both the Telly Awards and Houston-WorldFest," said Caro. "It's rewarding to have worked so hard on a project and then to see our work recognized by national and international film organizations."

Earlier this year, "McCrea 1971" won a student Emmy award given by the National Society of Television Arts and Sciences in the Suncoast Region.

In addition to the Southeastern Channel, Brilleaux and Caro have screened the documentary in theaters and venues all over the state. More information on the documentary can be found at



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