Group photo from "Fish Eyes" film

Some Indiana University of Pennsylvania students working with the student-operated television station, IUP-TV, have won a 2009 Silver Telly Award for their short film Fish Eyes.

The film was produced and written by IUP Communications Media student Sam Hakes, of Wellsville.

The Telly Awards is a program that honors outstanding local and regional film and television producers from across the country. A panel of 350 judges chooses the Silver Telly winners.

Fish Eyes was rated one of the best-produced student films and was selected from a pool of eleven thousand entries from all fifty states.

It is a short film about feeling as though your life hasn't started yet. The main character, Madison, an unemployed college student, spends most of his week watching television and browsing the classified ads. One day he decides to stop waiting around and start living.

“The film is a very thought-provoking and surprising one,” Dr. Erick Lauber, Communications Media faculty member and IUP-TV station manager, said. “Sam's work has always been very good technically, and sometimes he's written and produced some excellent comedy, but this project really took his writing and producer skills to the next level. It was exactly the kind of thing that film festival committees love to watch.”

Fish Eyes was screened at local and regional festivals including the Johnstown Film and Wine Festival in 2009 and Iris Film Festival in Huntingdon in 2009. It also aired on WIUP-TV. The film can be viewed on line: Fish Eyes on YouTube.

IUP has won nine Telly Awards in the past seven years, including a 2009 Bronze Telly Award for The Humans 101 Project, a humorous look at people's tendency to overestimate their own abilities. Lauber's Communications Media 481 course wrote, directed, animated, and edited the film, and ten students shared credit for the award.