A group of Indiana University of Pennsylvania students working with the IUP-TV television station were recently notified that they won a 2009 Silver Telly Award for their short film Fish Eyes. A second group working as part of their Comm Media 481 course also won a Bronze Award.
Lead producer and writer Sam Hakes, from Wellsville, Pa., accepted the trophy on behalf of the entire crew, which included Jack Culbertson, Chris Blose, Hank Hoffman, Will Weimer, Emma Shaver, Scott Fetterman, Erika Knox, Dan Shearer, and Hannah Johnston. The film was rated one of the best-produced student productions, and was selected from an overall submissions pool of 11,000 entries from all fifty states.
Fish Eyes was a short film appearing on IUP-TV about feeling like your life hasn’t started yet. The main character—Madison, an unemployed college student—spends most of his week watching TV and browsing the classified ads. One day, he decides to stop waiting around and start living.
IUP-TV Station Manager and Communications Media faculty member Dr. Erick Lauber describes it as “a very thought-provoking and surprising film. 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.” The film was screened at multiple local festivals, including the Johnstown Film and Wine Festival in 2009; the Iris Film Festival in Huntington, Pa., in 2009; and also aired on IUP-TV in Spring 2009. The film can now be viewed on Sam’s website.
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. In 2009, IUP-TV also won a Bronze Telly Award for The Humans 101 Project, a humorous look at peoples’ tendency to overestimate their own abilities. Dr. Lauber’s Communications Media 481 course wrote, directed, animated and edited the film. Ten students shared credit for the award.