Grand Jury POV: Toshie Yoshida

The New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Grand Jury is made up of over 200 award-winning members from over 40 countries; this diverse jury with a global mix of perspectives is one of the strengths of New York Festivals jury. These award-winning executives are recruited by New York Festivals to select the World’s Best TV & Films℠.

Toshie Yoshida, President of TI ComNet Japan

This week, Grand Jury POV profiles Toshie Yoshida, President of TI ComNet Japan. Ms. Yoshida has over 20 years of industry experience in broadcasting, including working as an announcer in Japan and the United States, in addition to producing many television programs.

Her vast network experience includes working with prominent broadcasting stations, both local and overseas, as well as distribution companies. Ms. Yoshida was the producer for the first production program of Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet in Japan and was responsible for the co-production and distribution of overseas programs within Japan.

Keep reading to learn more about Toshie Yoshida, including early leadership lessons, her view on the evolution of the industry, what qualities set aside award-winning work and more!

New York Festivals: Who or what were the most important early influences in your career?

Toshie Yoshida: The most important influence would have to be my father. Although he hardly attended school due to financial reasons, he studied various things on his own and started doing business from a young age and achieved a great deal of success. He has always been my business mentor.

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Toshie Yoshida: I learned to have a dream and enjoy your work. If you do not enjoy your work then you won’t be able to pass on that joy to others.

New York Festivals: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Toshie Yoshida: An early leadership lesson for me was when I was at a production site working with director and staff of different ages and genders, where I found listening to the opinion and ideas of everyone you work with, and be willing to try new things and incorporating the ones that work to be very important.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Toshie Yoshida: A defining moment in my career was when the first English version of a Japanese program that I produced won an international award.

New York Festivals: Where do you see the industry in the next five years?

Toshie Yoshida: Aside from the broadcasting stations, professional directors and cameramen, more and more ordinary people will begin to produce and shoot their own films and using the internet to upload it to their own channels. There will be a good chance that many talented people will appear among them.

New York Festivals: What qualities set apart the TV & Film Awards medal winners?

Toshie Yoshida: The production must surpass all borders and being able to move anyone who watches it.

For more information on the 2017 New York Festivals Television & Film Awards please visit: Here and to enter visit: Here.

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Grand Jury POV: Aela Callan

Each week, NYF profiles the dynamic men and women who serve on the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Grand Jury. This world-class Grand Jury is made up of over 200 award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, art directors, filmmakers, composers and programming executives. With members from over 40 countries, this diverse jury with a global mix of perspectives is one of the strengths of New York Festivals jury process.

Aela Callan, journalist, filmmaker, broadcaster

This week NYF’s Grand Jury POV profiles, Berlin-based Aela Callan, journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster. Her passion for connecting filmmakers with their audience led Aela to create a digital strategy for Al Jazeera’s 101 East program.

In 2014, Aela earned Al Jazeera the prestigious Gold United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Award for her entry “It’s A Man’s World” in the Current Affairs category.

Aela was selected as a Knight Fellow for Journalism innovation at Stanford University where she researched ways to combat hate speech. Her mission as a media innovator and leader is rooted in the belief that great storytelling brings us closer to those in forgotten corners of the globe.

In the interview below, Aela shares her insights on the evolving broadcast industry, the benefits of judging NYF’s TV & Film awards, what makes an entry trophy worthy, insider tips on submitting work to this year’s competition and more.

New York Festivals: As a Grand Jury member, you will view programs, films and promos from entrants from networks and production companies around the globe. What are you most excited to see/judge in terms of recent trends?  

Aela Callan: Documentaries made specifically for the web, or using innovative storytelling techniques suited for web/social media platforms

New York Festivals: What do you feel are the benefits of judging the New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards?

Aela Callan: To allow me to see high quality work that I may have missed during the year, especially in the news/documentary field.

New York Festivals: How important is it that submissions represent the wide spectrum of produced work today?

Aela Callan: For me, it’s important to see work that is related to my field across an international spectrum, but not important to see commercial or public relations videos

Aela Callan with 2014 UNDPI Award

New York Festivals: You’re both an award winner and one of New York Festivals Grand Jury members, what criteria will you personally use when judging this year’s entries? In your opinion, what makes an entry standout and trophy-worthy?

Aela Callan: Great storytelling, topics that enlighten me about something I didn’t know, high quality camerawork and editing. Innovative methods of distribution that reach a wide audience.

New York Festivals: Based on your experience as an award-winner, do you have any inside winner’s tips or advice for entrants submitting their work to this year’s competition?

Aela Callan: Be clear in your description of your work. Often, poorly written or confusing introductions make judges less excited to view the work. Choose an entry that means something to you, and tell us why.

New York Festivals: What is your opinion of New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards competition and online judging platform?

Aela Callan: I find the judging platform very easy and user friendly. I appreciate the work that’s gone into that. I feel the competition is exceedingly broad. It would be useful to break the entries up into categories and have specialists in those fields judge the work from those categories. I do not feel especially equipped to judge commercials or marketing videos, and likewise, I am a little discouraged to think that a marketing executive may be judging my entries.

For more information on the 2017 New York Festivals Television & Film Awards please visit: Here and to enter visit: Here.

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Grand Jury POV: Igor Tavares

Each week the Grand Jury POV profiles the dynamic men and women who serve on the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Grand Jury.This world-class Grand Jury is made up of over 200 award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, art directors, filmmakers, composers and programming executives. With members from over 40 countries, this diverse jury with a global mix of perspectives is one of the strengths of New York Festivals jury process.

Igor Tavares, Executive Producer for TV Globo's Planeta Extremo

This week, New York Festivals  Grand Jury POV profiles Igor Tavares, Executive Producer for Planeta Extremo, TV Globo Brazil’s  award-winning nature adventure series.  With over 15 years producing experience, Igor’s career has found him covering  some of the world’s most exciting sporting events including Olympic Games, track and field championships, volleyball World Cups, basketball World Cups, Africa Cup of Nations, as well as following Brazil’s soccer team in both national and international matches.

His producing, reporting, and editing talents have served him while working at TV Globo and SporTV, both in Brazil and as a New York Correspondent.

In 2016, Igor, Carol Barcellos and Clayton Conservani hosts of Planeta Extremo – and the team from TV Globo Brazil series  accepted a Bronze Trophy and 2 Finalist Certificates at the 2016 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.

TV Globo's Planeta Extremo Team at NYF's 2016 TV & Film Awards ceremony

NYF caught up with Igor Tavares and asked him to share his insights on his broadcast career, including his early influences, his opinion on where the industry is evolving, and the defining moment in his career and much more.

NYF: Who or what were the most important early influences in your career?

Igor Tavares: To see with my own eyes the history of the world being made. The desire to be there, live and tell it. Could be a war, a tragedy, a great achievement in the sport. The events of world history were the things that influenced me.

NYF: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Igor Tavares: The most important thing I learned from the beginning is that nothing can be done alone in our industry.

NYF: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Igor Tavares:  A guy who lived in the slums near my house would get children out of a life of crime through art and sport. Soon he became a great local hero.

NYF: What was a defining moment in your career?

Igor Tavares:  I was recording an entertainment program when one of the biggest earthquakes hit Nepal. Right then everything changed, I had to do 24/7 hard news. We have to be prepared for everything.

NYF: Where do you see the industry in the next five years?

Igor Tavares: Production quality will improve more and more and people will consume on demand.

NYF: What qualities set apart the TVF medal winners?

Igor Tavares: TVF accredits you among the greatest in the industry,  it is one of the most important awards in the world.

For more information on the 2017 New York Festivals Television & Film Award please visit: Here and to enter visit: Here.

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Grand Jury POV: Phil Blundell

New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Grand Jury is made up of over 200 directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, art directors, filmmakers, composers and programming executives who are all award-winners themselves. With members from over 40 countries, this diverse jury with a global mix of perspectives is one of the strengths of New York Festivals jury process.

Phil Blundel with Gold Award for The Essence of Qatar at the 2016 New York Festivals International Film and TV Awards

In this week’s Grand Jury POV, NYF spent a few minutes with award-winning TV & Film Awards Advisory Board and Grand Jury member, Phil Blundell, Managing Director of the Edge Picture Company, United Kingdom.

Phil founded The Edge when it opened for business in 1991. Now in its 25th year, The Edge has won over 300 major international awards in that time and leads the global field as the UK’s leading Corporate Film Production Company, renowned for its outstanding creative programming and a first class track record a record that Phil has personally played a crucial role in achieving. The Edge Picture Company has earned the prestigious title of NYF TV & Film Awards Production Company of the Year for the 10th year running.

Keep reading to learn more about Phil, including early career influences and leadership lesions, the defining moment in his career, his forecast of where the industry is evolving and much more.

NYF:  Who or what were the most important early influences in your career?

Phil Blundell: When we started The Edge in 1991, the global corporate film making industry had a reputation in the minds of some people as being creatively & technically sub-standard to other forms of film making. This drove us to want to close the gap and start producing films that were every bit as good, if not better.  The desire to keep pushing the bar higher still drives us today.

 NYF:  What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Phil Blundell: To keep pushing creative boundaries and always fight for the audience.

NYF: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Phil Blundell: To not have any ivory towers and to allow talented youngsters to come into the company and grow to embrace our creative film making culture.

NYF: What was a defining moment in your career?

Phil Blundell: Having witnessed a series of senior business leaders weeping at one of our early films, I soon realized the sheer power and possibilities for emotionally engaging film making. Produced for a charity, the film in question went on to fund raise £4M. Winning the hearts and minds of an audience quickly became our mantra.

NYF: Where do you see the industry in the next five years?

Phil Blundell: The digital space is a great opportunity for all us film makers, with targeted delivery channels offering so many possibilities for communications. However with such a volume of content being endlessly offered to viewers, bespoke films have to rise above the general noise by being distinctive, smarter and more compelling than ever before.

NYF: What qualities set apart the TVF medal winners?

Phil Blundell: The TVF medal winners truly showcase the films that set new levels of creativity and originality.  With entries coming from all major markets across the world, TVF really is the only festival which genuinely celebrates the world’s very best films.

For more information on the 2017 New York Festivals Television & Film Award please visit: Here and to enter visit: Here.

 

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Rose Anderson on: Best Use of Technology

No other  competition brings together the World’s Best TV & Film Programs better than New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.  With Rose Anderson, Executive Director, at the helm, the TV & Film competition has expanded its global footprint seeing  entries from hundreds of production companies around the globe. This year, the competition added Best Use of Technology in the Craft category to their powerhouse roster.  NYF asked Ms. Anderson to share her insights on why

Rose Anderson, Executive Director

Technology categories play such an important role.

“Here at NYF, we put an emphasis on storytelling. No matter the genre – journalism, sports, documentary, corporate, promos, films, drama – bringing the viewing audience a more intimate experience is on the top of everyone’s list,” said Ms. Anderson. “With the addition of Best Use of Technology, we can amp up recognition for creative implementation of what is an integral part of content creation and key in enhancing the viewing experience.”

“For example,” said Ms. Anderson, “David Hill, our 2016 Lifetime Achievement recipient and father of FOX Sports, came up with revolutionary concepts that included the FoxBox

David Hill "Father of Fox Sports" and 2016 NYF Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

constant score and clock graphic; the on-screen first down line, which has its roots in the FoxTrax glowing hockey puck; improved in-game audio using Dolby surround sound and innovative microphone placement, Diamond Cam, Catcher-Cam and Gopher-Cam; satellite tracking in NASCAR, allowing on–screen identification of cars with speed, race position and data and much, much more.”

New York Festivals also offers three other categories that are technology-driven: Event Venue, Best Technical Production Team and Best Innovation.

NYF spent a few minutes with Ms. Anderson for a quick course on why these categories are  so important.

NYF: How does Event Venue and Best Technical Production Team differ from each other?

Rose Anderson: Event Venue has been a category since 2010. Advances in digital technology – like advanced projection and LED video technique, 3D visualizations, HD video boards – have meant that live presentations have become more sophisticated in real-time. It was clear that this type of programming deserved its own place at the NYF awards table and so we introduced the Event Venue category to address this global phenomenon that is engaging audiences world-wide at sports arenas, museums, concerts, and corporate showcases.

Story telling combined with technology delivers an immersive value-added experience that gets the attention of today’s easily-distracted audiences – and holds it.

Some early winners were 1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets, a touring educational initiative starring Sir Ben Kingsley, and NFL September 11 Salute – 10 Years Later which was created by the League for the use of all of its broadcast partners. In 2016, the Gold

Medal winners were The Essence of Qatar (The Edge Picture Company, UK) and Domotex Event – Paradox of Choice (Norvell Jefferson, Belgium)

Sir Ben Kingsley "Library of Secrets"

In 2012, NYF added Best Technical Production Team which showcases the work of the hundreds of men and women behind the scenes who put together those really complex events. ESPN X Games took home the first medal – a Silver – in this category in 2012 for their remote team in Aspen and repeated with the 2013 X Games with 145 hours of live TV programming of 6 world class events in Aspen, Colorado; Tignes, France; Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany and Los Angeles, CA.

NYF: The competition launched Best Innovation in 2013, what are some of the most impressive winning entries throughout the years and why were they a success?

Rose Anderson: Here’s a sampling of winners that really shows the amount of ingenuity in play for creative teams working in documentary, live broadcasts and corporate presentations.

2013 – The Resurrection Tomb Mystery, Associated Producers/Discovery Canada (Gold) for a special robotic arm with  tilt/pan/zoom remote cameras that allowed archeologists access a 2,000 year old tomb that lies under a Jerusalem apartment complex.

2014 – There Was A Time, Media Corp/Ochre Pictures Singapore (Bronze) for 3D rendering of 2D old photographs, a technique to bring alive old black & white photos.

"JH/JG Project" Globo TV Brazil

2015 – JH/JG Project, Globo TV Brazil (Silver) for creating a rail system with cutting edge technology formed by a six individual piece monitor wall which moves laterally, with robotic intelligence created especially for the project, allowing several combinations of movements, visual resources and interactivity allowing a single studio space to be used for two daily programs Jornal Hoje and Jornal da Globo.

2015 – Holiday Holograms, Finch for  Jack Daniels, Australia (Silver) for holographic technology to beam distant friends and family into a Sydney bar to share a chat and a drink.

2015 – In the cell, Studio Louter Netherlands (Silver) –for using GoPro to show the POV of the experience of someone who has been arrested and used as an interactive educational video

2016 – Jornal Nacional, Globo TV Brazil (Silver) for a set  that integrates information, illustration and the participation of correspondents, in a more informal way on TV Globo’s prime time newscast – the second time this team has taken home Silver.

Major League Baseball Network "Studio 21"

2016 –  Studio 21, MLB Network (Bronze) for their new state-of-the-art, 8,000-square foot studio that is home to three daily studio shows. Named in honor of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, “Studio 21” changes the way MLB Network studio programming is presented, using at least five multi-camera studio positions and cutting-edge technology adaptable to any show, story or club, from hanging video displays to augmented reality graphic components.

"Future Talk"

2016 – Future Talk, Big Features, UK (Bronze) for their multimedia theatrical experience at the United Arab Emirates pavilion at the 2015 Milano World Expo. Using a giant peppers ghost installation, it was 23 meters long and 4 meters high utilizing 10 x 20k Panasonic projectors to achieve it. Frame accurate synchronization of video, audio, Lighting and scenic effects (such as wind machines) ensured a seamless theatrical presentation. This experience held 150 people per show and ran every 15 minutes, 7 days a week for 6 months. The overall audience exceeded 1 million.

For more information, please visit New York Festivals Television & Film Awards or to find out more about competition categories please visit: HERE

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NYF TV & Film Awards Adds New Categories for 2017

New York Festivals® International Television & Film Awards has celebrated content in all lengths and forms since 1957 and continues to honor exceptional programming being created around the globe.

Annually NYF evaluates the TV & Film Awards competition categories to insure that the competition is relevant and responds to world-wide programming trends and creative/technological advancements within the industry.  For the 2017 competition Executive Director, Rose Anderson has introduced new categories to the competition’s extensive roster. Two Documentary categories are new for 2017:  Heroes, for stories about ordinary people whose acts of heroism or advocacies have touched the lives of people follow and Ecotourism, for stories about responsible travel supporting conservation efforts, wildlife, and appreciation for nature. Best Use of Technology is now included in the Craft categories.

Rose Anderson, Executive Director of New York Festivals Television & Film Awards

“Our expanded categories provide storytellers with the opportunity to be recognized on the global stage by their peers,” said Rose Anderson , “Everything is possible in today’s media ecosystem from new ways of recording to new ways of delivery – all pointing to a more intimate engagement with viewers that makes for a more satisfying creative process.”

These new categories will support world-wide programming trends and will add to last year’s expanded roster which included Climate Change & Sustainability and Music which were added to Documentary/Information Program, and Crime Drama was added to Regularly Scheduled Entertainment Program.

The deadline to enter the 2017 Television & Film Awards competition is October 15, 2016. Entry details and competition rules and regulations can be found on the NYF Television & Film Awards website www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/. To view the complete list of categories click: Here

All Entries in the 2017 New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films℠  competition will be judged online and screened by New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Grand Jury of 200 plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe.  Nominated Finalists are judged by a blue ribbon panel at the United Nations for the UNDPI Awards. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the NYF Television & Film Awards website. To View the 2016 TV & Film Awards Recap Video please visit: HERE.

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NYF Television & Film Awards 2017 Competition is Open for Entries

New York Festivals 2017 Television & Film Awards is open for entries.

Since 1957, NYF’s World’s Best TV & Films℠ competition has celebrated content in all lengths and forms  continues to honor exceptional programming being created around the globe.

The 2017 Television & Film Awards gala will take place at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 25th, 2017. This is the seventh year that NYF and their official partner, NAB Show, will present the competition to more than 103,000 media and entertainment professionals from 187 countries, including 1,608 industry press representatives, and over 1,800 exhibiting companies.

The deadline to enter the 2017 Television & Film Awards competition is October 15, 2016. Entry details and competition rules and regulations can be found on the NYF Television & Film Awards website www.newyorkfestivals.com/tvfilm/. To view the complete list of categories click: Here

All Entries in the 2017 competition will be judged online and screened by New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Grand Jury of 200 plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe.  Nominated Finalists are judged by a blue ribbon panel at the United Nations for the UNDPI Awards. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the NYF Television & Film Awards website. To View the 2016 TV & Film Awards Recap Video please visit: HERE.

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New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films and Chelsea Film Festival Collaborate on behalf of Award-Winning Filmmakers

New York Festivals® International Television & Film Awards  honoring the World’s Best TV & Films℠ and Chelsea Film Festival  announced a new initiative celebrating award-winning filmmakers.  Both competitions will collaborate to provide a unique opportunity for two worthy 2016 Chelsea Film Festival Grand Prix winners—entry into the 2017 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards competition.

Rose Anderson, Executive Director of New York Festivals International Television & Film

Rose Anderson, Executive Director of New York Festivals TV & Film Awards

Awards had this to say about the collaboration, In this golden age of documentaries and scripted films, emerging filmmakers contribute a unique perspective. We are looking forward to spotlighting this year’s Grand Prix winners from Chelsea Film Festivals to our award-winning Grand Jury members in support of their quest for a wider audience – to be seen and heard around the world by directors and writers who are dedicated to their craft.”

This collaboration, the brainchild of Rose Anderson, Executive Director of New York Festivals TV & Film Awards and Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, Co-Founder & CEO of Chelsea Film Festival, brings together two organizations dedicated to showcasing extraordinary filmmaking. The opportunity was created to celebrate Chelsea’s Film Festival Grand Prix and Petite Grand Prix winning filmmakers by widening their exposure via New York Festivals esteemed international competition with a 59 year history of championing content in all lengths and forms and continues to celebrate exceptional and innovative programs being created today on all continents.

Ingrid Jean-Baptise, Co-Founder & CEO, Chelsea Film Festival

“The Chelsea Film Festival (CFF) was created in 2013 in an effort to promote the work of emerging and independent filmmakers from around the world,” said Ms. Jean-Baptiste. “I am very honored to partner with the New York Festivals, that will give an extraordinary opportunity to CFF 2016 Grand Prix & Petite Prix Winners to enter the NYF 2017 Competition for Best Film.”

The entry timeline of the two competitions dovetail perfectly.  Chelsea Film Festival official submissions deadline ends on June 24th and their winner’s announcement is slated for November.

Recipients of this opportunity will be awarded by Chelsea Film Festival Co-Founder & CEO, Ingrid Jean-Bapitiste.  Grand Prix winners will be judged by New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Grand Jury of 200 plus producers, directors, writers, and other creative media professionals from around the globe. Nominated Finalists will be selected to participate in New York Festivals collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information.  Annually, NYF and the United Nations Department of Public Information select entries that exemplify the aims and ideas of the United Nations and honor them with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) awards.

For more information on Chelsea Film Festival please visit: HERE and for more information on New York Festivals Television & Film Awards, please visit: HERE.

 

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Spotlight on ESPN: Broadcaster of the Year

ESPN’s sports journalism and coverage of special events were in the winner’s circle at the 2016 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards gala on April 19th at the annual NAB Show. The sports powerhouse earned the coveted title of Broadcaster of the Year for the 8th year. Previously ESPN had been named “Broadcaster of the Year” seven consecutive years, 2008–2014.

John Wildhack, executive vice president, programming and production, ESPN

John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production had this to say about ESPN’s huge win.“We are honored to again be named Broadcaster of the Year at the New York Festival Awards, an international competition covering all of television’s best efforts where simply being nominated is a distinct honor. We take special pride in winning for marquee programming from both our studio and event production teams. The enterprise journalism practiced by Outside the Lines and SportsCenter are second to none, in sports or beyond.  Also, we could not be happier with recognition for the iconic Monday Night Football series, our first Special Olympics World Games and our other medal winners. I am thrilled for the hundreds of people whose passion and creativity are at the heart of these entries.”

ESPN's Susan Ansman, associate producer takes home the Gold for SC Featured: Lauren Hill: One More Game

ESPN’s programming, explored a wide variety of topical subjects and was recognized with 12 Gold World Medals, 10 Silver World Medals, 4 Bronze, and 14 Finalists Certificates.

SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program struck Gold: “SC Featured – Isaiah Bird: No Excuses” and “SC Featured: Lauren Hill: One More Game” scored Gold Medals. ESPN’s Outside the Lines earned multiple Golds including: “Revisiting Donnovan Hill” and “Transgender Sports Policy.”

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football Open,” “Special Olympics Opening Ceremony Tease,” and “2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee Tease” also earned Gold Medals.

Congratulations to ESPN for their outstanding storytelling and coverage of live events!

For more information on the 2016 New York Festivals Television & Film Awards Winners visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/winners/2016/

 

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NYF TV & Film Grand Jury Confidential: Alexander Hahn

Alexander Hahn,  NYF Television & Film Awards Advisory Board and Grand Jury member, is a visionary electronic media artists based in New York/Zürich. He received his MFA from the University of Fine Arts, Zürich/CH and is a 1981 fellow in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Alex’s videos, installations and computer prints are exhibited around the globe including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Kunstmuseum Solothurn/CH, the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Ferrara/IT, the National Art Museum of China, Beijing/CN and most recently,  Hunter College Art Galleries in New York City.

Alexander Hahn

In the interview below, Alex shares his insights on judging, his most recent experimental video “Dirt Site” and the technical  challenges of creating and storing large files of media art.

New York Festivals: As a New York Festivals Grand Jury member, you will view programs, films and promos from entrants from networks and production companies around the globe. What are you most excited to see/judge in terms of recent trends?  

Alexander Hahn: I don’t normally watch television, but I’m very curious about TV, corporate and other media productions. The annual jury duty at the NY Festivals provides an exciting opportunity to get a global survey of what’s out there in a very concentrated form. My criteria vary between the different categories: excellence and innovation, of course… In their work description, many entries boast excellent directing, camera work, editing or audio. In the music category, for instance, you could come across scores that are very finely crafted but otherwise derivative, a reminder that technical mastery of the métier is commanded by an army of talent churned out by art, design and technical schools. A slick fabrication is not automatically trophy-worthy.

Most often, I judge from a gut feeling, and this generally falls into the consensus with the opinions of the other panelists, the online judging platform consisting of a truly global panel of peers. The feed of entries to be viewed is random, suggestions can also be skipped, and I like that.

New York Festivals: Your video, “Dirt Site” will be part of the The Experimental Television Center: A History, ETC…at Hunter College Art Galleries in New York City.  What can we expect from this exhibit and your video?

"Dirt Site"

Alexander Hahn: Despite the prolific and many nationally and internationally awarded works created in its +40 year history, the Experimental Television Center has remained largely unknown. More than 1500 artists from all over the world have worked there. “As the interest in video as an artistic medium gained momentum, the ETC provided access to and training in this new technology to artists; interested citizens; and social, cultural, and educational organizations. Invested in pushing the boundaries of video as a medium, the ETC developed a program to create more flexible video processing tools for artists. Under the direction of artist Nam June Paik and engineer Shuya Abe, a Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer was constructed for the Center’s permanent use, which launched the ETC’s artist residency program… The lost frame, the glitch, the erasure, these limitations of the early technology were embraced by artists for their poetic potential and have now become aesthetics that gesture towards the liminal and tactile beginnings of video.” (from the press release).

The exhibition A History, ETC is the first academic survey and seeks to establish the role the Center has played in the history of video art. It showed at the Hunter College Art Galleries in New York City through November 21 2015.

Dirt Site (1990; 15:50′) was inspired by a medieval heresy which held that the world was created by Satan and that we live in a counterfeit universe. Images of abandoned houses and somber industrial landscapes, shots of dirt, mud, dust, and water seamlessly dissolve into each other in constant metamorphosis, creating a blurry watery symphony that gradually comes to a stand-still. The tape has won several festival prizes such as the Grand Prix of the 1992 Festival International du Jeune Vidéo, Montréal/CA or Work of Excellence at the 1990 Tokyo Video Festival.

https://vimeo.com/1255745

New York Festivals: Your works of art have extremely large file-sizes, how does that impact their creation and exhibition.  Will you describe the technical process and potential challenges?

 Alexander Hahn: It’s hard to imagine that thirty some years ago, the operating system, the software and the files would all have fitted on a single 400k floppy disk. Despite these limitations, the computer had the potential of ever growing storage capabilities, large file-sizes fitting on ever smaller devices – perfect for creating art in the limited space of a tiny city apartment.

Finding a logical filing system for my data is an ongoing struggle, as is the continuous porting of the archive to the latest software and standards to keep the files readable and playable. In the analog era, transfers from one medium to the other, e.g. copying of videotapes was always lousy, but footage, even on a damaged tape could be salvaged. Now, copying is lossless and much faster than real time, but in the event of a failed hard drive, the information is often lost. Cloud storage promises a certain safeguard, however upended by the arbitrariness of corporate policies. Despite the hype around the cloud, it’s a return to the early days of computing with the mainframe and dumb terminals. Also, corporations get hacked, companies and subscribers go broke, and there are natural disasters and other acts of God… Things simply perish, no way around it.

 

 

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