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University of La Verne Students and Alumni Earn an All-Time High Number of Telly Awards for Film Production

Four television projects created by University of La Verne film students and alumni have garnered five 2020 Telly awards.

This is an unprecedented number, said Don Pollock, University of La Verne professor emeritus of communications.

“We’ve won a number of Tellys over the years but usually it’s just one” annually, he said. “The fact we won five this year is really fantastic.”

The Telly awards recognize the best work for television, cable, digital, streaming, and non-broadcast. The contest draws more than 13,000 entries from participants representing all 50 states and five continents.

When describing the Tellys, Pollock uses the Emmys, the awards that recognize excellence in the television industry, to help people understand their significance.

“I like to say the Tellys are a step below the Emmys,” Pollock said.

Three of the Telly winners have also been recognized in other competitions including the WAVE Awards presented by the Alliance for Community Media West Region in February.

This year’s Telly Award winners are:

Guadalupe – The narrative film earned a silver award in the social video general-social impact category and a bronze Telly in the social video general-student category.

In February, the film earned a WAVE Award in the best narrative-community producer category.

The 20-minute film tells the story of an abused young woman who leaves Mexico and her family behind and comes to the United States as an undocumented immigrant. The film, which is in English and Spanish, was a Spring 2019 senior project created by an all Latinx team. Jessica Velasquez wrote and produced the film and Mariela Sanchez directed it. Morgan Sandler, associate professor of digital film production, was the film advisor.

Mireya’s Story – Judges awarded a silver Telly in the television general-student category to this long-form news production. Mireya’s Story focuses on a University of La Verne volleyball players who is diagnosed with cancer and becomes a nationally recognized model. This was a senior project for Madison Rubino who wrote, produced, and carried out the reporting for the documentary. Pollock was the advisor for this project. Mireya’s Story was a WAVE Award finalist in the documentary-community producer category in February.

Generation Z – This long form news documentary on the dangers of social media earned a bronze Telly in the television general-student category. Jesica Bi wrote, produced, and carried out the reporting for Generation Z, which was her senior project.

Spotlight 2018 – The productions containing a series of short documentaries garnered a bronze Telly in the television general-student category. The video magazine highlights intriguing people, places, and events in or near La Verne and San Dimas. Students in the Advance Video Production course produced the material during 2018. The material was compiled and aired as one show in January 2019. Spotlight has earned national and regional awards and was recognized with an award in the best magazine show-community producer category at the WAVE Awards earlier this year. Spotlight 2018 was produced under Pollock’s direction.