Video Institute Brings Home Telly Awards

Buffalo, NY – The Canisius College Video Institute earned seven Telly Awards for four student-produced films. The Telly Awards is a New York City-based organization that honors outstanding local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. The Silver Telly is the highest honor presented.

The Canisius College Video Institute received two Silver Telly Awards for its film Andy’s Spectrum of Hope. Produced by Michael Belfatto ’12 (digital media arts) and Kurt Vogt ’12 (digital media arts), the film is a social documentary about the reclassification of the Autism spectrum. It features a Sweet Home High School student who is diagnosed with the neurological disorder. Andy’s Spectrum of Hope won a Silver Telly in the student non-broadcast category and another in the social responsibility category. Belfatto and Vogt also took home a Bronze Telly for the film, in the motivational category.

The Video Institute received two Bronze Telly Awards for East Side: A Community of Hope. Produced by Erik Taheri ’14 (digital media arts/computer science) and Rich Lunghino ’13 (digital media arts), the film focuses on the faith-based initiatives undertaken to help revitalize Buffalo’s East Side, which has been ravaged by violence and poverty. East Side: A Community of Hope won Bronze Tellys in the social issues and student categories.

Taheri and Lunghino also took home a Bronze Telly Award in the history and biography category for their film Edward Austin Kent: 1854-1912.  The short film depicts the life and legacy of the Buffalo architect and Titanic hero, whose story lives on in the architecture around Buffalo, NY. 

Ashley Fike ’13 (communication studies) and Lauren Mosier ’13 (digital media arts) received a Bronze Telly Award in the student non-broadcast category for their documentary Where the Crow Will Be Forever.  The film explores the history of the Native American Crow tribe and life on its reservation. 

All the student films were produced under the direction of Barbara Irwin, PhD, professor of communication studies and Jamie O’Neil, director of the digital media arts program at Canisius.  Both Irwin and O’Neil are co-directors of the Video Institute. 

The Canisius College Video Institute provides students with opportunities to put their classroom lessons to work on projects that enrich their learning and benefit the greater community.  Students produce social documentaries and service-oriented videos, all connected by the theme of social justice, to promote discourse on ethical, social and cultural issues relevant to the world today.  The institute provides students with a context for real-world learning and for doing social justice. 

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.