Video Institute Receives Two Telly Awards

June 1, 2020

Buffalo, NY - The Canisius University Video Institute earned two Telly Awards for 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 Canisius University Video Institute received a Bronze Telly Award in the student non-broadcast category for its film “Love Conquers Fear: Lessons in Boxing and Life.”  Produced by digital media arts majors Alex Kontak ’19 and Ryan Gelder ’19, the film premiered at Canisius in April 2019 and focuses on a youth boxing program created for the purpose of helping high school students grow and develop physically, mentally and spiritually. Many of the participants in the film are from Buffalo’s international high schools, having recently relocated from third-world countries. Faith-based “life lessons” are woven seamlessly into each boxing lesson.

The Video Institute also received a Bronze Telly Award in the social issues non-broadcast category for the film “NewBorn: Maternal Resources in New York State.” The film was produced by Kathryn MacConnell ’19 (digital media arts), Emyle Watkins ’20 (journalism and digital media arts), Elaine Stickney ’20 (digital media arts and communication studies) with assistance from Deysha Johnson ’18 (business economics).  “NewBorn” premiered at Canisius in March 2019 and focuses on issues faced by pregnant or parenting women in New York.  From homelessness to addiction, poverty and more, women across the state see barriers to accessing care.

Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, served as the executive producer on both films.  Irwin is a professor in the Department of Communication and founding director of the Canisius University Video Institute. 

Under her direction and that of Jamie O’Neil, associate professor of digital media arts, the award-winning Canisius University 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. 

One of 27 Jesuit universities, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary during the 2019-20 academic year, marking 150 years of Jesuit education and leadership in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Click here for more information about Canisius’ milestones and celebratory events.