By Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Two student-produced television programs for the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University's educational access station, have been recognized with Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Suncoast Region.
"McCrea 1971: Louisiana's Forgotten Rock Festival," a documentary by Nick Brilleaux of Hammond and Scott Caro of Mandeville, and "The Riddle," a music video by Nick Authement of Mandeville, both won Emmys in the Photography category.
"McCrea 1971" is a 30-minute documentary about the "Celebration of Life," Louisiana's disastrous attempt at its own Woodstock festival near McCrea, La., during June of 1971. Brilleaux and Caro collaborated in writing, producing, directing, shooting and editing the documentary, which they've also screened at Louisiana film festivals.
"It's a huge honor to win an Emmy, and to win has been the icing on the cake after months of successful screenings around the state," said Brilleaux.
"The Emmy name obviously carries immense prestige," Caro said. "It's an honor that may only come around once in a lifetime. It validates the entire filmmaking process and justifies the work and time we invested in the project."
Their Emmy-winning cinematography featured interviews with festival participants shot in captivating locations along the Atchafalaya River in the rural crossroads town of McCrea near New Roads in Upper Pointe Coupee Parish.
"The Riddle," a music video produced, directed, shot and edited entirely by Authement, is based on the popular song by original artist Five for Fighting.
Authement used images focusing on baseball to symbolize the bond between father and son through the generations.
"The very first few lines of the song, an old man is mentioned with his son and is said to be passing on some piece of wisdom before passing away," Authement said. "That brought me to the idea of the baseball being used to pass down the meaning of being here, and the bond shared between the passer and the receiver, in this case the father and son."
The documentary and music video were also awarded honorable mention recognition in other categories. "McCrea 1971" won honorable mentions for both Long Form: Non-Fiction and Editing, while "The Riddle" won an honorable mention for Directing.
Two other Southeastern Channel student programs won Emmy honorable mentions. "Northshore News" reporter-anchor Erika Ferrando of Mandeville won in the News Story-Serious News category for her story "Improved Levees." Ferrando was recently named the state's first Student Broadcaster of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters.
"Northshore News" reporter Kaitlyn Morales of Covington won an honorable mention in Writing for her story, "Causeway Safety."
The two productions were recognized in the NATAS Suncoast Region comprised of television stations and production entities in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.
NATAS awards after rounds of judging against the Emmy standard of excellence, not against other productions. Categories with nominees often have no winner.
"The Emmy is the highest honor you can receive in television," said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. "We're ecstatic that Nick Authement, Nick Brilleaux and Scott Caro are joining an elite group with this highest reward for their talent, creativity and hard work."
The Southeastern Channel has won 11 Emmys with 41 nominations in the past nine years. It has won over 200 national, international and regional awards during that span. The channel can be seen on Charter Cable Channel 18 in Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish. The live 24/7 webcast and video on demand can be seen at www.southeastern.edu/tv.