The Blue Ridge PBS production “Virginia State Parks: 75 Years and Still Growing,” first broadcast in June 2011, has been honored with a Platinum EMPixx Award from the American Pixel Academy. The award, announced August 2, put the station’s new documentary among the top U.S. and Canadian contenders in the regional television documentary category. Blue Ridge PBS also won a Gold EMPixx Award in the television education category for “Shaping the World: Conversations on Democracy – Thomas Jefferson & Patrick Henry.”
“The documentary category was particularly strong, with a number of Emmy-winning pieces that were selected among the EMPixx winners this year,” said David E. Carter, Executive Director of American Pixel Academy. The Academy is a coalition of professionals and educators in the pixel media. The distinctive EMPixx statuette signifies the industry’s transition from film to pixels.
“We’ve had great viewer response to the ‘Virginia State Parks’ documentary,” said James Baum, Blue Ridge PBS president and CEO. “We are proud to share this award with our partners at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. An EMPixx Award affirms viewer comments that this is a local production worth watching.”
“Virginia State Parks,” created as part of Virginia State Parks’ 75th anniversary celebration, invites viewers to share in the natural beauty and compelling stories behind many of the commonwealth’s most spectacular public treasures. The Emmy Award-winning Blue Ridge PBS production team visited all 35 state parks for the production, crisscrossing Virginia from the mountains to the coastal beaches. American Pixel Academy judges described “Virginia State Parks” as “Well done,” and commended it for a “powerful opening with excellent music, excellent visuals, well edited.” The documentary also received high marks for “good use of vintage photos, and black and white film.”
“The Gold award for ‘Conversations on Democracy’ is also well-deserved recognition,” Baum added. “This wonderful series is made possible thanks to a long-standing partnership with Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, a stellar example of our commitment to producing engaging educational programs for students and teachers in our region.”
“Shaping the World: Conversations on Democracy – Thomas Jefferson & Patrick Henry” is the 10th episode from a popular interactive history project. Fifth graders from Brookneal Elementary School gathered in the Blue Ridge PBS studio where they met and interviewed Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, portrayed by living history interpreters from Colonial Williamsburg. These “conversations” have been broadcast on Blue Ridge PBS and other Virginia public broadcasting stations, and is also available to educators online. The project includes extensive curriculum materials to help teachers meet Virginia Standards of Learning.
“It is our hope that these programs are inspiring today’s public, school students as well as adults, to discuss democracy and other pressing issues facing America, just as Jefferson and his contemporaries did as they set about creating a new nation,” said Octavia N. Starbuck, Director of Interpretation and Education at Thomas Jefferson Poplar Forest.
For more information about “Virginia State Parks: 75 Years and Still Growing” and “Shaping the World: Conversations on Democracy – Thomas Jefferson & Patrick Henry,” visit BlueRidgePBS.org.