New York City, NY- July 2, 2015- The display case at Mountain Lake PBS has two new awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association, continuing a tradition of excellence at the station. The programs honored at the awards gala in Manhattan last week were On Home Ground and FOCUSED: Creative Youth in the Empire State.
On Home Ground captured an award in the “Outstanding Documentary” category. The film provides an intimate look into the lives of three Iraq and Afghanistan veteran from the Adirondacks re-acclimating to civilian life. Years after coming back, these veterans reflect on their homecoming, rebuilding relationships, grappling with physical and mental changes, and finding a unique, grounding camaraderie among fellow veterans. This Emmy-nominated 60-minute documentary was produced by Tomeka Weatherspoon and released in November 2014.
"I'm thrilled. My team and I were just through the roof to receive the award," said producer Tomeka Weatherspoon. "I hope it means that people were able to connect with the film. Knowing that, makes this all the more rewarding."
FOCUSED: Creative Youth in the Empire State received an award in the “Outstanding Locally Produced TV Show” category. The 30-minute special highlights the New York State Summer School of the Arts. NYSSSA offers opportunities for teens desiring future careers in the arts. The special explores the creative force that motivates New York kids to give up their summer vacations for four weeks of intensive study and training. FOCUSED premiered in October 2014, and was produced, written, and edited by Paul Larson.
"The talent and drive of the kids at the summer school are what inspired me during the making of this show. I actually didn't have awards in mind at all while producing it,” Larson said. "I'm really happy for the students, instructors and administrators of the summer school that their program has received such an honor."
Daniel McCullum was the videographer for the documentary On Home Ground, which was edited by Michael Hansen. They both lent their expertise to the program FOCUSED as well.
“Tomeka and Paul have not only achieved the production of outstanding television programs, but also developed the kinds of partnerships needed to tell the most important stories of our region. That is really the heart of our mission, and we are so proud of the work they have done,” said Bill McColgan, Director of Production and Content at Mountain Lake PBS.
“Mountain Lake PBS is lucky to have a talented team of storytellers, and I’m honored that the station has been recognized for their efforts. Both Paul and Tomeka have created exceptional work, and I commend them for these awards” said Erik Nycklemoe, President and CEO of Mountain Lake PBS.
Photo Credit: Paul Larson and Tomeka Weatherspoon at the NYSBA Award Ceremony. Photo by Matt Ryan.