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AETN productions win national awards

Posted 01 Jun 2009

“Arkansas is rich with history and blessed with a stunningly beautiful environment,” Adornetto said. “Against this backdrop, AETN produces original programming that tells the locally grown story found in every corner of our state.

“Understanding the enormous process that takes place from initial story development to final broadcast would include the talent and efforts of producers, directors, camera operators, audio technicians, editors, graphic artists and promotions specialists, as well as the AETN Foundation, agency partners and independent producers and hosts. To produce such amazing programming that is relevant and essential to Arkansans and be recognized in the following categories for these achievements is stunning and makes our work compliment our mission.”

Productions recognized and the awards that they have received are:

·        “Troubled Water,” a Bronze Telly in the TV Informational category and the Sierra Club award for Conservation and Environment Reporting. The AETN original documentary traveled the state to see how agriculture, industry, pollution and population growth have taken a toll on Arkansas’s water resources. Funding for the production was provided, in part, by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. It was produced by Mark Wilcken.

·        “AETN Presents: Front Row with the Salty Dogs,” a Bronze Telly in the TV Live Events category. The Salty Dogs’s music has been featured on the TLC hit show, “Trading Spaces.” “AETN Presents” features a variety of arts and cultural subjects. Funding for the production was provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It was produced by Casey Sanders and directed by Michelle Worden.

·        “Delta Dreams,” a Bronze Telly in the TV Documentary category, Aurora Award in the Documentary-Culture category and a National Educational Telecommunications Association award in the Program Production category. “Delta Dreams” chronicles Phillips County in Eastern Arkansas, which was once one of the most vibrant areas of the state, but has seen a drastic decline in recent years with communities transforming from a thriving middle class to impoverished and abandoned. AETN’s two-year study of the region’s decline and plan for recovery was funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. It was produced by Tanisha Joe-Conway of AETN and Richard Wormser of Videoline.

·        “Men and Women of Distinction: Judge Arnold,” a Bronze Telly in the TV Information category. This film was produced by Mark Wilcken and explores the life and career of Judge Morris Arnold. Arnold has taught at several universities including Harvard and UALR and was appointed U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas in 1985. Arnold is also the state’s resident expert on Colonial Arkansas and has traveled to France and Spain to piece together 17th century Arkansas history. “Men and Women of Distinction” features interviews with prominent Arkansans known for their citizenship, character and accomplishments.

·        “Exploring Arkansas: Ozark National Forest and Buffalo River,” a Bronze Telly in the TV Travel/Tourism category and the Sierra Club award for Conservation and Environmental Reporting. This series showcases what Arkansas is all about and focuses on the extreme adventures available in the Natural State. In each episode, producer and host Chuck Dovish introduces viewers to high adventure and outdoor recreation, featuring some of the most breathtaking and spectacular sights in Arkansas.

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards recognize outstanding local, regional and cable television programs and commercials, as well as the finest video and film productions. The Telly is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders, with more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Telly judges evaluate entries to recognize distinction in creative work. Entries do not compete against each other; rather, entries are judged against a high standard of merit. This year marks the first time AETN has won five awards at once in the same competition.

The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 with the purpose of promoting exploration, enjoyment and conservation of the earth’s ecosystems and resources. It is the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the U.S.

The Aurora Awards is an international competition developed to recognize non-national productions that focus on regional or special interest entertainment.

The National Educational Telecommunications Association is a professional association that serves public television stations and educational institutions in all 50 states.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network ( provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans’ lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETN’s digital and analog transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.