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AETN's 'Bell Ringer' wins two Telly Awards

Posted 13 Jul 2017

'Bell Ringer: The Invisible Brain Injury,' an Arkansas Educational Television Network original film exploring concussions, has earned two Telly Awards in the 38th annual competition. The film received a Silver Telly, the competition's highest honor, for General Documentary: Individual and a Bronze Telly for General Education.

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding content for TV and cable, digital and streaming, and non-broadcast distribution. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world. This year's competition had more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents

'AETN produces films like 'Bell Ringer' to benefit families and educators and positively impact health and safety in the state,' AETN Executive Director Courtney Pledger said. 'This was one of the most competitive years in the history of the Telly Awards, and to have such a film recognized with not one, but two, awards is a great honor.'

A prestigious judging panel of 600+ industry professionals, each a past Winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work – entries do not compete against each other, rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit. Less than 10 percent of entries are chosen as winners of a Silver Telly, the competition's highest honor. Other outstanding work is awarded a Bronze Telly.

AETN produced 'Bell Ringer' in response to The Arkansas Concussion Protocol Act of 2013, as well as Act 1214 of 2011, which requires coaches to complete training on concussions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 3.8 million brain injuries occur in athletics every year – and these are more common among children and students than star athletes. Through interviews with former professional athletes, medical experts and renowned researchers, 'Bell Ringer' describes the short-term effects and long-term risks of concussions, explaining how to handle them when they occur and the best prevention methods.

Filming of 'Bell Ringer' took place at Ouachita Baptist University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Central Arkansas, North Little Rock High School, Hall High School, West Memphis High School and Cabot High School. The film was produced by Justin Blake Crum of AETN.

Additional information, including a toolkit for safely navigating brain injuries, is available at 'Bell Ringer' is also available for online professional development credit for Arkansas state licensed educators via ArkansasIDEAS (

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).