Taylor University student media projects have won seven Student Production Awards from the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Central Great Lakes Chapter, also known as the regional Emmy organization, which recognizes the best in television programing.
The Accidental Grandson, a comedy about a theft gone wrong, directed by Paul Terzano ’22, won in the Fiction, Long Form category for the Central Great Lakes region. The project was part of Taylor Film and Media Professor John Bruner’s senior Narrative Filmmaking class.
Winning in the Non-Fiction Long Form category was student documentary Safe Haven about Monica Kelsey, a woman who has championed “baby boxes” that allow mothers to safely surrender a newborn at fire departments across Indiana without penalty. “My hope is that our project will eventually help to get more baby boxes installed and that the story will inspire others in the same way it inspired me,” said Director Faith Marsh ’22.
In the Non-Fiction, Short Form category, 180 was the winning entry. The documentary tells the story of tattoo artist who removes tattoos for people trying to do a 180-degree turn in their lives, leaving behind domestic abuse or sex trafficking.
The regional Emmy organization also recognized the achievements of individual entrants in “craft categories.” In the Directing craft category, the winner was Darien Taylor ’22. His project, Kojak: A Fuller Life, told the story of former Indiana basketball legend Kojak Fuller. Taylor’s teammate Marissa Williams ’23 won the Editing craft category. Williams was overwhelmed when she heard the news. “I am blown away and incredibly excited … the Lord began this work and is continuing to take Kojak’s story so much farther than our team could have asked or imagined,” she said.
In the craft category for Photography, the documentary Lizzi: Deeper than Water tied for the win with a project from Indiana University. Gabriel Burch ’22, whose camera work was singled out said, “I was humbled and honored to be among many talented and hardworking students.” Burch’s teammate Ethan Ochs ’22 was the sound designer for Lizzi, and his work was recognized in the Audio craft category.
Taylor’s total of seven Student Production Awards was the most of any school in the competition. Productions were judged by panels of professionals working in television and video production and tallied on a point system.
Taylor’s Film & Media Production program has won more than 600 external awards, including CINEs, Tellys and multiple recognitions from the regional Emmy organization. In 2022, Taylor received its first national College Television Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, winning a $10,000 prize for a film about an Indiana Paralympian.