The Columns

W&L Film Wins Gold Dolphin at Cannes Awards

— by on October 26th, 2011

“Echoes of the Past, Voices of the Future,” a film created to support Washington and Lee University’s current fund-raising campaign, won a Gold Dolphin at the 2011 Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards at Cannes, France, on Oct. 13, 2011.

The six-minute film, produced by Tribe Pictures, of Chatham, N.J., featured Washington and Lee students. They recited quotations from past presidents and notable alumni and performed an arrangement of “Shenandoah,” composed for the film by Washington and Lee music professor Terry Vosbein.

The Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards had more than 400 submissions from over 25 countries this year. Fewer than 25 percent of the entrants were found deserving of a Dolphin by the international jury of specialists, and “Echoes of the Past” was the only American-made film to receive a Gold Dolphin in any of the 30-plus categories.

“This is a wonderful recognition for what we think is a remarkable film that has been warmly received by those who have viewed it thus far,” said Dennis Cross, vice president for University advancement at W&L.

The film had its premiere in October 2010 at the kickoff event for the campaign, “Honor Our Past, Build Our Future.” The University is screening the film only at campaign events. It has played at campaign gatherings during the past year and will be featured at similar meetings over the next three years. Cities in which W&L will show it through June 2012 are Philadelphia, Richmond, New York, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta, Charlotte and Birmingham.

A team from Washington and Lee’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs worked closely with Tribe to develop the unusual concept, which took the form of a music video. Jeff Hanna, executive director of communications and public affairs, was joined by Julie Campbell, Eric Owsley and Jessica Willett of W&L.

“We were delighted to work with the Washington and Lee team on this film,” said Vern Oakley, founder and CEO of Tribe Pictures. “At Tribe, it’s our job to trigger emotions and draw the viewer in, so it’s always gratifying to see our work recognized as one of the best of its kind by a panel of distinguished judges.”

Tribe is a boutique communications firm specializing in strategic digital-video and film solutions for Fortune 500 corporations as well as leading colleges, universities and non-profits.

The film features readings by Catherine Carlock, Brian Devine, Meredith Freeman, Kenneth Hopkins, Kevin Mannering, Stephanie Mansey, Michael Morella, Elizabeth Van Leer and Jenna Worsham, all of the Class of 2010; Charlie Yates, a 2006 graduate and a 2010 law graduate; and Estefania Estrada and Keaton Fletcher, of the Class of 2013.

The student performers who played Vosbein’s score, which he wrote for their particular talents, were Alicia Bishop ’13, clarinet; Vera Higgs ’13, piano; Anna Hill ’11, harp; William Johnson ’12, violin; Karen Roth ’14, flute; MaryAnne Vardaman ’13, cello; and the Washington and Lee Chamber Singers, conducted by Shane Lynch, director of choral activities.

The Gold Dolphin from Cannes was one of four prizes that the film has received this year. It has also won a platinum EMPixx Award from the American Pixel Academy, a bronze Telly Award, and an Award of Excellence from District III of CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education).

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Sarah Tschiggfrie
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stschiggfrie@wlu.edu
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