Small film, big award– teens nab a Peabody
A few years ago, Sahar Adish was a young Afghani teenager living with her family in a refugee camp in Pakistan following a daring nighttime escape from the Taliban. Last week, Adish's film about that experience and her family's subsequent emigration to Charlottesville was one of only 35 film and television projects to receive a Peabody Award, a prestigious annual honor some consider the equivalent of Oscars for electronic media.
Adish– now in her second year at UVA– made the film Sahar: Before the Sun with three other local teens through the nonprofit Light House. Last year, the short documentary was shown on the Independent Film Channel along with other film shorts by young people around the country in a program titled "Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet."
"These films demonstrate that young people around the world had stories to tell," says a statement on the Peabody Awards website, "and that, given equipment and a little training, could tell them powerfully."
Other 2006 Peabody winners include HBO for Spike Lee's documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and ABC News for its one-hour documentary Out of Control: AIDS in Black America.
Adish and friends are not the only Charlottesville filmmakers celebrating success this week. Johnny St. Ours, whose stylized work can be seen on local television commercials for businesses including lingerie shop Derriere de Soie, says he's celebrating winning two Telly Awards– a bronze and a silver, the highest honor, for his pilot episode of Quest: le mans, a documentary that will follow local developer and race car aficionado Oliver Kuttner as he attempts to reengineer a Ford GT and win the famed French race, Le Mans. The episode premiered at Live Arts two months ago, and St. Ours says he hopes to find a television outlet interested in airing the program in its entirety.