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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 1, 2002 - Issue 62


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Red Cloud Students Win New York Film Award

by Heidi Bell Gease, Rapid City Journal Staff Writer
Kid Witness News New Vision AwardPINE RIDGE, SD - A short film created by students at Red Cloud Indian High School won top news honors at the 12th annual Kid Witness News New Vision Awards ceremony Monday in New York City.

Panasonic sponsors the annual film contest, which is judged by students from Columbia University’s film school, along with educators, broadcasters, journalists and others. It is part of the company’s Kid Witness News video-education program, which encourages students to express their views using Panasonic digital-video equipment.

Five students in Guerin Gray’s multi-media class at Red Cloud produced this year’s winning video, "A Lakota Sports Classic." The 4-1/2-minute video about the Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament featured interviews with tournament director Brian Brewer, coaches, students and basketball players, along with footage of the annual December event in Rapid City.

"I knew that the video was really strong, and I saw how much work they put into it," Gray said. "It was good to be recognized."

Winners were chosen in nine categories, such as "documentary," "fiction," and "special effects." Two students and a teacher from each school were given an expense-paid trip to New York City for the awards ceremony at the Museum of Television & Radio.

There are five students in Gray’s multi-media class: sophomores LeRoy Janis, Tommy Cummings, Larissa Ross and Derek Weston, and junior James LaPointe. All worked on the video, Gray said, but Janis and Cummings were chosen to go to New York based on an application and essay questions.

The group left South Dakota Saturday morning and returned Tuesday night.In New York, they toured the city and visited Times Square. "There was a picture of all the students in our class that was projected on the huge screen TV that’s in Times Square," Gray said. "It was pretty cool."

Students also saw the Broadway production of "Beauty and the Beast" and attended the Monday awards ceremony and a reception.

It was the first visit to New York City for the Red Cloud students. "Tommy told me he wants to live there. And I think they both enjoyed getting a chance to look around a bit and see the city," Gray said. "They seemed pretty excited about it."

Kid Witness News New Vision Awards
Each year, the "best of the best" videos are honored at the annual Kid Witness News New Vision Awards Ceremony. Videos submitted for the New Vision Awards are reviewed by students from Columbia University's School of the Arts Film Division, and the top three finalists in each category are submitted for a final round of judging by an independent panel of professionals.

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