GMA News and Public Affairs has bagged three Silver World Medals and six Finalist Certificates at the prestigious 2012 New York Festivals Television and Film Awards held on April 17 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
I-Witness’ "Lapnos" (Burn) episode won the Silver World Medal for the Social Issues and Current Events category, while GMA News TV’s Front Row brought home two Silver World Medals – one for the Social Issues category for its "Yaman sa Basura" (Child Urban Miners) episode and another one for the Biography/Profiles category for the documentary program’s "Bente Dos" (Twenty-Two) episode.
I-Witness’ "Lapnos" gives viewers a glimpse inside the burn unit of the Mindanao Burn Center in Davao City . Here, Peabody Award winner Jay Taruc learns about the victims’ individual – at times, harrowing – stories.
"We are honoured to receive this silver medal from the NYF. Lapnos was a heartbreaking yet powerful story that moved all of us who produced it. But what makes this story truly remarkable, apart from the recognition it recently received, is its power to raise awareness on this small, forgotten hospital in Mindanao . Even now, we continue to receive pledges for the hospital and its patients, and for this we are truly grateful. We dedicate this award to the burn victims who shared their story with us and hope that more can be done to alleviate their suffering," says Angeli Atienza, program manager for I-Witness’ Lapnos episode.
"This documentary was passionately executed by the men and women of I-Witness. We dedicate this award to our dear 12 year old Christy, who succumbed to complications from her burn wounds. God bless you and God bless Mindanao," adds Executive Producer Lea Llamoso.
Front Row’s "Yaman Sa Basura" tells the story of twin boys risking life and limb working in an urban mine in order to help their family. "Bente Dos" (Twenty-Two), on the other hand, narrates the life of a couple living in Manila ’s slums, together with their children—all 22 of them.
"GMA News TV is just a year old channel. With Front Row's two medals, we take so much pride and honor to receive more medals than any other Philippine network from the New York Festivals this year. Our local audience has embraced the non-traditional, no-host, no-voiceover documentary format and we are glad that jurors from international award-giving bodies have appreciated it as well," says Johnson Tam, Program Manager for Front Row.
Meanwhile, three GMA entries brought home Finalist Certificates including the I-Witness episode on compressor mining presented by Peabody award-winning journalist Kara David dubbed Gintong Putik; the GMA special that delved deep into the current situation of the country’s education system in Report Card; and Born To Be Wild’s The Born Expeditions Finale: The Monster of Mae Klong and The Great White Shark where, in the presence of a Philippine wildlife team, a world breakthrough in sting ray research was documented on video.
Leading Philippine news channel GMA News TV – only on its first year of airing but is already making its presence felt even in the international arena – also brought home three more Finalist Certificates: GMA News TV’s historical docudrama tracing the evolution of Dr. Jose Rizal’s writings, Pluma: Si Rizal, Ang Dakilang Manunulat (Rizal, The Great Writer); and two Reel Time episodes—Lusong and Tira. Lusong (Live to Dive) tells the story of a father and his son’s race to earn enough money through diving while Tira (Infected) narrates the alarming cases of young teens suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.
The New York Festival International Television and Film Awards is one of the world’s most prestigious award-giving bodies dedicated to both the television and film industries. It encourages next generation story-tellers to break new grounds by honouring the winners within each competition each year.