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Xavier documentary about roller derby in Cincinnati wins a bronze Telly Award for 2012

02/27/12

A documentary film about roller derby in Cincinnati, created by a communication arts class in the Electronic Media program, received a 2012 Bronze Telly Award in the cultural category in the 33rd Annual Awards announced this month.

The film, The Roller Derby Queens, was picked from among nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and other countries. The class wanted to produce a high-quality video documentary worthy of presentation to local and national audiences. Students helped Assistant Professor Blis DeVault produce and direct the documentary. She and Stan Hedeen, chair of the Department of Communication Arts, are the executive producers.

The film is about the women who participate in the rough-and-tumble world of local roller derby, following several veterans and one rookie skater as they prepare for their first home game in the CincinnatiGardens on Mar. 27, 2010. It presents basic history of the Cincinnati Rollergirls team, how it evolved and how the sport is played. It focuses on the women as athletes, on their passion for the sport and on their friendships.

“The 21st Century has seen a rise in popularity of the documentary,” DeVault said. “They are part of our historical and cultural landscape, and with technology becoming lighter and cheaper, more voices and stories are entering the conversation. Students learned the importance of story crafting and the research, skill and patience required to make a production of professional quality. The focus had to be on moving the story and entertaining the audience.”

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards honor outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world. A judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals upholds the Telly standard of excellence.

Learn more about the Telly Awards at the Telly Awards website. The video can be purchased for $20 at the communication arts website. All proceeds from sales of the film benefit the Xavier Television Center.