The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) production department has been honored with two Aurora Awards in the Spring 2014 competition. Works recognized in this competition achieved a high standard of excellence in the film industry.
"Champion Trees" received Platinum Best of Show in the Documentary-Cultural category. Judges said the film had beautiful videography, appealing and engaging interviews and was an overall excellent piece. "Champion Trees" is an original 60-minute documentary from AETN that explores these natural wonders and how they influence and inspire the people around them. The film features the champion trees of Arkansas, the largest of their species in the state. Also highlighted in the film is Linda Williams Palmer of Hot Springs who draws Arkansas’s champion trees with the ultimate goal of interpreting each tree according to the season of observation, location, historic context and human connection. Major funding for "Champion Trees" was provided by the Morris Foundation, Horace C. Cabe Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation and Richard W. Averill Foundation. Additional funding was provided by Munro Foundation, C. Louis & Mary C. Cabe Foundation, Olds Foundation, The Jane Howard Foundation, Carco International and Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Hawkins.
"Bayou Bartholomew" received a Gold Award in the Nature/Environment category. Judges said the film was well shot with good editing and footage. This one-hour documentary features the longest bayou in the world and is hosted by Chuck Dovish. Originating near Pine Bluff, Bayou Bartholomew stretches 359 miles before emptying in the Ouachita River near Sterlington, La. It is one of most diverse stream in North America, containing 117 species of fish and 197 species of birds. The documentary explains the history of the bayou dating back 3,000 years and reveals how it has been long overlooked for its contribution in developing the heart of the Delta and neglected in American history. Funding for "Bayou Bartholomew" was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Aurora Awards is an international competition designed to recognize excellence in the film and video industries. Aurora Awards was created in 1996 with the goal of letting a wide range of producers compete in the same competition. All films are judged by the same criteria (professional execution, quality content and creativity) despite their individual specialties. Judges come from across the continental U.S. and are working professionals who uphold the standard of excellence, as well as provide valuable feedback.