ESPN captures broadcaster of the year honor

Organizers of the 54th New York Festivals’ International Television and Film Awards honoring the world’s best TV programs and films announced this year’s winning entries at an awards ceremony April 12 in Las Vegas at the 2011 NAB Show. Forty countries submitted entries for consideration.

The grand jury awarded two grand trophies, one to ESPN and another to Area 51. ESPN also was named broadcaster of the year for the fourth consecutive year, and The Edge Picture Company was honored with the title of production company of the year.

During the festivities, the spotlight was on documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles of Maysles Films who was presented the inaugural NYF Television and Film Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Maysles Films President Bradley Kaplan presented the award to Maysles, who has been referred to as “the dean of documentary filmmakers” by The New York Times and as “the greatest American cameraman” by Jean-Luc Godard.

Clips of award-winning entries were showcased and the Grand Trophy, Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winners were presented with their trophies. In total, the 2011 Grand Jury awarded 117 Gold, 143 Silver, 103 Bronze Medals and 270 Finalist Certificates for distinguished work.

ESPN was awarded the Grand Trophy in the history and society category for the documentary “The Two Escobars.” The film, directed by brothers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, chronicles the Colombian national soccer team as it set out to create a new image for their country during the time rival drug cartels warred in the streets and the country’s murder rate climbed to highest in the world. ESPN was also awarded 27 Gold, 23 Silver, 18 Bronze World Medals as well as 18 Finalist Certificates.

FOXTEL’s Area 51 was awarded the Grand Trophy in the arts and humanities category for the 60-minute documentary “Who We Are,” which showcases indigenous Australians. The film, written, directed and produced by Dei El-Ayoubi, creative director of Area 51, told the story of FOXTEL’S commitment to reconciliation in Australia.