NEWS RELEASE: MediaLab's "Changing Currents" Nominated for Emmy

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TACOMA, Wash. - MediaLab, the applied research and multimedia program at Pacific Lutheran University, has received a 2017 Emmy Award nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences—Northwest Chapter for the documentary film Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers.

Changing Currents, which publicly premiered in Tacoma, Wash. in November 2016, received a college division nomination in the “Long-Form Nonfiction” category of the competition. The winner will be announced at a Seattle awards ceremony in early June.

Joshua Wiersma ’18, who served as assistant editor and video journalist on the film, said the recognition is extremely gratifying.

“Receiving an Emmy nomination is exciting and humbling,” said Wiersma. “My fellow filmmakers and I worked hard to make the documentary thought-provoking and influential. So, it’s a great feeling to have our efforts acknowledged in this way.”

Changing Currents was produced by a team that included Wiersma, a Communication major, as well as fellow Communication major Christopher Boettcher ‘17, Art and Design major Kelly Lavelle ‘18, Business major John Struzenberg ‘16, and Digital Media major Rachel Lovrovich ‘18. The film contained an original soundtrack composed by Music major Melody Coleman, ’17, and narration by Communication major Terran Warden ’17. 1

Changing Currents explores the many challenges facing waterways across North America, roughly half of which are contaminated and unfit for drinking, fishing or swimming.

During production of the film, the researchers conducted dozens of interviews, meeting with average citizens, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, water utility experts, members of Native American and Canadian First Nations tribes, and many other public and private organizations.

The Emmy nomination adds to several other recognitions received so far by Changing Currents, including a First Place Grand Prize from the National Broadcasting Society, six Accolade of Southern California Awards, and a Mercury Design Award for the graphics and branding associated with the film.

Since its establishment in 2006, MediaLab has received more than three dozen other national and international recognitions, including four First Place Grand Prizes from the National Broadcasting Society, six Emmy nominations, and one Emmy win.

For more information about Changing Currents, or other MediaLab projects and productions, please visit: www.changingcurrentsdoc.com or https://medialab.plu.edu/, or call Rachel Lovrovich at 253-459-9229, or email lovrovrp@plu.edu.

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About MediaLab at PLU:

MediaLab is an award–winning, applied research and media production organization housed within the Center for Media Studies at Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts and Communication. MediaLab students work on projects across the media spectrum, including market research, photography, graphic design, web design, writing, video, public relations, event planning, filmmaking and more.  

NEWS RELEASE: MediaLab wins 2017 National Broadcasting Society Award

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TACOMA, Wash. -  MediaLab, the applied research and multimedia program at Pacific Lutheran University, has won a 2017 Grand Prize Award from the National Broadcasting Society – Alpha Epsilon Rho, for the documentary film Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers.

Changing Currents, which publicly premiered in Tacoma in November 2016, won in the “Video Documentary” category at the 2017 Annual National Broadcasting Society Electronic Media Competition Awards Ceremony in New York City on March 26, 2017.

Joshua Wiersma ’18, who served as assistant editor and video journalist on the film, said the award is extremely gratifying.

“Winning a National Broadcasting Society Award is great news for us,” said Wiersma.  “My fellow filmmakers and I worked hard to make the documentary thought-provoking and influential. So, it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged with such a prestigious national award.”

Changing Currents was produced by a team that included Wiersma, a Communication major, Communication major Christopher Boettcher ‘17, Art and Design major Kelly Lavelle ‘18, Business major John Struzenberg ‘16, and Digital Media major Rachel Lovrovich ‘18. The film’s original soundtrack was composed by Music major Melody Coleman, ’17 and was narrated by Communication major Terran Warden ’18.

Changing Currents explores the many challenges facing waterways across North America, more than half of which are contaminated and unfit for drinking, fishing or swimming.

During production of the film, the researchers conducted dozens of interviews, meeting with average citizens, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, water utility experts, members of Native American and Canadian First Nations tribes, and many other public and private organizations.

This National Broadcasting Society award adds to several other recognitions received so far by Changing Currents, including six Accolade Awards of Merit and a Mercury Design Award for the graphics and branding associated with the film.

Since its establishment in 2006, MediaLab has received more than three dozen other national and international recognitions, including five Emmy nominations and one Emmy win.

The National Broadcasting Society – Alpha Epsilon Rho, is a student and professional society of more than 85 chapters on college, university, and community college campuses.

For more information about Changing Currents, or other MediaLab projects and productions, please visit: www.changingcurrentsdoc.com  or https://medialab.plu.edu/, or call Rachel Lovrovich at 253-459-9229, or email lovrovrp@plu.edu.

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About MediaLab at PLU:

MediaLab is an award–winning, applied research and media production organization housed within the Center for Media Studies at Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts and Communication. MediaLab students work on projects across the media spectrum, including market research, photography, graphic design, web design, writing, video, public relations, event planning, filmmaking and more.  

NEWS RELEASE: PLU MediaLab students win international design award

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PARKLAND, Wash., March 9, 2017 – Two members of MediaLab, the invitation-only, multimedia applied research program at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), have earned Honors Recognition from the Mercury Excellence Awards for their branding and designs for MediaLab’s 2016 documentary “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers.”

Kelly Lavelle, a junior Art and Graphic Design major, and Rachel Lovrovich, a junior Digital Media major and MediaLab’s General Manager, were recognized.

The pair’s work was ranked among the top four worldwide in Mercury’s “Campaigns - Non Profit/Public Affairs” category. “Changing Currents,” which premiered in November 2016, explores the many challenges facing North America’s rivers, streams and waterways.

“The film aims to raise awareness about ecological issues,” Lavelle said. “We can all help solve the problems.” This marks the third Mercury Excellence Award MediaLab has received for its design work. The organization was previously recognized in 2014 for the film “Waste Not: Breaking Down the Food Equation,” as well as 2013’s “Tapped Out: Unearthing the Global Water Crisis,” which won numerous awards, and an Emmy Nomination.

“We are honored to receive this award,” Lovrovich said. “We are glad the aesthetics we created helped attract attention to these important issues.”

The Mercury Excellence Awards, established in 1987, seek to acknowledge creativity, innovation, and excellence in all forms of media. Competitors from more than 60 countries enter their work, and then only the top three in each category are selected. The awards are recognized internationally for their fairness in judging, and for only selecting the most qualified entries.

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About MediaLab at PLU:

MediaLab is an award–winning, applied research and media production organization housed within the Center for Media Studies at Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts and Communication. MediaLab students work on projects across the media spectrum, including market research, photography, graphic design, web design, writing, video, public relations, event planning, filmmaking and more.  

NEWS RELEASE: Newest MediaLab Film receives awards in multiple categories

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PARKLAND, Wash. -- MediaLab, the applied research and media services program at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), received a total of six awards on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, from the Accolade Global Film Competition of Southern California for the new documentary “Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers.”

 “Changing Currents,” which publicly premiered at Tacoma’s Theatre on the Square in mid-November, investigates the multiple challenges to U.S. and Canadian waterways, more than 50 percent of which are threatened by overpopulation, urban and rural water pollution, climate change, and more.

Produced by a team of seven PLU undergraduate students, “Changing Currents” received five Accolade Awards of Merit in the Documentary Short, Use of Film / Video for Social Change, Original Score, Editing, and Title/Credit Design categories.

“Changing Currents” was also recognized with an Accolade Special Mention Award in the Nature / Environment / Wildlife category.

In a written statement, Accolade Competition Director Rick Prickett praised “Changing Currents” for both its artistry and thought-provoking content.

“Our judges base their decisions on the quality, creativity and technical aspects of each piece,” Prickett said. “The award appropriately reflects the endless hours you and your team have spent to create your outstanding production!”

“Changing Currents” was shot over a 14-month period in communities across the state of Washington as well as on location in Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C., upstate New York, the province of Ontario, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, Vancouver, B.C., and other places.

The “Changing Currents” research and production team consisted of junior Rachel Lovrovich, the film’s creative director; alumnus business major John Struzenberg, director of photography and chief editor; senior communication major Chris Boettcher, social media associate; junior art and graphic design major Kelly Lavelle, publicity designer and photographer; and senior communication major Joshua Wiersma, assistant editor. 

The production team incorporated two other PLU students for contributions. Terran Warden, a PLU senior communication major, served as the film’s narrator, and senior music major Melody Coleman composed an original score for the production.

“Changing Currents” represents the thirteenth documentary produced by MediaLab during its 10-year history. The organization has won more than 40 international, national and regional awards for its work in filmmaking, video production, graphic design, motion graphics and community engagement.

Lavelle, who shot still photos and helped brand “Changing Currents,” said that while she and her colleagues are gratified by the recognitions, the production’s primary goal was always to educate and inform viewers.

“The film aims to raise awareness about ecological issues that face our waterways,” Lavelle said. “We can all help solve the problems.”

More information about “Changing Currents” can be found at: www.changingcurrentsdoc.com

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About MediaLab at PLU:

MediaLab is an award–winning, applied research and media production organization housed within the Center for Media Studies at Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts and Communication. MediaLab students work on projects across the media spectrum, including market research, photography, graphic design, web design, writing, video, public relations, event planning, filmmaking and more.  

NEWS RELEASE: MediaLab embarks on new documentary: Changing Currents

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PARKLAND, Wash. – MediaLab, the award-winning applied research and media production program at Pacific Lutheran University, has begun working on its 2016 documentary film.

Changing Currents: Protecting North America’s Rivers, will examine river pollution in North America, and explore restoration efforts across the continent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 40 percent of rivers and lakes in the United States are too polluted for swimming or fishing. The mission of this film is to educate others on ecological river health, encourage environmental stewardship and advocate for dialog regarding effective river protection. The film is currently in pre-production.

The Changing Currents team consists of five MediaLab students: John Struzenberg, senior, director of photography; Rachel Lovrovich, sophomore, creative director; Chris Boettcher, junior, senior producer; Kelly Lavelle, sophomore, associate producer; and Joshua Wiersma, junior, associate producer.

“River restoration has come a long way in the last 50 years. What people don’t realize is that there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Struzenberg, a senior business major who will be working on the film after graduation later this month. “I’m really excited to be a voice in the critical conversation surrounding rivers in North America.”

In pursuit of knowledge, the team will travel in early June to cities across North America, including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Puyallup, Wash., Vancouver, B.C. and many others. The team will talk to both community members and organizations that are affected by their prospective rivers and/or making a conscious effort to restore their rivers.

Changing Currents will premiere on Nov. 12, 2016 in the Theatre on the Square at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma, Wash.

For more information about Changing Currents, or other MediaLab projects and productions, please visit www.plu.edu/~ml, or contact MediaLab General Manager Rachel Lovrovich via email at lovrovrp@plu.edu.

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About MediaLab at PLU:

MediaLab is an award–winning, applied research and media production organization housed within the Center for Media Studies at Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Arts and Communication. MediaLab students work on projects across the media spectrum, including market research, photography, graphic design, web design, writing, video, public relations, event planning, filmmaking and more.