Sacramento Region’s Student Video Producers Honored at Gala Awards Ceremony
By SECC correspondent Mitchel Benson
The Sacramento region’s most talented student video producers and documentary makers were honored recently at the 28th annual Sacramento Educational Video Awards (SEVA) Night at Sacramento State.
More than 800 students and their families, teachers, administrators and local elected officials packed the Union Ballroom on April 19, 2017, for a two-hour ceremony during which 47 awards were handed out to elementary, middle, high school and college students from 21 area schools. In all, students went home with 20 SEVAs and 27 Honorable Mention awards.
“The SEVA competition is the only regional opportunity for local students to be recognized for excellence in educational multimedia production,” SEVA Night Host Sam Spinner, a student at Bella Vista High School, told the audience.
The awards were presented in five categories – school news, documentary, creative expression, instructional videos and short public service announcements. The students competed for those awards according to five age brackets: K-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12 and college/university. Judges reviewed more than 550 entries from nearly 50 schools in this year’s competition. (You can find the full list of winners here.)
The award-winning productions ranged from the humorous (Creative Connections Arts Academy K-6”s “Don’t Run in the Hallway” and Toby Johnson Middle School’s “DIY Fluffy Slime”) to the serious (Franklin High School’s “Caged Bird,” about Chinese American students struggling with mental illness, and Cordova High School’s “#HeLovesYouNot,” about domestic violence).
Several students were speechless – literally – while others could not contain their enthusiasm. “I know this is my third award – and I’m a superstar!” exclaimed young Hayden Williams-Moran of Creative Connections Arts Academy K-6, who was awarded two SEVAs (“CCAA News” and “Lights Out PSA – Director’s Cut/Descent into Madness Edition”) and one Honorable Mention (“How to Audition”) in the K-3 age bracket.
Students, parents and teachers weren’t the only ones impressed by the quality of the videos presented at SEVA Night. Both Comcast Cable’s Philip Arndt and KVIE-TV’s David Lowe, who handed out awards, urged the talented students to consider careers with their respective organizations in the future.
In addition to the student awards, Center High School teacher Vernon Bisho was named the recipient of the Allan Hinderstein Award, presented annually to a teacher who embraces and instills in students and colleagues the importance and value of media production.
“What we do is important and valid for a lot of reasons,” Bisho – a career technical education teacher for video and computer graphics who also teaches at Center High’s Media Communications Academy – said in a recent interview following the awards night. “It’s really important for students to be able to communicate effectively using these tools. That is the essential part of the human condition – communicating – and now we’re using 21st century technology to serve our prehistoric needs of communicating. And that’s where the connect is.”
Before and after the awards ceremony, student producers had the opportunity to “walk the red carpet” as other student video teams interviewed them about their productions in front of colorful backdrops.
The 2017 SEVA competition and awards night presentation were sponsored by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) – which produces Sacramento’s Comcast channels 15 and 16 – Comcast and the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission.
The SEVA competition shines a bright light on the talented students and the videos they produce through a unique partnership among the SECC, the metro cable TV commission and the region’s public schools and public school districts. In the past three-plus years, these partners have invested about $1 million in the creation of SEVA TV studio labs at 29 Sacramento County elementary, middle and high schools spread across nine school districts – both large and small.
The mission of the SEVA Studio Labs partnership is to work hand-in-hand with students and their teachers and advisers, providing them with the training opportunities and equipment needed to create meaningful educational video content to share with the community. Those video productions are then recognized and honored annually at the SEVA Night gala.
For more pictures from Award Night, click over to the SECC Facebook page