MSU Professors Win Top Awards for Film About Latino Lynchings

MSU Professors of Practice John J. Valadez and Carleen Ling-an Hsu will receive two top honors from the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) at its annual conference in Las Vegas. There they will be presented with the Faculty Documentary “Best of” award and the first-ever “Diversity and Inclusion Creative Award” for their WKAR/PBS film The Head of Joaquin Murrieta.

More than 1,550 entries, representing more than 175 colleges and universities across the country, were submitted for this year’s competition. Valadez and Hsu, who each have dual appointments in the Department of Media and Information and the Film Studies Program in the Department of English, had the top overall entry in the Faculty Documentary Competition.

“As filmmakers, we spend years thinking about our subject, then painstakingly try to articulate the idea and craft it into a film for a wide audience. In the end, we send it off into the world over the airwaves or through cables in the ground. We often don’t know how it impacts people because we are not in their living rooms watching with them,” Hsu said. “Winning these awards from BEA is not only a huge honor because it comes from our fellow educators, it is a reminder and affirmation that what we do both as filmmakers and educators really does matter.”

Written and directed by Valadez and produced and edited by Hsu, The Head of Joaquin Murrieta is a short documentary that follows Valadez as he travels across the country — from New York to California — with the 165-year-old severed head of the legendary Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta.

The Head of Joaquin Murrieta was released in 2016 and submitted in late 2017 to the BEA’s Festival of Media Arts Competition, which is a competitive forum open to BEA faculty and student members. The 16th annual festival will be held in Las Vegas on April 7-10, 2018.

 

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