Washtenaw students bring home four Emmys

group photo of Michigan Emmy award winners and nominees

From left, Michigan Emmy award winners Shane Law, Brian Puninske, Matt Wilken and Dalia Alsadi are joined by WCC instructors Dan Kier and Matt Zacharias and nominees Jacob Corbitt and Dontez Jones at the awards ceremony on April 18. Matthew Zacharias | Courtesy Photo

Staff Writer

When 10 Washtenaw video production students found out they were nominated for student Emmy awards last month, it was a proud moment. When four of those students brought home trophies, they helped solidify Washtenaw’s video program’s standing among the best programs in the state.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Michigan Chapter presented the awards.

21-year-old Brian Puninske received the Emmy in the sports category for his video “The Art of Parkour.” Parkour, currently a popular activity among teens and those in their early twenties, is a sport where participants run, jump, flip and vault around urban environmental obstacles like walls and railings.

Puninske, despite being told that his video was a “visually striking piece,” was baffled to learn that he had won an award for it.

“I was shocked at first, and I didn’t understand why,” he admitted.

“Ypsi-24,” Shane Law’s commercial for the 2014 Ypsi-24 Hour Film Shootout, received the Emmy in the commercial category.

“It’s good to have a reward for hard work,” Law said. He explained the commercial was reminiscent of old-western style films.

Another NATAS Michigan Chapter Regional winner was Matt Wilken, a 36-year-old WCC student from Ann Arbor, whose “Sprachlos” won the Emmy’s directing category as well as the festival’s Best Editing award.

“It’s a black and white silent film,” Wilken said. He explained the title is German for “speechless.”

The last winner was 31-year-old Dalia Alsadi. Her piece, “Len Sinclair,” a documentary on the music photographer won the award in the long-form documentary category.

The Ypsilanti resident admitted she didn’t expect to get an Emmy after all the hard work, but “it was a good feeling,” she said.

Out of the 17 videos submitted and the 10 videos nominated, Alsadi, Wilken, Law and Puninske were the four who brought back Emmys for WCC.

“Dan (Kier) and I are really proud of the students work and how hard they push themselves,” said Matt Zacharias of his fellow video production instructor.

Each year, Zacharias explained, the videos are stronger, the stories better and the individual styles of the students increase from the start of the year to the finish.


2014-15 WCC Digital Film & Animation Festival award winners

Best in Show: Bill Simers ‘Magellans of the Air’
Best Editing: Matt Wilken ‘Sprachlos’
Best Cinematography: Jason Zacharias ‘Playmate’
Best Documentary: Brian Puninske ‘The Art of Parkour’
Best Promotional Spot: Brittney Harris ‘Lean on Me’
Best Motion Graphics: Shane Law ‘Ypsi-24’
Most Creative: Jason Zacharias ‘Playmate’

Michigan Emmy award winners

Puninske’s Emmy-winning video ‘The Art of Parkour’.
Law’s Emmy-winning video ‘Ypsi-24’.
Wilken’s Emmy-winning video ‘Sprachlos’.
Alsadi’s Emmy-winning video ‘Leni Sinclair’.



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