Being named a Silver Winner at the 42nd Annual Telly Awards is just the latest international recognition of a Ball State-produced documentary. Ball State Sports Link partnered with Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales to release a collaborative documentary in 2020 called “Transatlantic Storytelling” that showcases profile pieces about Welsh athletes.
The months of hard work and dedication paid off, as the documentary was awarded a high honor from the Telly Awards, which received more than 12,000 entries that spanned five continents.
This is the third international award the documentary has won, including the Platinum Award at the 2021 MUSE Creative and Design Awards and a Silver Award of Distinction at the 2021 Communicator Awards.
The Platinum Award and the Silver Winner were the highest-ranking awards an entry could win.
“To get an international award, to get worldwide recognition for the hard [work], craft and creativity involved in this project is absolutely fantastic,” said Joe Towns, Cardiff Metropolitan University senior lecturer of sports broadcasting, in an email.
Even after winning numerous prestigious awards, students and staff involved said the most rewarding aspect of the project was the experience itself.
The project provided Ball State students with plenty of hands-on experience by allowing them to travel overseas and film an extensive documentary for 12 days with students from another country.
Cory Vervynckt, 2021 Ball State graduate in digital sports production who worked on the documentary, said he has fond memories of the time he spent working with other Ball State and Cardiff Met students.
“I got to see some of the most beautiful sights the world has to offer, and I made great friendships with some of the students of Cardiff Met, whom I still keep in touch with even today,” Vervynckt said in an email.
Chris Taylor, Ball State Sports Link senior director of sports production, also shared a similar sentiment.
“The legacy of the project is the relationship between Ball State University and Cardiff Met, but [also] Ball State students and Cardiff Met students too,” Taylor said.
The documentary faced some obstacles during its creation — particularly during post-production — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ball State crew returned to Muncie on March 9, 2020, only a few days before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the world was sent into lockdown.
This forced the students and staff working on the documentary to finish post-production virtually, without the typical array of resources students usually have at their disposal.
“The trip was something we’ll never forget, but the post-production process is certainly one we’ll never forget,” Taylor said.
Despite the circumstances, the documentary was completed and had its digital world premiere on June 30, 2020, and has hit the ground running since then.
Despite already receiving three international awards, Taylor believes the project is just getting started.
“I still think it has a chance to do something special with some other awards and film festivals in the days, weeks and months ahead,” he said.
Vervynckt said the combination of working on the project and the recognition the documentary has received made the experience something he will always remember.
“It was all-around one of the best experiences of my life,” Vervynckt said. “Getting this type of recognition for the work we did on that trip is just icing on the cake.”
Taylor said the two universities plan to continue their partnership with more projects once the pandemic is over, with the hope of Ball State students returning to Wales in 2022.
Towns wrote in an email, “Bring on ‘Transatlantic Storytelling Part 2!’”