From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Passages Is Tops

Date 14 May 1996 15:14:13

"UNITED METHODIST DAILY NEWS" by SUSAN PEEK on Aug. 11, 1991 at 13:58 Eastern,

Note 2961 by UMNS on May 14, 1996 at 16:07 Eastern (3657 characters).

SEARCH: film, festival, radio, ministries, series, communications

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CONTACT:   Linda Green                                 247(10-71){2961}
           Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5470                 May 14, 1996

UMCom radio, TV series honored
at international festival

by Nancye M. Willis*

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMCom) -- "Passages," a 90-second radio
series produced by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) here,
took top honors in the 29th Annual WorldFest-Houston
International Film Festival, the only religious production so
      "Passages" received the Grand Award in the Best Radio
Advertisement category, joining an impressive list of winners
including the Tim Reid feature film "Once Upon a Time When We
Were Colored."  
      UMCom's "Widen Your Circle" TV-spot series received a Silver
award during the festival.   
      WorldFest officials claim it is the largest and oldest
continuous film, video and radio competition in the world.  More
than 4,300 entries from 38 countries were judged for the 1996
event in mid-April.  Winners were notified in early May.  
      "It is especially gratifying to receive such an outstanding
honor, knowing 'Passages' was judged by the criteria of the
commercial marketplace," said Bill Richards, UMCom's director of
radio ministries and executive producer of the series.
      "Passages," produced in cooperation with Presbyterian Media
Mission (PMM), Philadelphia and carried on more than 500 radio
stations nationwide, is a series of audio parables in which
people share their journeys through struggle and triumph.  Each
edition targets various interest groups, and includes positive
stories of survival and real-life adventures.   
      Dennis Benson (PMM) is "Passages" host and producer; Bill
Wolfe (UMCom) is associate producer; Lafayette Richardson (UMCom)
is engineer.
      "Widen Your Circle," a series of five 30-second TV spots,
uses images of diverse circles of people and encourages viewers
to reach out to others in a gesture of support and unity.
Available in five musical versions and in English and Spanish,
each spot ends with "A message of love from the United Methodist
      Richards, Wolfe and UMCom video producer Don Hughes
collaborated on the production of "Widen Your Circle."  
      Both series are marketed directly to local radio stations,
and have received several awards from various competitions.
      According to J. Hunter Todd, WorldFest chairman and founding
director, the awards mean that Public Media's "superb efforts are
among the very best in the world, as only around 10 percent of
the total category entries were awarded honors."  
      Among notable producers who received their first public
recognition during past WorldFest competitions are Steven
Spielberg, George Lucas and Oliver Stone, said Todd.
                                 # # #
*Nancye M. Willis is marketing information specialist in the
Public Media Division of United Methodist Communications.  She
writes and edits the monthly newsletter Transmitter.

EDITORS:  If your policy allows, you may add the following:
      For more information on "Passages," "Widen Your Circle" or
any other United Methodist Communications radio or TV series,
spot or special, contact Public Media Marketing, UMCom, P.O. Box
320, Nashville, TN 37203-0320; telephone (800) 476-7766.


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