The three award winning programs are: "Postcards" Somali Culture in Willmar in the Culture category and "My Way Back Home" Caroline Smith and "Holly Hansen for TV programs in the Entertainment category. The three programs were selected for awards from more than 12,000 entries submitted nationwide.
All three award winning programs are available for viewing online at www.pioneer.org/localproductions. Viewers in the Pioneer Public TV viewing area will be able to see a rebroadcast of the My Way Back Home documentaries on Thursday April 24th at 9:00 p.m.
With the growing interest in Somali Culture in Minnesota prompted by the success of the movie Captain Phillips, Pioneer has seen a steady increase in the number of online views of the Somali Culture in Willmar Postcards episode. Minneapolis is home to the largest number of Somali immigrants in the U.S. Pioneer’s program provides a window into the life and thoughts of Mohamed Sayid as he seeks to present a better view of the Somali community in rural Minnesota. “There has been a loud and positive impact on the local Somali community since the Postcards episode aired in May 2013,” Sayid said. “I consider this to be my home now a place where we can grow and take care of each other,” he added.
Reflections about leaving home and finding new communities are themes that run through all three of the award winning programs. These themes are reflective of the life experiences of producer Dana Johnson, a Willmar High School graduate who studied filmmaking in Los Angeles and who now lives in Appleton. Johnson has worked for Pioneer Public Television for the past 3 years. In the fall of 2013, Johnson and her collaborators earned an Upper Midwest Emmy Award for the My Way Back Home documentary featuring Caroline Smith.
Pioneer Public Television first went on the air as a viewer supported, locally owned and governed TV station in February 1966. Pioneer is launching a Local People Your Stories Spring Festival Pledge drive from March 1 -18 to raise funds to support programming costs. For more information visit www.pioneer.org.