By Cassady Coulter
The Northwest Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced on May 4, that the documentary produced by MediaLab has been nominated for a student Emmy Award. This is the third time in five years that MediaLab has been honored with a student Emmy nomination.
“Beyond Burkas and Bombers: Anti Muslim Sentiment in America” is a 30-minute documentary that tackles the fear-centered media coverage of Muslims in the United States that has caused backlash against Muslims in America.
The documentary chronicles the lives of Carlos Sandoval and Bashair Alazadi, who fell in love at PLU and learned to overcome the obstacles our society has created for Muslims in America.
Co-producers of the documentary, JuliAnne Rose and Heather Perry, say they are incredibly thrilled about the nomination. “We worked many long hours on this important story. We are grateful that it is being recognized,” Perry said.
“Beyond Burkas and Bombers” was nominated alongside three other long-form student productions: two from the University of Oregon and one from the University of Montana.
Chief editor of the documentary, Andrea Capere, expressed her happiness about the nomination, noting its significance for PLU. “We are truly honored to be considered alongside two big media schools with such great notoriety,” she said.
The documentary was first shown in January in a PLU Journalism and Conflict class. The documentary was then offered to a wider audience at Pacific Lutheran University this spring. The documentary was well received by students and community members. At this event the documentary was live-streamed online and viewers around the world were able to watch and share their input through live tweets.
The MediaLab documentary was funded by a grant from the Wang Center for Global Education at PLU. The documentary’s producer, PLU senior JuliAnne Rose, was ecstatic about the nomination. “We are fortunate at PLU to have the Wang Center and MediaLab to provide students with the opportunity to ask the meaningful questions and the resources to delve into some of the most important social issues of our day,” Rose said.
The team hopes that this will help spread the word about such a controversial topic and bring anti-Islam sentiment in America to the forefront. The issue is something the documentary team thinks is worth discussing and is becoming increasingly relevant given recent news events.
Media portrayal of Islam in recent years has lead to harsh negative generalizations made about all Muslims. The Emmy-nominated documentary delved into how to break down those barriers and how to prevent such harsh judgments that can condemn an entire group by the actions of a small minority. The documentary addresses the use of comedy as a strategy to break down such barriers.
The Emmy award winners will be announced at the annual Emmy Awards ceremony June 15, 2013 in Seattle.