Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sanibel documentary 'Sanctuary Island' wins Telly Award

Sanibel documentary 'Sanctuary Island' wins Telly Award

Title screen for the documentary 'Sanctuary Island: The Sanibel Legacy.'

WGCU Public Media’s documentary "Sanctuary Island: The Sanibel Legacy" recently won a bronze award in the 31st Annual Telly Awards competition, which awards silver and bronze statuettes to outstanding productions in various categories each year.

"Sanctuary Island," written and produced by Sanibel Island writer Chelle Koster Walton, tells the story of how grassroots determination and diligent environmental awareness created an island sanctuary in spite of plans to the contrary.

Besides Walton, several other islanders contributed to the 30-minute documentary’s production, including former Island Reporter editor Barbara Linstrom, WGCU executive producer; Laura Sheft, associate producer and narrator; Rusty Farst, who provided aerial footage; musician Danny Morgan, who donated the use of his music; and Aaron Walton, production assistant.

"Sanctuary Island" debuted in March 2009. Among the people interviewed for the WGCU Untold Stories series episode were Sanibel’s first mayor Porter Goss, former mayor and conservationist Mark “Bird” Westall, early “Ding” Darling ranger Charles LeBuff, and key staff at the refuge, SCCF and CROW.

“Today a low-key beach community of some 6,000 year-round residents and thousands of birds, Sanibel Island, Florida, was headed for an entirely different fate in the 1960s,” the documentary begins. “Back then, county officials and developers were hatching plans to build Sanibel out to full capacity -- into a high-rise, highly commercialized tourist destination of 90,000.”

The documentary was funded through contributions to the WGCU Green Fund by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society; the Robert & Mary Linstrom Memorial Fund at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank.

To view the documentary online, visit

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, film and video production, and Web commercials, videos and films.

WGCU Public Media provides media content and services that enrich the lives of our citizens and strengthen the social, democratic and cultural health of our region by fostering personal growth, celebrating human diversity and motivating community engagement. WGCU TV/FM is a broadcast service of WGCU Public Media at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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