Posted by PBS Publicity on

Panel of Experts Chooses Winners from Around the United States

Maker of Winning Entry -- Called "PBS Taught Me" -- Receives Trip to PBS Annual Meeting, Behind-the-Scenes Tour of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS and More

Arlington, VA (May 19, 2010) - A national user-generated video contest, designed to show that PBS isn't just for your parents, brought in eclectic video submissions from around the country and resulted in a winning entry that vividly and animatedly illustrates the surprising ways PBS has affected one person's life.

In the "Your PBS Video Contest," hosted by PBS Engage, the public was invited to create 30-second videos showing how they interact with PBS beyond television. Contest submissions shined a light on the variety of new ways people now experience PBS - including watching their favorite programs on the new PBS video player, interacting directly with PBS producers and talent through live events, and diving deeper into shows through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

The winning video, called "PBS Taught Me," by Michael Kelvin Lee of San Francisco, literally and figuratively illustrates the ways PBS has provided him with new and sometimes surprising perspectives. As the contest winner, Lee won a trip to Austin, where PBS is holding its annual members meeting this week and where the contest winners were unveiled today. As part of his prize, Lee will go behind the scenes with PBS insiders and tour the studios of one of PBS' most iconic series, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS. Lee's winning video can be seen at http://memelabs.com/pbs/?play=14191. All of the top videos, including the grand prize winner, can be viewed at http://videocontest.pbs.org.

The public was also invited to weigh in on their favorite video submissions by voting for a special People's Choice prize. "Online to Explore," by Henry Michael Basta, Jr. of Abingdon, Maryland, received the most votes. His video features custom music and artful graphics that illustrate the many ways he interacts with PBS.org.

Basta's video was also selected as one of five contest runners-up. The other runners-up include Jeremiah Mayhew of Sacramento, California; Cole Williams of Austin, Texas; Stefan Ganchev of Des Moines, Iowa; and Car Nazzal of Los Angeles, California. Each will receive a custom-designed HD Flip video camera and PBS prize package.

Contest judges rated entries on several criteria, rewarding those videos that were clever, engaging, innovative and high in production value. The judging panel represented a variety of traditional and new media industry leaders, including John Bell, Global Managing Director at Ogilvy & Mather; Raney Aronson, Senior Producer of FRONTLINE; David Grubin, producer and filmmaker; Lois Vossen, Series Producer and Curator of INDEPENDENT LENS; Jonathan Vert, President and CEO of PromaxBDA; John Wilson, PBS SVP and Chief TV Programming Executive; Lesli Rotenberg, PBS SVP, Marketing and Communications; and Jason Seiken, PBS SVP, Interactive, Product Development & Innovation.

A free trip to the PBS annual meeting was also awarded to a representative of the winner's local PBS station - KQED. The station will feature the winning video on KQED.org following the PBS meeting.

About The PBS Engage Initiative
PBS Engage - launched as a Web site (pbs.org/engage) - is a laboratory for experimentation with social media and a hub for all social media activity around PBS. The Engage website also serves as the destination to highlight the numerous social media experiments created by individual public television stations and television producers. However, PBS Engage is more than a website. Engage provides tools, best practices and consulting to support PBS member stations and producers. Through the generous support of Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation, PBS Engage is putting the "public" back in public media.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 120 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.


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Kevin Dando, kdando@pbs.org | 703-739-5073