Communications faculty win Accolade award

Xenia Martinez
Staff Writer

Three professors in the University of La Verne communications department received an award of merit from the Accolade Awards for their film “City of La Verne,” produced for the 2009 Annual President’s Dinner Gala.

The Accolade is an international virtual venue, which recognizes innovative filmmakers, including documentary and animated movies, who produce fresh standout entertainment. The venue also recognizes commercials and television projects.

The video, produced by professors Michael Laponis and Donald Pollock and Adjunct Professor and Radio-TV Operations Manager Shane Rodrigues covers much of the history of the city and features interviews with several prominent La Verne officials.

The film also illustrates the long relationship between the University and the city.

“It’s great that we won an award because telling a story of a city and involving its history is huge and rather difficult,” Laponis said.

“It’s hard to figure out what is the most important element of the story, and seeing that we came through feels great,” he added.

The Accolade staff share distribution ideas and provide industry contacts in an effort to help promote the award winners and propel their careers as television producers.

It was the trio’s first time entering the Accolade contest, Pollock said.

“It’s not an Oscar, nor an Emmy, but it’s a great start, especially because I’ve heard amazing things about the Accolade,” he added.

A special annual award is given to a filmmaker, television producer or videographer who have made a significant contribution to humanitarian effort or social change.

“I love working on professional films with my colleagues and students,” Laponis said.

“It’s a good learning experience for the students because it’s an outside project so they see the other side,” he added.

Winning an Accolade gives buyers and distributors confidence that the production is of high quality.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the Accolade Award staff,” Shane Rodrigues said.

Xenia Martinez can be contacted at

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