Content courtesy of PhillyCAM; photos by Brianna Spause
Local non-profit PhillyCAM– which just turned 10- is a community media center that trains Philadelphians in broadcast production and airs original content on Philadelphia’s public access television and WPPM 106.5 FM. This past Sunday, the third annual CAMMY Awards (held on national Community Media Day at Lightbox Film Center) celebrated producers whose television and radio content brings together the people of Philadelphia by making and sharing media that promotes creative expression, democratic values, and civic participation.
Each year, the Cammys recognize the creativity and commitment of its volunteer producers. The evening was hosted by Community Affairs Reporter for KYW NewsRadio 1060 AM Cherri Gregg, and featured performances by local R&B artist Jacqueline Constance and the Dumpsta Players.
This year’s winners:
Excellence in Curation Award for Radio: Sylver Alert. Produced by Ricky Paul (resident of Old City). The Excellence in Curation Award for Radio is given to a radio show or audio project that demonstrates high-quality music curation. It was present to Ricky Paul aka DJ K-Tell for his program Sylver Alert that airs Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on WPPM. He spins classic 60s through the 90s vinyl cuts with a shout out to Philly’s LGTBQ communities and straight allies. The program features uplifting and personal tales often with an edge of humor with valuable lessons in love, life, and gratitude from a variety of special guests.
Excellence in Production Award for TV: Marky. Produced by Ricky Clover (resident of Wynnefield) Ricky Clover received the Excellence in Production for TV For his computer animated short, Marky, set in the fictional city of Hometown, USA in 1992. Tells the story of Marques Lawrence Sharper (Marky for short), a 12-year-old zoned to a middle school where his friends will not be there. The worst thing he was struck in the head in a construction accident, leaving him with a bad haircut that always grows back.
Expression Award for Radio: Jazz From an Eclectic Mind. Produced by H. Alonzo Jennings (resident of Willingboro, NJ). Jennings is an artist/photographer/poet who through radio program Jazz From an Eclectic Mind that airs Mondays from 6:00 – 7:00 PM on WPPM. He shares his love and knowledge of Jazz to provide a visual / poetic record of the sublime moments of transcendence. He uses radio to capture moments and take his listeners to another place and time.
Innovation Award for TV: Optical Toys Season 3 Episode 30 – Art of the Strange. Produced by Lowell Boston (resident of Collingswood, NJ). Optical Toys is a TV program that compiles regionally produced live actions and short films that reflect the peculiar, the bizarre, and the funny, and how we deal with the extraordinary side of life. Boston describes himself as a scooter rider, animator and filmmaker looking to pool his interest into one medium. He is preoccupied with motion, whether on screen, on a bike, or in my head. Television production and filmmaking is an outlet.
Innovation Award for Radio: Madre Tierra Radio. Produced by Arianne Bracho (resident of Northeast Philadelphia). The Innovation Award recognizes a radio program for experimentation with sounds and new technology, programming content not commonly heard in mainstream media, or a creative use of audio to tell a story. The Award went to Arianne Bracho, originally from Venezuela, for her program Madre Terra Radio (Mother Earth Radio) that airs Fridays from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. It’s a Spanish language program made by women, for women and men who believe that equality and equity are the basis of a more just society.
Presence Award for TV: Tribbles After Dark, “Vince”. Produced by Len Webb & The Black Tribbles (resident of Mt. Airy). Hosts of the popular Black Tribbles podcast and WPPM radio program, The Black Tribbles were recognized for their transition to television for their new program Tribbles After Dark. Too cool to be geeks, too cute to be nerds, the Tribbles discuss their love of Sci-fi, comic books, movies, video games, and cartoons from a Black perspective. *cover image
Collaboration Award: 5 Shorts Project Season 5 (television). Produced by Shameka Sawyer (resident of West Oak Lane – Northwest). A compilation of 10 short films created by participants of the 5 Shorts Project, a project that helps aspiring filmmakers create short films that depict diverse stories from our communities.
Inclusion Award: STAGES Pilot (television). Produced by Charlese Hawkins (resident of South Philly) New York University graduate. Charlese Hawkins received the Inclusion Award for her film project STAGES about three women connected by an HIV diagnosis, forge a friendship during a pivotal moment in their life in order to combat the stigmas surrounding HIV and embark on new journeys together.
Message Award: LIKeIT IS 2019 (television). Produced by Rhonda E. Gibson-Phifer (resident of Lawnside, NJ). LIKeIT IS is a community talk show offering those feeling unheard a voice responding to current events. Rhonda was born and raised in New Jersey. She was a live news producer with a stellar reputation until she was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis which ended her career, but not her dream to produce quality television.
Community Responder Award: Kensington in Crisis (television). Produced by Jill Frechie (resident of Gladwyn). The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Once upon a time, the nation’s homeless and drug user was connected to poverty or ‘poor character.’ Today, all of society shares in its deadly path. Kensington, a Philadelphia neighborhood lingers in its wake. The police, city officials, and residents struggle to find answers among the perils of the epidemic. Philadelphia witnessed over 1,000 fatal overdoses in 2018. We currently have over 700 homeless living in the Kensington area. Recovery can take years, stigma can add shame and despair. Children living in the area are exposed to the reality of drug use daily. Our documentary hopes to shed light on the issues, problems and solutions in Kensington as all of America looks to our city to quickly find answers.
Connector Award: Looking Forward to Reentry Radio (radio). Produced by Jeffrey Abramowitz. Looking Forward Reentry Radio Show is an informative and interactive forum for educating the public on current issues involving men and women returning from incarceration. This show features agencies working with returning citizens, administrators in the prison system, legislators and returning citizens who have successfully navigated their return to the Philadelphia area. Show producer Jeffrey Abramowitz, J.D is the Executive Director of Reentry Services for JEVS Human Services and Program Director of Looking Forward Philadelphia.
Vijay Mohan Spirit Award: Toni J. Jones (resident of West Oak Lane). The Vijay Mohan Spirit Award was presented by his Temple film professor and friend Rea Tajiri. Mohan was tragically killed when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in May 2015. The Spirit Award recognizes a PhillyCAM member who touches the lives of individuals and communities in Philadelphia and who models Vijay’s spirit of kindness and generosity. This year’s recipient was Toni J Jones, PhillyCAM member since 2013. She is the producer of the weekly radio show The 7 Figure Hustle which she also produces as a TV program. She also helps produce The Trudy Haynes Show. Toni has made a mission out of recruiting people to become members of PhillyCAM.
PhillyCAM is designated by the City of Philadelphia to operate its public access television network (Comcast 66/966HD/967 and Verizon 29/30). PhillyCAM content also airs on WPPM-FM’s 90-watt signal that reaches about 800,000 people throughout the Philadelphia region. It’s a community media center that brings together the people of Philadelphia to make and share media that promotes creative expression, democratic values and civic participation. PhillyCAM teaches people to create high-quality, non-commercial media and distributes nearly 100 hours of local radio and television programming each week on radio and television. The non-profit currently has more than 800 members made up of an engaged constituency of people of color, working people, women, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, activists, educators, artists, seniors, returning citizens, and young people. The majority of members are people of color representing neighborhoods from across the city. Visit www.phillycam.org to learn more.