PLU’s MediaLab documentary team wins prestigious Accolade award

of the HeraldDecember 25, 2013 

MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, known for its award-winning multimedia projects, gained national notoriety with its 2013 documentary, “Tapped Out: Unearthing the Global Water Crisis.”

The documentary’s production team, led by videographer Kortney Scroger, a senior communication major who graduated from Puyallup’s Rogers High School in 2010, received two awards of merit from The Accolade Competition of Southern California.

“Our team worked hard to make the documentary thought-provoking and influential, so it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged,” Scroger said.

The film won in the categories of “Short Documentary” and “Use of Film/Video for Social Change.” The team included senior communication major Katie Baumann and business major Haley Huntington, as well as junior Valery Jorgensen.

The 40-minute video focuses on the water-related issues that concern communities in North America and Canada. The team traveled to places like Washington, D.C., the Gulf of Mexico and along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Mo.

“The Accolade is not an easy award to win,” said Dr. Thomas Baker, chair of The Accolade. “Entries are received from around the world. The Accolade helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The goal of The Accolade is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

Scroger said the team hopes people who view the film learn how much water is taken for granted.

“This opens eyes to some places in North America that are running out of water,” she said.

Baumann said The Accolade Award is a huge honor.

“It’s nice being recognized for our work,” she said. “This was an important story to tell. We worked hard to stay factual and honest, and to tell a compelling story. This award will help the documentary get more traction and get it out to more people.”

The documentary premiered Oct. 26 at the Seattle Public Library’s Microsoft auditorium. It will show on the PLU campus this spring as part of the School of Arts and Communication focus series.

The team has entered the documentary into a number of film festivals, including South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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