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Documentary Wins Recognition for Students

June 17, 2008

A documentary produced by three students in the Walter Cronkite of Journalism and Mass Communication has won awards for excellence in national and international competitions.

“Holy Hunger in the Midst of Plenty” follows Muslim students at ASU as they observe Ramadan, a month-long religious observance emphasizing prayers, fasting, charity and self-examination.

The 15-minute student documentary, produced by Jamie Murdick, Stjepan Alaupovic and Zabihullah Noori, won a 2008 Bronze Telly Award as well as a Videographer Award of Distinction.

The Telly Award is one of the most prestigious awards given for video and film production, television programs and commercials and work created for the Web. Productions in more than 200 categories are judged on their individual merits, and the best are given Silver or Bronze awards. The Cronkite School entry was honored in the category for documentary film work produced at schools, colleges and universities.

The Videographer Awards is an international awards program directed by communication professionals to honor talented individuals and companies in the video production field. Entries number in the thousands from all 50 states and multiple countries. The Cronkite School documentary, entered in the “Produced by Students” category, received the organization’s highest award.

Murdick, Alaupovic and Noori, all recent graduates of the Cronkite School, created “Holy Hunger in the Midst of Plenty” last year while students in Professor John Craft’s documentary production class.

Craft said that Noori, a graduate student at the time and a Muslim, was interested in how Muslim students try to adhere to their faith and still fit into a secular culture at ASU, especially during Ramadan. The idea grew into a semester-long team project.

“They told the story very well, and in today’s world this is an important story,” Craft said.

The documentary was aired on the premiere episode of the KNOW99 Student Film Hour earlier this month on Cox Channel 99.

It is the second documentary produced under Craft’s direction to win national recognition this year. Ray Gonzales, who received his Master of Mass Communication from the Cronkite School in December, won both a Bronze Telly Award and a Broadcast Education Association Best of Festival Award for “Lessons in Loyalty,” a documentary on the internment of the more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.