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Sunday, September 14, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 59.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Third annual WYOU Awards presented at Overture
And the 2007 YOUie goes to...
One of the final portions of the YOUies features a promo video for the station that ends with an endorsement from Scarlett Johannson.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen

"This is a chance for us to say thank you," says Charles Uphoff, the executive director of WYOU Channel 4, Madison's cable access station as he introduces the third annual YOUies in the Overture Center's Rotunda on Friday evening. The small, round theater is bustling with local television producers, volunteers, and talent, arrayed in everything from formal dress to costume, not to mention more than a few video cameras documenting everything.

For the second year in row, the host of the awards show is Jonathan Zarov. "It's fun to come back and do it a second time with a different perspective," he says. "When I hosted last year, I was here mainly as a DJ from WORT. This year, I am working for Overture. One of our goals is to make this facility more accessible to the community, and making people feel like this is their building to use."

The rotunda is even more crowded than it was in 2006, with nearly every seat occupied and the walls ringed with more attendees and presenters. Nobody knows who any of the award winners are yet, though, as the voting is ongoing and will not get tallied until moments before the presentations are made.

Fourteen total YOUies in two broad categories -- One Time Programs and Series Programming -- are to be given through the evening. The awards themselves are square ceramic planters bearing the image of a TV, hand-made over the course of three late nights at the Memorial Union Craft Shop by Eric Allin, Heidi Johnson, and Sara Meredith. Allin and Johnson are also busy at the ceremony, the former with handling a video clips presentation system for the nominees and the latter with wrangling the awards.

"It's a great event," concludes Zarov. "As more local news sources dry up and are replaced by canned national news through media consolidation, WYOU becomes more unique and valuable."

The full list of nominees and winners in the 2007 YOUies follows below.

One Time Programs

The Community Events category is presented by former Madison school board member Bill Keys.

  • Naomi Oreske at the Madison Civics Club by Dennis Shaffer
  • The Dali Lama visits Madison by Luciano Matheron/Brazen Productions
  • Russian New Year's Celebration by Eric Allin
  • Winner: Anna Lappe: Food for Thought by Jill Hopke

The Music Performance category is presented by contemporary folk singer-songwriter Tracy Jane Comer.

  • Local H by Natalie Hinckley
  • AHA Dance by Bahee Sathasivam
  • Art Paul Music Videos by Roger Bindl
  • Indian Cultural Dance by Bahee Sathasivam
  • Winner: Jaliba Kuyateh by Eric Allin and Sankulay Jallow

The Documentary category is presented by Capital City Hues founder Jonathan Gramling.

  • Aldo Leopold by Charles Johannsen
  • Tristan and Marissa's Westward Adventure (Yellowstone) by Sean Bode
  • Confessions of a Con Geek by Yamina Steit
  • Eastern European Travels by Richard Mueller
  • Winner: i-Pod Repair by Jesse Walker

Series Programming

The Educational category is presented by Bill Kraus, former press secretary for Wisconsin governor Lee Dreyfuss.

  • Herb TV by David LaLuzerne
  • Parent Information Exchange by Flora Miller
  • RHM Shots -- World Traveler by Richard Mueller
  • Astrology, the Universe, and You by Dan Hartje
  • Madison: Making a Difference by Jessie Espie

The "Cooking with Bob" Art Performance Video category was to have been presented by the titular Bob. He was not present, however, so Zarov takes over. By this point, the ceremony really starts rolling, with most of the technical issues with the video presentation sorted out. The clips shown in this category were a bit longer than the others, each generating laughs from the audience.

  • WisKino Shorts by Josh Klessig and Sam Lawson
  • Short Videos by Roger by Roger Bindl
  • Dr. V's Private Hell by Reid Vogelman and Dr. Fork
  • Conundrum by Heidi Johnson, Jeff Harriet and Eric Allin
  • Dada Loco by Charles Johannsen
  • Winner: DW's Show by D.W. Wanberg

The Current Affairs/Political category ibs presented by John Nichols and Bob McChesney, the Cap Times editor and former UW School of Journalism professor who are well known for their leadership in media policy battles. They jumped right into one of the hottest issues, talking about the importance of public access and government TV stations around the country and the current threat to their funding by the so-called video competition bill currently under consideration in the Wisconsin legislature.

"You are in the midst of a serious political fight," says Nichols.

  • Winner: 3rd World Issues by Russ Attoe and Judy Leurquin

There is only one nominee in the Sports category. "I think between WORT and WYOU there is a total of one sports show," says Zarov before introducing presenter Stu Levitan.

  • Winner: NFL Intellect by Danny Maldanado

The Entertainment/Variety category is presented by Katy Sai, formerly of WISC television and about to launch her own project, "I love the variety of what I've seen here," says Sai, "and that's the thing I don't like so much about commercial TV." She applauds the WYOU participants for their work, and declares that she's following in their footsteps to launch her independent video program "in the wasteland of the Internet."

  • Mind Shock by Craig Meyer
  • Lazy Susan Hour by Terry Kline and Dr. Fork
  • El Barrio by Hector Ordonez and Alex Gillis
  • Winner: Madison En Vivo by Ignacio Rivas
    Six people -- including its thirteen year old director -- take the stage to accept the award, a number that is attributed to the amount of effort required to create a two-hour program.

The Comedy category is presented by Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan of Blame Society Productions. Their presentation is appropriately enough, a comedy bit. They poke fun at themselves and their "stardom" resulting from the success of Chad Vader, with each taking a mock cell phone call from an agent, from whom they demand more money and a panther for their next project before firing him. This gets laughs and a round of applause as they present the nominees and winner.

  • Rabid Badger Theatre by Melissa Stelter
  • Out to Lunch by Justin Riley and Pat Aspinwall
  • DW's Show by D.W. Wanberg
  • Phillip Snodgrass and Friends by Tony Zirngible
  • Winner: A-Bar by Lee Bradetich
    "I don't know how many of you are awake at 3 a.m. on Friday nights, but we are," says Bradetich, who thanks the show's callers above all.

A long intermission follows at this point, during which Uphoff thanks a variety of persons assisting both with the station and the production of this awards program.

The final portion of the show begins with the presentation of the Live Format category by Norm Stockwell, the operations director of WORT. He discusses the similar mission of both stations and their long history of collaboration. He also compares these live shows to the live format that is the medium of radio. "This is the power of community television and it is very well represented in this category," Stockwell says.

  • Madison En Vivo by Ignacio Rivas
  • El Barrio by Hector Ordonez and Alex Gillis
  • Curb Music by Jason Kwiatkowski
  • A-Bar by Lee Bradetich
  • The West African Experience: Music from the Continent by Sankulay Jallow

The Spiritual/Inspirational category is presented by Joy Knox.

The Set Design category is presented by Geoff LaFayette, the creator of Buckystein. He discusses his next project, Bones Skeleton and the Toilet of Terror, another monster movie that will include zombies and a giant crab.

  • Mind Shock by Craig Meyer
  • El Barrio by Hector Ordonez and Alex Gillis
  • Madison En Vivo by Ignacio Rivas
  • A-Bar by Lee Bradetich
  • Winner: El Barrio by Hector Ordonez and Alex Gillis

The Music category is presented by WYOU intern Camille Castellanos

The final awards are given in recognition to WYOU volunteers Jason Kwiatkowski and Yamina Steit. Like many of the previous speakers, Kwiatkowski discusses the current political battle over regulating cable and the threatened defunding of cable access in Wisconsin. "Time is ticking on this resource," he says, and urges the audience to make their voices heard on the issue. "I don't think people really understand what's at stake."

The show ends with a brief statement by the 2007 Miss Madison Christina Thompson, who invites all nominees to take the stage for a group photo, following which a final round of thanks are given by WYOU board chair Roger Bindl.

The last clip to hit the screens? A station promo featuring volunteers sharing their experiences there, one that ends with an endorsement from Scarlett Johannson: "WYOU Community Television, where you always comes first."

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