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PCTV project brings home four Emmys

emmy-awards-comp300dpi7wAs fires increase in the state, the spread of dry and flammable invasive grasses threaten the existence of Joshua trees. Four-time Emmy award-winning documentary “Joshua Tree: Threatened Wonderland” is produced by Palomar College Television and details the Joshua tree’s survival.

Environmental threats are projected to have destroyed most of these trees within the next 80 years, and in the past two years climatologists have discovered that the trees are not reproducing due to climate change.

The documentary has received positive feedback for educating people about issues they were previously unaware of. In spring of this year it won four Emmys and received seven nominations. The Pacific Southwest Emmy awards it won are Audio, Director (Non-Live, Post Production), Short Format Program, and Writer (Program, Non-News). Its other nominations were in categories of editing and photography.

The 14-minute long film is one of half a dozen documentaries that have been produced by the television department, with the only other short documentary having been about elephant seals. After research came out on the threats hurting the Joshua Tree National Park, the department investigated to create the documentary.

The film has been shown at a dozen film festivals throughout the country, and continues to be showcased at screenings such as the Napa Film Festival next month. Some of the film festivals the documentary has been shown at include San Francisco DocFest, American Documentary Film Festival and Catalina Film Festival.

Other than the Emmys, the documentary has won a few other awards including Raven Award for Best Cinematography at DocUtah Film Festival and Best Documentary at SoCal Clips Indie Film Festival.

The documentary describes the importance of the Joshua Tree National Park. For a hundred years it has been known as a place to draw inspiration for musicians and artists, as well as a common location for filming movies and advertisements.

According to Wisneski, it is a cultural centerpiece for California and people have to experience the park in person to truly appreciate it. He described the park as having beautiful skies and “sprawling, Dr. Suess-looking trees.”

The film was worked on slowly and was paid for by department funding. The purpose of all films created by the department is to educate and inspire and are used for instruction for students on campus. Some student interns work on the documentaries as well as a way to get experience for a related job in the real world. Intern applications are accepted at the beginning of each semester as a three-unit class through the Media Studies Department.

The department plans to release a documentary focused on the topic of drought and water management in February 2017. When asked if there would be a pre-screening for the college, Wisneski said that it is possible as there have been pre-screenings before in the Planetarium.


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PCTV project brings home four Emmys