The MySafe:LA team was thrilled last week when we received news that we had won several awards for film production.
“We’re thrilled,” said Cameron Barrett, MySafe:LA’s Director of Education, who co-directed and co-produced the award winning films. “We always put everything we’ve got into our educational films. We know our films speak to our audience and help kids and families learn how to live safer lives. But to have the industry recognize that in our work is truly wonderful.”
The Telly Awards recognized Calling 911, a short film about how the emergency dispatch system works in the city of Los Angeles, with a Bronze Telly in the safety category. Winning the top prize, a Silver Telly, in the same category was Family Escape Plan, a short film the MySafe:LA education team uses every day in schools all over Southern California. The film explains the importance of families creating an emergency escape plan at home. And garnering a Bronze Telly in one of the newest categories, Web Series, was Before the Barks (mysafela.org/before-the-barks), a multi-episode story that follows the careers of FEMA search and rescue dogs, from the time they’re chosen as puppies for this rigorous training, to their successes in searching for lost and trapped disaster victims.
Before the Barks is the creation of MySafe:LA Board Member Margaret Stewart, who is also a Los Angeles Firefighter, the Department’s K9 Coordinator, and a FEMA dog handler. “This is the first film I’ve ever been involved in,” said Stewart, who co-directs, co-produces, and co-writes the web series with Barrett. “After becoming a FEMA dog handler and learning firsthand how remarkable these dogs are, I knew I wanted to tell their story. I thought it would be a short film, a one-time thing. But once we started working on it, it became a real labor of love and we quickly realized this was a much bigger story. So we went ahead and created the series. We’re working on Episode 6 right now, and we’ll probably make 8 total.”
Before the Barks also won an Award of Merit in the webisode category from Indie Fest. Also recognized by Indie Fest was the short film Junior Fire Inspector with an Award of Merit in the educational/instructional category. Junior Fire Inspector is a film the MySafe:LA education team uses to outline home safety inspection steps targeted fourth graders will take to earn their Junior Fire Inspector badges.
To watch the award-winning films and many more education shorts, you can visit MySafe:LA’s Vimeo Channel at vimeo.com/mysafela.