Monday, June 13, 2016


 Editor Michael C. Hansen, producer, writer and director Paul Larson, and director of photography Daniel McCullum created the film Arts in Exile:  Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America.


Mountain Lake PBS has claimed a second Emmy statuette for a documentary, a twin to sit beside its first. The film Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America won in the "Outstanding Documentary" category at the 39th Boston/New England Regional Emmy Awards ceremony this month.  This marks the second Emmy win for arts producer Paul Larson, whose last major documentary also took home the award.

"The competition is tough every year," Larson said, "but this time it felt exceptionally hard.  We set out to tell the story of how one small American community is enriched by the Tibetan arts and connected to the rest of the world through them.  The unexpected benefits of the arts is my absolute favorite theme for programs I produce.  I'm elated the judges have honored our entire community-wide effort with their decision."  

Arts in Exile chronicles the creation of the Tibetan arts festival held last fall in Plattsburgh, New York, exploring how the city in northern New York was inspired by the culture of Tibet from across the globe.  The documentary examines how several Tibetan refugees use the arts to raise awareness about the global problems they face and to keep their culture alive.  

The program features insight from Tibet House President Dr. Robert Thurman, and the talents of photographer Sonam Zoksang, freedom singer Techung, thangka painter Tsering Phuntsok, monks Lobsang Dorjee and Yeshi Dorjee, wood carver Tashi Dholak, and many other visual artists and performers.  

"Collaborating with world-class artists who demonstrated traditions that are centuries old, traditions struggling for survival now, added a polish to the credibility of the story, in addition to the interview with one of the world's leading Tibetan issues experts, Dr. Thurman," Larson said.  

Larson said he shares this award with the director of photography Daniel McCullum and editor Michael C. Hansen.  

"Their talents helped give this film a very slick presentation that plays well at home, as well as on the big screen, which we saw when the Strand Center for the Arts honored it with a premiere in its historical auditorium," Larson said, adding that other large screen showings are in the works.  

Arts in Exile producer Paul Larson took home a regional Emmy for his 2013 documentary Songs to Keep:  Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector, which also included the talents of videographer Daniel McCullum.  

Also this spring, Arts in Exile received a New York State Broadcasters Association award in the "Outstanding Documentary" category.  

“This is a wonderful example of how important community partnerships are to our ability to fulfill our mission and our promise to engage and serve our entire viewership area. I could not be more proud of the talented team here at Mountain Lake PBS,” Bill McColgan, Director of Production and Content at Mountain Lake PBS, said.    

“This project was major undertaking for team here, and I’m honored by this award. This Emmy belongs not just to Mountain Lake PBS, but to the entire community who came together to bring this entire project to life,” said Erik Nycklemoe, President and CEO of Mountain Lake PBS.  

The Arts in Exile documentary is one component of the 2015 Festival of Tibetan Arts & Culture of the Adirondack Coast.  The festival, organized in part by restaurant owners Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee and SUNY Anthropology Professor Amy Mountcastle, included performances by the Adirondack Youth Orchestra, an exhibition at SUNY Plattsburgh, and the creation of a tile mural led by artist Sue Burdick Young and the Plattsburgh Renewal Project with support from the Strand Center for the Arts. This festival was funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  

This multi-partner, collaborative community initiative was envisioned and facilitated in large part by Janine Scherline, Director of Development at Mountain Lake PBS, who also served as the grant writer, through the Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding Process.  

“This documentary skillfully tells the story of this year-long multi-partner initiative showcasing the unique ability of the arts to build communities, and at the same time explores how one small community can be impacted by a global issue as large and distant as the Tibetan diaspora,” said Scherline. “I hope the project and resulting film will inspire communities to discover their unique connections to the world at large.”  

Arts in Exile:  Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America tied with Omaha Beach Honor and Sacrifice from the World War II Foundation/Ocean State Video for the Emmy, in a contest among six nominated documentaries.  The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences distributes Regional Emmy® Awards in 20 regions across the United States.  

To celebrate the Emmy win, Mountain Lake PBS will air Arts in Exile on Friday, July 8 at 10pm, Sunday, July 10 at 6pm, and Wednesday, July 13 at noon.  

More information about Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America  - 

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