News Releases

Ithaca College Alums Earn Emmy Award for Documentary

A documentary by two Ithaca College graduates came up a winner at the 32nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, handed out on September 26 in New York City. “Good Fortune” was honored with the Emmy in the category of Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting–Long Form. It was coproduced by Landon Van Soest ’04 and Jeremy Levine ’06, with Van Soest also serving as the film’s director.

“Good Fortune” examines how international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa may be undermining the very communities they aim to benefit. It was broadcast on the PBS series “POV” in July of 2010.

Van Soest and Levine both earned their degrees from the Roy H. Park School of Communications. The production credits for “Good Fortune” include Ben Crane, associate professor of television-radio, as a creative consultant; and Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, associate professor of politics, as an advisor.

“Though the film profiles two Kenyans on the receiving end of foreign aid, it is really meant to be a reflection on us as Western citizens and the sense of paternalism we project on the developing world, even when we have the best intentions,” Van Soest wrote on the “POV” website.

“It’s our hope that the film can help advocate for more community leadership in development and local, grassroots solutions for Africa,” noted Levine.

The two first met in a Documentary Research class and went on to make their first film together, “Walking the Line,” a documentary about citizens along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona who have taken the law into their own hands to try to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country. In 2005 they established Transient Pictures, and the following year they cofounded the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.

Presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the News and Documentary Emmy Awards were given out in 42 categories. Three other IC alums were also nominated for awards:

  • David Muir ’95 was part of an ABC News team nominated in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story–Long Form for the network’s coverage of the mid-term elections.
  • Eric Maierson ’90, a multimedia producer with MediaStorm, received nominations for three productions in the category of New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming.
  • Steven Brill ’80 was nominated for the NBC News program “Education Nation at Rockefeller Center” in the category of Outstanding Lighting Direction & Scenic Design.