Lexington Park, MD – Renowned filmmakers Professor Emerita Merideth Taylor and David Taylor, co-founders of Phocus Video, have been honored with a prestigious silver Telly Award for their captivating short documentary film titled “Sotterley: Talking and Walking Common Ground.” This compelling production focuses on Sotterley’s Common Ground Initiative and Descendants project, shedding light on the multifaceted perspectives of diverse descendants as they discuss Sotterley’s historical significance and its enduring impact on their lives.

The Telly Awards, recognized as the foremost accolade celebrating excellence in video and television across all platforms, bestowed this remarkable honor upon the Taylors’ production. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards attracts an impressive array of over 12,000 submissions from participants hailing from all 50 states and five continents. Entrants undergo rigorous evaluation by the esteemed Telly Awards Judging Council, comprising more than 200 industry experts, including prominent advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks.

“Sotterley: Talking and Walking Common Ground” eloquently captures the essence of Sotterley’s Common Ground Initiative, an initiative aimed at fostering understanding, dialogue, and reconciliation among individuals with diverse ancestral backgrounds. By exploring the past through the eyes of the descendants, the documentary offers a thought-provoking and intimate glimpse into the complex interplay between history, heritage, and identity.

Throughout the film, descendants of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds articulate their unique perspectives on Sotterley’s historical narrative, allowing audiences to understand the site’s rich heritage better. The Taylors skillfully navigate the nuances and complexities of these conversations, ensuring that each voice is heard and respected. By amplifying these diverse perspectives, the documentary encourages viewers to contemplate the profound impact that Sotterley, a historic plantation in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, has had on the lives of individuals connected to its past.

Professor Emerita Merideth Taylor, renowned for her expertise in documentary filmmaking and cultural studies, commented on the award’s significance: “We are incredibly honored to receive the silver Telly Award for our documentary ‘Sotterley: Talking and Walking Common Ground.’ This recognition highlights the importance of preserving and amplifying marginalized voices in our collective historical narrative. Through this film, we hope to inspire conversations, empathy, and a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of our shared history.”

David Taylor, an accomplished filmmaker passionate about storytelling, added, “Collaborating on this project has been a deeply rewarding experience. We are grateful to the Telly Awards for recognizing our efforts to shed light on the untold stories and perspectives of Sotterley’s descendants. We believe we can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable understanding of our past by giving voice to these narratives.”

The Silver Telly Award is a testament to the Taylors’ exceptional storytelling abilities and dedication to presenting historically significant narratives engaging and enlighteningly. The film resonates with audiences, prompting discussions on the importance of acknowledging diverse perspectives within historical contexts.

As recipients of the Silver Telly Award, Professor Emerita Merideth Taylor and David Taylor join the ranks of esteemed filmmakers and industry leaders who have made significant contributions to the world of video and television. Their commitment to illuminating lesser-known stories and promoting inclusivity has garnered well-deserved recognition from their peers and audiences alike.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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