By DONETTA ALLE
The National Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded a regional Emmy award June 29 to Dale Cressman, a BYU associate professor, for his documentary about a Russian folk performer.
Cressman, BYU associate professor of communications, was the producer for the winning entry “Russia: Hidden Memory.”
“The program won the award. As producer, I accepted the award in behalf of the crew,” Cressman said.
The judges from New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles nominated and selected the entries for the regional Emmy Awards. Other entries consisted of KSL’s “Faces of Hope” and KUED’s five-hour documentary “Utah: The Struggle for Statehood.”
“I was shocked to win the award,” Cressman said. “During the speech I just had to remind myself not to close in the name of Jesus Christ.”
“The program has consistently won one recognition after another,” said Lee Bartlett, chair of the Department of Communications, “This is a marvelous accomplishment for Dale and those he worked with. It reflects well on BYU and the department.”
The project was supported financially by the BYU film committee.
The documentary focuses on Galina Sysoeva, a Russian folk performer. Sysoeva taught folk dancing in Russia, but when she traveled to the villages in the country, she found out that the traditional dances were not the same ones she had been taught.
The Russian government had changed the dances so that the world would not have an in-depth look at the traditions of Russia. Sysoeva started a crusade to preserve the traditions of Russia by traveling through Russia and talking to the older generation to discover the lost folk dances and songs.
The documentary follows Sysoeva on part of her journey to villages through Russia. The documentary also contains some newsreel footage from World War II.
The work for the documentary began in 1993 with a written proposal. Cressman and his crew filmed in Russia during 1994, and the final product was finished in 1995.
Cressman graduated from BYU in broadcasting and has worked at various news stations. This is his third year at BYU.