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Sabrina Dridje, former director of IFP’s Made in NY Media Center, tapped to lead Telly Awards turnaround

New York, NY (For Immediate Release) – The Telly Awards today unveiled new branding and leadership, the first steps in a series of significant changes aimed at revitalizing the 38-year-old award for the multi-screen era. As part of the kickoff of this new chapter, The Telly Awards revealed a new mission statement: “Honoring excellence in video and television across all screens.”

Founded in 1979 to honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards has evolved over the years to reflect an expanding television and video universe, adding new categories honoring social media, immersive video, branded content, and corporate video. But while The Telly Awards is still considered the largest award for video in world, attracting more than 12,000 video entries last year from industry leaders including Conde Nast, Showtime, Refinery29, Radical Media, and Ogilvy & Mather, it struggled to keep pace in recent years with the breakneck speed at which the video industry is now evolving.

To make The Telly Awards not only relevant and prominent again, but a voice and force in the industry, the organization tapped Sabrina Dridje, former director of Made in NY Media Center, to join the organization and lead an array of new initiatives aimed at capturing the vitality of the booming industry The Telly Awards celebrates. As a director of the Made in NY Media Center, launched in 2013 by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), Dridje helped make it one of New York City’s leading incubator and collaborative workspace for media startups, entrepreneurs, and artists.

Dridje spent the first half of 2017 meeting with the Telly community—executives and creatives at TV companies, production studios, and agencies—to gain a better understanding of the type of projects they are creating and how the Tellys could better recognize and promote the best of it to the industry. At the same time, she leveraged her experience leading the Made in NY Media Center to meet with media startups, entrepreneurs, artists, and filmmakers, many of whom are leading the surge in short form social video and spherical VR content.

“The heritage and community involved with The Telly Awards over nearly 40 years is unparalleled,” said Dridje. “But we quickly realized the Tellys were not evolving quickly enough. The changes to our visual identity and expanded mission are the result of months of engagement with the Telly community and video industry. They are just the first in a series of changes we will be launching to bring the Tellys more in-step with the rapidly changing industry it honors.”

To visually tell the story of the Telly evolution, Dridje enlisted noted designer Rob Trostle—who has created designs for such clients as Nike, Sony, Target, and NBC—to develop a dynamic new visual identity that also links the award to the idea that video can now be seen everywhere and on screens of all shapes and sizes.

With the new identity comes a new website, and for the first time ever, an editorial platform where industry leaders can share best practices, analyses, and opinions on trends and news shaping the video industry such as virtual reality (VR) and the increasing use of video by cultural institutions. The site launches today with four editorial features from the video community, much of it reflecting the conversations and information Dridje gathered earlier this year. In the fall, the new website will launch a new winners gallery to serve as a showcase for the most innovative work done by past Telly Award winners.

The Telly Awards is also building on its deep roots and understanding of the industry by ramping up its partnerships and increasing its presence at industry events through collaborations with IFP Week, the National Association of Broadcasters, the School of Visual Arts, The Roster, and more. The Telly Awards will also build on its longtime partnerships with media influencers like Studio Daily, Stash Magazine, and Digiday.

The call for entries for the 39th Annual Telly Awards will open in October 2017 and winners will be announced in May 2018. In the coming months, Dridje said The Telly Awards will be rolling out new initiatives including new judges and awards categories.



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About The Telly Awards
The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multiscreen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Partners of The Telly Awards include NAB, StudioDaily, Stash Magazine, and Digiday.


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