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The Telly Awards Announces 42nd Annual Call for Entries With New Categories Celebrating Diversity, Social Impact, and Remote Production

Creativity prevails as world’s largest award for excellence in video content across all screens honors ingenuity in the midst of change with new theme, “Your Stories Defy The Limits”


New York, NY (October 20, 2020) — The Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens, today opened its annual call for entries with a host of new and expanded categories that seek to spotlight the cultural change, social impact, and creative innovation that has defined this unprecedented year.

Entries are being accepted now at The early deadline is December 11, 2020.

Mirroring the industry’s rapid evolution amid a range of challenges (specifically live action filming), these new additions include editorial/animation-driven categories like Use of Stock Footage, Virtual Events & Experiences, Influencer & Celebrity, Remote Production, and Museums & Galleries, who have turned to finding audiences online. Series has also grown to incorporate the already existing Diversity & Inclusion, Social Impact, and Animation sub-categories, along with more standard expansions like Online and Television Series which now includes Food & Beverage, Beauty & Lifestyle, Education, and Discovery as well as genre-based categories like Sci-Fi, Horror, True Crime, and Reality.

The theme of this year’s awards is “Your Stories Defy The Limits”, encompassing the creativity and storytelling efforts that surfaced in response to the unique challenges presented by 2020.

“This year has been like no other. Despite the immense changes and challenges we have all faced, many inspiring feats of creativity have persevered, both because of and in response to this changing world”, explains Telly Managing Director Sabrina Dridje. “We have seen new workflows to accommodate remote production, spikes in the use of animation in the absence of live production, and continued reminders that video and television on all platforms can be used to share, educate, and inform important global and societal issues. Through this unstable time, we have seen, time and time again, that your stories have both defied the limits of deep challenges and also embraced opportunity.”

In recognition of the need for an industry shift, The Telly Awards is also adding two new media partners, Ghetto Film School and UK-based We Are Parable, to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the work of underrepresented artists. Ghetto Film School is an award-winning nonprofit with locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and London that seeks to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers, placing the support of diverse talent at the heart of all they do. Also a champion of diverse storytelling, We Are Parable is an award-winning film exhibition company that provides audiences with opportunities to respond to and experience Black cinema in culturally relevant, memorable, and innovative ways. They have worked with Disney, the British Film Institute, StudioCanal, and Altitude, as well as filmmakers such as Ryan Coogler, Idris Elba, Amma Asante, and Academy Award-winner Spike Lee.

Unlike previous years, but in true 2020 fashion, the third installment of the complementary Telly Awards global screening series will be held virtually with a lineup of diverse content across branded, animation, short-form documentary, and more, curated specifically to echo this year’s theme. The Tellys will begin rolling out the work in a reel format for those who RSVP in early November, culminating in a livestream and Q&A with many of the content creators and producers on November 18, 2020. Additional screenings will be held in February and April of 2021. The program will also be featured online at NAB NYC, which runs from October 19-29, 2020, and will feature work by WePresent, The New Yorker, The Juilliard School, Narratively, and We Are Parable.

Entries for the Telly Awards will be evaluated by members of The Award Judging Council drawn from a diverse mix of advertising, media, tech, and video industry leaders. The Tellys have long prioritized empowering and championing underrepresented voices, curating a lineup of judges from diverse backgrounds, countries, and cultures to ensure that work is judged in a fair manner and is representative of creative talent across the globe. Among this year’s first-time judges are Shalini Sharma of NBC News, Ryan Honey of Buck, Andrew Wareham of Taxi Group Australia, Karyn Spencer of Whalar, Amy Tunick of WarnerMedia, Jamie Elden of Shutterstock, Kavita Lokchander of Thrive Global, Meghan Oretsky of Vimeo and Andrew Rowan-Robinson of Framestore NY.

Founded in 1979 to honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards has continually refreshed its categories to honor the evolving, broad range of work being made — including branded content, social video, and animation — working with industry experts to identify categories where new platforms play an increasingly important role in the ways stories are being told.

Last year, The Telly Awards received over 12,000 entries from top video content producers including Viacom, Google, Condé Nast, CBS Interactive, Verizon, BBC, Partizan, RYOT, and AJ+.

To enter work in the 42nd Annual Telly Awards, visit The deadline for early entries is December 11, 2020. Winners will be announced in May 2021.


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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 multi-screen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Partners of The Telly Awards include NAB, Stash Media, Production Hub, and Independent Filmmaker Project.