7 awards in 2 contests for Creative’s multimedia reporting in Central America


June 3, 2020

A multimedia package highlighting the drivers of Central American migration earned prestigious Telly Awards for outstanding non-broadcast work in the categories of documentary seriessocial issues, videography/cinematography and editing, Creative Associates International announced. 

Called Saliendo Adelante, the winning package is a showcase of 17 videos, most of which profile people who had migrated from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala, a region known as the Northern Triangle 

From the video project also stemmed website, print collateral and a Think Creative cover story centered on one of the most in-depth analyses to date of local factors that drive most migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, also known as the Northern TriangleThe study, conducted by Creative, it is based on extensive data mining, statistical analysis and a 2,400-person survey conducted in February and March 2019. 

“This ambitious outreach campaign puts faces to the study’s revealing statistics,” says Pablo Maldonado, Creative’s Chief Operating Officer, who also led the Northern Triangle research initiative. “I commend the team in headquarters and the field who worked on this major and impressive multimedia package.” 

The 2020 Telly Awards are all from the non-broadcast category and comprise the following: Silver, Documentary: Series; Silver, General: Social Issues; Silver, Craft: Videography/Cinematography; and Bronze, CraftEditing 

Ervin Choc, a returned migrant and one of the people the team interviewed, stands with his daughter in a corn field his family rents. Photos by Janey Fugate.

In another competition, Saliendo Adelante won a Communicator Award of Excellence in the category of Campaign or Series Video. 

During three weeks of field production, Creative crisscrossed Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to capture the stories of people who had previously migrated or planned to make the trip to another country, typically to the United StatesFocusing on the communities that are the primary sources migration, the extensive production took the teams from the rural Western Highlands of Guatemala to dense urban neighborhoods of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. 

Creative’s Senior Writer and Editor Evelyn Rupert was the lead producer for the project from planning to post-production and script writing. Janey Fugate was the lead photographer, videographer, video editor and secondary script writer, whose technical videography and editing skills earned the project two Telly AwardsThe pair began planning for the trip in February 2019 and finished production by June.  

Creative’s Senior Director Michael J. Zamba supervised the project and traveled with Rupert and Fugate to Honduras to support the field production. Communications Manager Marta Maldonado traveled with the team to El Salvador in support of filming. Senior Designer Amanda Smallwood designed the microsite and print collateral, including Think Creative. Jillian Slutzker, at the time the Strategic Content Manager, coordinated the project. 

During planning and filming, the production team received assistance from many friends and colleagues in the region, includingIn Honduras, Amalia San Martín; Kenny Castillo; Arnold Linares; in Guatemala, Dan Mooney, Steve Dudenhoefer and Carlos Quim; and in El Salvador Gerson Lara, Rodrigo Moran and Harold Sibaja. 

As part of the package, Creative also followed the story to suburban Washington, D.C., to profile a family that migrated to the United States to flee violence in El Salvador. They are in the process of applying for asylum. Called “Juan Carlos and Jessica’s story,” it was produced and edited by segment contributor Veronica Balderas. Erick Gibson was the photographer and videographer. 

In addition, Creative sent a team to Tijuana to profile a Honduran migrant who was waiting at the U.S.-Mexico border. Called “Jose’s story,” it was filmed, written and edited by Lucas Williams. 

Unrelated to Saliendo Adelante, Creative earned two 2020 Telly Awards for its package called “Families at the Forefront of Preventing Violence,” which focuses on a Honduras crime and violence prevention program called Proponte Máswhich is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The three videos, filmed in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in August, earned two Bronze awards for Documentary: Series and  Craft:Videography/Cinematography, both in the non-broadcast cateory. 

Since 2016, Creative has won 16 prestigious Telly Awards. Each year, the Telly Awards showcases the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. Receiving more than 12,000 entries from all 50 U.S. states and five continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. 

Creative’s President and CEO, Leland Kruvant, congratulated the team for the 2020 awards. 

“We believe that the combination of groundbreaking research and excellent storytelling will allow communities and policymakers to better understand and respond to the drivers of migration,” Kruvant says. 

Dariana Zapata (center left) poses for a portrait with her family on Honduras’ Caribbean Coast. Dariana was one of the many parents who expressed her desire to support her child as motivation for emigrating.

About the study 

In February 2019, Creative commissioned an ambitious research study that first zeroed in on those municipalities that have the highest rates of outward migration from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Analyzing data from nearly 900 municipalities, Creative identified the 60 that combined account for more than half of all the region’s emigration.  

In those 60 municipalities, Creative then conducted 2,400 individual inperson surveys to gather data on intentions to migrate, family, the economic situation of the household and exposure to crime, among other points. Based on these surveys and extensive data analysis, Creative was able to distinguish the different triggers of migration in each municipality, as well as paint a general portrait of potential migrants.  

These conclusions shed light on the region’s textured migration landscape and can be used to inform highly focused programming that can mitigate irregular migration and improve the conditions of Central Americans. The study took on the name “Saliendo Adelante,” borrowing from a Spanish phrase that was heard frequently across the region as people described what drives them to migrate – their resilience and desire to move forward in life.  

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