Documentaries & Awards

Currently In Production

Saving the Wooden Churches of Russia (2015)

Current demo for Abamedia's feature length documentary, scheduled for Easter 2015 theatrical and television launch. 

Few images mirror the soul of Russia like its ancient churches made of wood. These domed, majestic structures date back to the 17th century, and at one time numbered almost 10,000 in the Russian north. Now fewer than 200 remain. Saving the Wooden Churches of Russia features the noted British architectural photographer, Richard Davies, who spent 10 years traveling the Russian north in search of these "disappearing" churches for his acclaimed book of photos and essays, Wooden Churches: Traveling in the Russian North. The film focuses on Davies uncovering the circumstances that led to the churches being demolished or falling to decay, and on his efforts, along with a small but passionate group of Russians, to try to save these beautiful and touching cultural monuments.

 

Dedication to Fort Ross (2012)

Video presentation for a fund raising gala at San Francisco's City Hall, on behalf of the restoration of Fort Ross State Historic Park, California. The soundtrack features the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gurgiev. 

Abamedia is in simultaneous production in the USA and Russia on multiple documentaries and media projects as a part of the “Fort Ross Bicentennial Media Project.” Showcasing the extraordinary living history of Fort Ross, California, the first Imperial Russian settlement in America, the project uses new and old media to tell important but little-known stories. The generous sponsors of this initiative include Viktor Vekselberg’s Links of Time Foundation, the Renova Fort Ross Foundation, and the Fort Ross Conservancy, Inc.

 

Filmography

Stephen Bruton Tribute Video (2009)

A film short honoring the life of the late, great, Fort-Worth born guitarist/songwriter/performing artist, Stephen Bruton. It was produced for the 2009 Lone Star International Film Festival where songwriter/actor Kris Kristofferson accepted the first annual Bruton Award for excellence in the performing arts. An movie actor as well, Bruton is also a featured actor in Abamedia’s first independent feature film, “World Without Waves.” He also produced with J. Mitchell Johnson the film’s soundtrack album, and composed and performed music as well. 

 

Red Files (1999)

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A critically acclaimed four-part series produced by InVision Productions with Abamedia in association with Devillier-Donegan Enterprises and PBS. Through archival footage and eloquent interviews, the 60-minute episodes explore the Soviet viewpoint on atomic espionage, the space race, propaganda, & sports diplomacy. It also includes a companion book by George Feiffer, published by TV Books. 

  •  Independent Documentary Association (IDA) Distinguished Achievement Award, 2000 Best Limited Series

 

Yanks for Stalin (1999)

A 60-minute episode for The History Channel's "History Undercover" series, “Yanks for Stalin tells the compelling story of the American companies and individuals who helped achieve Stalin's Five Year-Plans. 

 

Made in Russia (1999)

A series of fast-paced, 60-second looks at young Russian achievers for StoryFirst Communications/CTC. 

 

Everybody's Talking (1994-1995)

A ground-breaking co-production with ABC News of the first Russian TV newsmagazine: twenty-three 30-minute episodes of a television current affairs series broadcast by the number one channel in the former Soviet Union, Ostankino/ORT, to a potential viewing audience of 280 million. 

 

Fodor's Travel Films (1986-1992)

Not just travelogues, the Fodor’s films told the stories of countries around the world through the views and voices of native journalists, politicians, scholars and everyday people. These cultural documentaries were broadcast on the Travel Channel, Australian Television, Hungarian Television, and Korean Television, and made available in video stores, bookstores, libraries and educational institutions throughout the English-speaking world. 

  • Fodor's Alaska
  • Fodor's Australia
  • Fodor's Hungary
  • Fodor's Singapore
  • Fodor's Hawaii
  • Fodor's Germany
  • Fodor's Bangkok
  • Fodor's Italy
  • Fodor's Mexico
  • Fodor's Switzerland
  • Fodor's France
  • Fodor's Spain
  • Fodor's Greece
  • Fodor's Great Britain

 

Lili (1984)

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A docudrama on the adventurous life of pianist Lili Kraus, “Lili” was co-produced with Hungarian and Austrian television channels. Ms. Kraus was born in Hungary, and studied with legendary musicians like Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. Her international concert career took her around the world, and while on an Asian tour in 1942 she was captured and interned by the Japanese army until the end of the war. 

  • Best of Category - San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Gold Award - Houston International Film Festival
  • Silver Award - International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Certificate of Merit - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Best of Texas Award - Texas Public Relations Association

 

Water Garden (1984)

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A PBS documentary revealing Philip Johnson's design concepts and thoughts behind his premier “sculpture”: a four-acre creation with three dramatic water features, and a plaza with concrete step mountains in the center of downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Gold Award - International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Silver Cindy - Information Film Producers of America
  • Best of Category - San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Silver Award - Houston International Film Festival

 

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (1983)

Featuring Aaron Copland, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts for PBS and A&E.

  • Best of Show - Best Documentary - New Mexico Film and Video Awards

 

Moses Pendleton Presents Moses Pendleton (1982)

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A profile of the founder of the Pilobolus Dance Theater for Hearst/ABC ARTS (A&E) which includes dramatic footage of Moses Pendleton’s pioneering masterpieces of human form and design in dance. 

  • CINE Golden Eagle - Council on International Non-Theatrical Events
  • Silver Boomerang - Melbourne Television and Film Festival, Australia
  • Bronze Hugo - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Grand Prize for Script - Festival International Du Film D’Art, Paris, France
  • Gold Cindy - Information Film Producers of America
  • Best Documentary - USA Film Festival, Dallas, Texas
  • Special Jury Award - US Film and Video Competition, (now known as Sundance)
  • Honorable Mention (2nd Place) - San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Percey Award (Best Dramatic Feature) - Santa Fe Winter Film Exposition
  • Gold Star Award - Dance Film and Video Festival

 

Milepost 407: A West Texas Story (1982)

A look at Abilene, Texas and the oil that created it. Broadcast on PBS. 

  • Jury Award - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Finalist Award - American Film Festival

 

Artist and Athlete: The Pursuit of Perfection (1980)

60-minute documentary covering the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics Art's program; broadcast on A&E. 

  • Cablecasting Excellence - ACE Nominations, Los Angeles (for Artist and Athlete)

 

Olympic Overture (1980)

30-minute performance video featuring violinist Yehudi Menuhin at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics; broadcast on national PBS. 

 

1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1981)

What happens in an international piano competition – the music, of course, but also the true-life drama of pianists seeking what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pursue a concert career. A three-part series for A&E and a 90-minute, live, prime-time special for PBS. 

 

Six Short Films Featuring Pilobolus Dance Theater (1981)

Working with Pilobolus Dance Theater founder Moses Pendleton, fantastic yet child-friendly sculptural dance pieces created for "Sesame Street," Children's Television Workshop.

 

Gymnast (1980)

A program highlighting the world's finest women gymnasts. 

  • IQ World Fellowship Award - International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers
  • CINE Golden Eagle - Council on International Non-Theatrical Events
  • Bronze Award - International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Certificate of Merit - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Special Jury Award - Bronze - Hemisfilm International Festival, San Antonio, Texas
  • Finalist Award - Information Film Producers of America
  • Special Award - Addy Awards, Fort Worth, Texas

 

A Portrait of Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne (1980)

Produced for "Live from Lincoln Center" on PBS. 

 

Anatomy of a Baseball Trade (1980)

A behind-the-scenes look at the New York Mets commissioned by HBO as part of its "Sports Magazine" series. 

 

Lexo: Alexander Toradze, Pianist (1979)

Broadcast on PBS and Soviet television, funded by Coca Cola. 

 

Futures (1979)

A set of 10-minute videos created for the Texas State Technical Institute. 

  • Gold Cindy - Information Film Producers of America
  • Silver Award - International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Jury Award - Chicago International Film Festival
  • Best Texas Directed Production of the Year - USA Film Festival, Dallas, Texas

 

Contest to Carnegie Hall (1978)

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A PBS broadcast, funded by Tandy Corporation. 

  • Gold Cindy - Information Film Producers of America
  • Bronze Award - International Film and Television Festival of New York
  • Best of Show - Addy Awards, Fort Worth, Texas