WVIA Partners with NEPA Film Festival and Hosts Guest Speaker

WVIA in partnership with the Waverly Community House proudly presents the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival.

April 12-14, 2024.

Friday night guest speaker is award winning producer Doug Claybourne, producer of The Mask of Zorro and Executive Producer on The Fast and the Furious.

All films presented at the Waverly Community House

115 N. Abington Road, Waverly, PA 18411

Get your tickets to the festival here.

Friday Night Opening Reception

An evening with acclaimed director DOUG CLAYBOURNE. Featuring a screening of Doug’s latest film: “The Rainbow Prince”.

  • Waverly Community House Auditorium
  • Friday April 12th, 2024
  • Cocktail Reception 6 PM-7PM
  • Program 7PM- 8:30PM
  • Doug Claybourne Screening of Rainbow Prince (35 min)
  • Q&A to Follow, moderated by Julie Sidoni, WVIA
  • Cocktails courtesy of Maiolatesi Wine Cellars
  • Light Fare by Caravia and Epicurean

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click HERE or visit nepafilmfestival.com

WVIA to Celebrate Area Filmmakers as 2024 NEPA Film Festival Media Partner

WVIA, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s PBS and NPR station, is proud to announce its return as the official media partner for the 2024 NEPA Film Festival, taking place April 12th-14th at the Waverly Community House. 

WVIA is committed to fostering a thriving film culture in NEPA, and its continued partnership with the festival reflects that dedication. WVIA will ignite imaginations and empower aspiring filmmakers with a series of informative workshops led by its award-winning production team and host a personal and informative Q&A session with the event’s keynote speaker. 

“WVIA is committed to fostering creativity and storytelling in our region,” said WVIA’s Chief Content Officer, Ben Payavis II. “The NEPA Film Festival is a fantastic platform to connect with passionate filmmakers, and our workshops provide valuable insights and practical tools to help them elevate their craft.”

Engaging with the Masters: Opening Reception Q&A Hosted by WVIA’s Julie Sidoni

The festival’s keynote speaker, Doug Claybourne, producer of films such as The Fast and the Furious, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Mighty Ducks 2 will engage in a Q&A session moderated by WVIA’s very own Julie Sidoni. This promises to be an insightful exchange, offering the audience a chance to delve deeper into the speaker’s experiences and gain valuable industry knowledge, and view his latest short film, The Rainbow Prince.

Cultivating Tomorrow’s Filmmakers: The WVIA Student Showcase

Aspiring young directors take center stage with the WVIA Student Showcase. High school and college students from across the region submitted their short films, and the winners will have their work screened on the festival’s big screen in front of a captivated audience, including fellow filmmakers and industry professionals. 

WVIA Educational Workshops: Unleashing Your Inner Filmmaker

WVIA’s engaging workshops cater to both budding and experienced filmmakers. Attendees can learn from some of the best in the industry:

  • “Create Films, Not Content” with Alexander Monelli: Dive into the art of crafting compelling narratives on a shoestring budget.
  • “Storytelling Unleashed: Creating Films with the Camera in Your Pocket” presented by Tim Novotney: Discover the power of smartphone filmmaking and unleash the potential in your pocket.
  • “How Much ‘Bio’ Goes Into a Biopic? / Licensing, Releases, & Fair Use” with Kris Hendrickson & Ben Payavis II: Explore the legalities of bringing true stories to life and navigate the world of licensing and fair use.
  • “Promotional Best Practices: How to Show Them What You Got” with Kara Washington: Learn how to craft a captivating message and effectively promote your films to the right audience.

Event Tickets

Workshop admission is included with a NEPA Film Festival day pass, allowing attendees to gain practical knowledge while enjoying a weekend immersed in cinema. For more information about WVIA’s workshops at the NEPA Film Festival, visit the NEPA Film Festival website here.

WVIA Honored with Seven American Advertising Federation of NEPA Awards

WVIA, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s PBS and NPR station, is thrilled to announce a resounding win at the 2024 American Advertising Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania (AAF NEPA) Awards. Taking home an impressive seven awards, WVIA’s content and creative teams were recognized for their exceptional work in crafting impactful messages that resonate with viewers.

“This recognition is a true testament to the dedication and talent of our entire production team,” said WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “At WVIA, we believe in the power of storytelling to connect, inspire, and make a difference. These awards validate our commitment to using that power to serve our community.”

WVIA’s award-winning entries spanned a diverse range of categories, showcasing their versatility and ability to deliver impactful messages across platforms. From promotional campaigns to documentaries, their work left a lasting impression on the AAF NEPA judges.

“We are incredibly proud of the stories we tell and the messages we share,” continued Ben Payavis II, WVIA Chief Content Officer. “These awards motivate us to keep pushing boundaries and finding new ways to connect with our audiences on a deeper level.”

This significant win at the AAF NEPA Awards further solidifies WVIA’s position as a leader in creative storytelling within the region and their dedication to using their platform for positive impact.

WVIA received the following seven awards:

  • GOLD (Single Spot)- ROAR Documentary Trailer. 
  • GOLD (Single Entry and Best of Show)- The Hooded Graves of Catawissa.
  • GOLD (Integrated Campaigns and Judge’s Choice)- Pizza!
  • SILVER (Television Advertising)- ROAR Documentary.
  • SILVER (Integrated Campaigns)- ROAR Documentary.

The award ceremony was held on Friday, March 8th at The FM Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. All winners and professional entries can be viewed here

WVIA Recognized for Impact with Six Prestigious PAB Awards

WVIA, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania’s public media station, is honored to announce it has received six awards from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) for its outstanding work in 2023. 

These prestigious honors recognize WVIA’s commitment to delivering essential local news, informative programs, and captivating arts and entertainment content for our region.

“These awards represent so much more than success for WVIA. They acknowledge the important role we play in informing, educating, and entertaining our neighbors, and inspire us to continue delivering essential public media that strengthens our region.” said WVIA Chief Content Officer, Ben Payavis II. “We are deeply grateful for the continued trust, support, and encouragement from our communities, and look forward to building upon this success in years to come.”

The PAB Awards represent the pinnacle of broadcasting excellence in the state, judged by a panel of industry professionals. WVIA’s six recognitions span a variety of categories, reflecting its commitment to serving audiences across various interests and representing all facets of its communities.

Outstanding Use of Digital Media

  • WVIA presents PIZZA!, Digital Short-Form Documentary Series
  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary Launch
  • Mind Over Matter, Season Recap

Outstanding Feature Story/Report

  • The Hooded Graves of Catawissa, VIA Short Take
  • Conversation group in Scranton Helps refugees from around the world, WVIA News story

Outstanding Television Documentary

  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary

In addition to these awards, WVIA’s impact extends far beyond broadcast. In 2023, the station reached over 2 million viewers and 1 million listeners, provided educational resources to thousands of students, and hosted community events that engaged residents across the region. 

“These awards are a reflection of the countless hours, late nights, and passionate hearts poured into every story we tell,” stated WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “We do this together, for our communities.” 

Winners were announced online on Friday, February 9th, and a luncheon will be held at The Harrisburg Hilton on Friday April 26th, 2024, at noon, where winners will receive their awards.

WVIA Adds News Editor and New Reporter to Flourishing News Team

WVIA, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania’s public media station, is excited to announce the addition of two new WVIA News Team members. These additions mark the latest of five new hires in roughly one month and significant expansion for the award-winning news team.

WVIA welcomes Faith Golay as News Editor and Roger DuPuis as the newest WVIA News reporter. 

Faith Golay comes from the Times-Tribune, and brings over 27 years of experience to this new position. Faith will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the news department, as well as digital content production and news publication for WVIA News. She will play a key role in shaping the digital presence and overall voice of the WVIA News Team. 

“WVIA’s mission to report on issues that impact the community’s quality of life with passion, accuracy and fairness is at the heart of what all journalists must do,” said Golay. “Public trust is not a gift. It must be earned, so I am privileged to join the WVIA News Team of incredibly talented journalists to honor that profound responsibility.” 

Roger DuPuis comes from the Times Leader, bringing 24 years of experience in journalism. Roger has numerous community connections and has built a large network over the last two decades. He will play a crucial role in unearthing and reporting on the stories that matter most to the region. Roger has extensive reporting experience, particularly around the area of transportation.

“I’m proud of where I’ve been, and the work I have done during more than 20 years in newspapers. I am excited to be joining WVIA as the organization expands its news team to bring thoughtful reporting that matters to 22 counties across Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania,” said Roger. “Local news is more important to our communities and our country than ever before. WVIA truly understands that, and I look forward to working on stories that will make a difference to the audiences we serve.” 

With each new addition to the team, WVIA underscores its unwavering commitment to delivering high-impact, in-depth local journalism and continues to shape and preserve the local news landscape in our region.

“WVIA News is committed to amplifying the voices of the communities we serve,” said WVIA’s Director of Journalism Julie Sidoni. “We know there are untold stories out there. This latest expansion helps us get a little closer to finding them.” 

“As WVIA’s News Team grows and we continue to expand our reach, we also expand our understanding of each of the rich and complex communities we serve and the stories that need to be told,” said WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “Each of these new additions brings with them a wealth of knowledge and an abundance of experience, both of which will translate to greater impact on the lives of people in our region.”

WVIA Recognized for Impact: Six Prestigious PAB Awards Celebrate Local Storytelling

WVIA, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania’s public media station, is honored to announce it has received six awards from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) for its outstanding work in 2023. 

These prestigious honors recognize WVIA’s commitment to delivering essential local news, informative programs, and captivating arts and entertainment content for our region.

“These awards represent so much more than success for WVIA. They acknowledge the important role we play in informing, educating, and entertaining our neighbors, and inspire us to continue delivering essential public media that strengthens our region.” said WVIA Chief Content Officer, Ben Payavis II. “We are deeply grateful for the continued trust, support, and encouragement from our communities, and look forward to building upon this success in years to come.”

The PAB Awards represent the pinnacle of broadcasting excellence in the state, judged by a panel of industry professionals. WVIA’s six recognitions span a variety of categories, reflecting its commitment to serving audiences across various interests and representing all facets of its communities.

Outstanding Use of Digital Media

  • WVIA presents PIZZA!, Digital Short-Form Documentary Series
  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary Launch
  • Mind Over Matter, Season Recap

Outstanding Feature Story/Report

  • The Hooded Graves of Catawissa, VIA Short Take
  • Conversation group in Scranton Helps refugees from around the world, WVIA News story

Outstanding Television Documentary

  • ROAR: The Story of the Southern Columbia Football Tigers, Documentary

In addition to these awards, WVIA’s impact extends far beyond broadcast. In 2023, the station reached over 2 million viewers and 1 million listeners, provided educational resources to thousands of students, and hosted community events that engaged residents across the region. 

“These awards are a reflection of the countless hours, late nights, and passionate hearts poured into every story we tell,” stated WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “We do this together, for our communities.” 

Winners were announced online on Friday, February 9th, and a luncheon will be held at The Harrisburg Hilton on Friday April 26th, 2024, at noon, where winners will receive their awards.

WVIA News Announces the Addition of a Reporter

WVIA is thrilled to announce the addition of a new reporter to its growing news team. Sarah Hofius Hall will join the team with a focus on local and regional education stories in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, providing dedicated coverage and transparency on the topics that affect one of the most vulnerable populations in any region; the youth and those that serve them. 

A trusted subject matter expert, Hall comes to WVIA with a wealth of experience in journalism and education. She was previously employed by The Times-Tribune in Scranton since 2006. For nearly all of that time, she covered education, visiting the region’s classrooms and reporting on issues important to students, teachers, families and taxpayers. Her reporting ranges from covering controversial school closure plans and analyzing test scores, to uncovering wasteful spending and highlighting the inspirational work done by the region’s educators. 

“We are excited to welcome Sarah to the WVIA News team,” says WVIA News Director Julie Sidoni. “She is an experienced journalist with a deep understanding of the local education system and the issues that matter to our communities. Her talent, dedication, and diverse perspectives will be invaluable as we continue to provide our communities with essential news and information.”

Hall’s work has been recognized by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association. She received her degree in journalism from Ithaca College and resides in Clarks Summit with her family.

“I’m excited to bring my years of experience to a wider audience at WVIA,” said Hall. “I’m encouraged and inspired by the station’s commitment to covering the news important to residents of this region, and I’m honored to have a role in that. As the education reporter, I look forward to visiting classrooms and campuses, telling important stories that can have a significant impact.”

Bucking the national trends of shrinking staff and non-local ownership groups, WVIA continues to grow – and is quickly becoming the source for balanced, local news throughout the 22-county region it serves. Founded in 2022, WVIA News now features a team of seven full-time journalists.

“One of the core elements of the WVIA mission has always been education. We strive to educate our communities and provide support to our local schools, and we have done so since the 1970s,” stated WVIA President & CEO Carla McCabe. “We are ecstatic that we are able to take that a step further by providing education specific news coverage, ensuring an informed public and accountability on behalf of our educational institutions. When it comes to education, WVIA is an advocate, a resource, and now, a watchdog.”

Learn more about WVIA’s News Impact here.

WVIA News Awarded Grant for Full-Time Journalist

WVIA was recently awarded a grant through the Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania to support the addition of a dedicated, full-time WVIA News reporter to exclusively cover Williamsport and the Lycoming County region. The position has now been filled by Chase Bottorf, a Lock Haven native, providing dedicated WVIA News coverage to the area.

Bottorf is a graduate of Lock Haven University and holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in writing. Having previously been a reporter for the Lock Haven news publication, The Express, he comes with an existing awareness of the unique issues in the Lycoming County region, and has ties to the local communities.

“I am extremely excited to work for WVIA in bolstering community-based reporting in Northcentral Pennsylvania,” said Bottorf. “While working with the station, under the NPR/PBS umbrella, I hope to achieve greater transparency within the community and tackle stories that will benefit the area as a whole. This, and at the same time, garner experience that will help push my boundaries in the field of journalism overall.” 

Mr. Bottorf will be responsible for reporting and producing stories exclusive to the Lycoming County region on WVIA’s radio and digital platforms. He will focus on the many complexities of the Williamsport area by providing in-depth coverage of local issues and community engagement opportunities with residents of the region. Bottorf will work out of the WVIA Studios Lycoming County Bureau in the Community Arts Center on West 4th Street in Williamsport.

Bucking the national trends of shrinking staff and non-local ownership groups, WVIA has grown – and is quickly becoming the source for balanced, local news throughout the 22-county region it serves. Founded in 2022, WVIA News has grown to a team of six full-time journalists in less than two years. 

“First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania is thrilled to support WVIA’s continued expansion into Lycoming County,” stated Betty Gilmour, Director of Grantmaking, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. “With a dedicated journalist closely involved in the greater Williamsport and surrounding area, residents will become more knowledgeable about the place they call home, opening new avenues to a more connected community.”

This is the second grant-funded news position for WVIA News since its founding in 2022. These additions to WVIA’s growing news department are evidence of the level of support from donors and the community for local non-profit journalism, and the level of commitment from WVIA to fill the need for such. 

WVIA Announce New Documentary: Eddie Durham

American Public Television (APT) and WVIA have announced the debut of a new WVIA original documentary titled WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham, coming in February. The film will be broadcast on over 250 APT member stations nationwide. 

Eddie Durham was an American jazz guitarist, trombonist, composer, and arranger. He was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar in jazz music. Through the testimonials of family, friends and devoted fellow musicians of all ages, Wham-Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham follows the musical journey of this often overlooked, but totally unique, musical genius.

“Eddie Durham was an innovator who helped shape a whole era of American music, no question. But he also had that rare gift of being able to bring people together, in bands and in life, across multiple generations and widely varying social backgrounds. He found the best in everyone, and everyone who knew him was a better musician and a better person for it,” said Producer Kris Hendrickson. “Our hope is that this documentary will help more people get to know Eddie Durham and, consequently, bring more people together through their appreciation for and admiration of him.”

Produced and directed by WVIA’s Kris Hendrickson and Executive Producer Ben Payavis II, along with Music Director and Producer Loren Schoenberg of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the film will be presented and distributed by American Public Television. WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam will air on public television stations nationwide in February 2024 (check local listings for airdates). 

The documentary also gave students of The Juilliard School in New York City an opportunity to perform original Eddie Durham arrangements that had never been recorded, allowing the next generation of jazz musicians to bring Eddie’s music to life for themselves.

“It’s so important to honor Eddie Durham’s legacy and to play his music, especially for young people,” said Dr. Aaron Flagg, Chair and Associate Director of Juilliard Jazz. “That really helps them understand the journey that the great American music known as jazz has taken.” 

This film provides a unique look into the life and career of Eddie Durham, including details from those who knew him best. The story of Eddie Durham is told through interviews with an array of jazz musicians such as Russel Malone, Vincent Gardner, James Chirillo, jazz historians Robert O’Meally, Dennis Spragg, and more. It also includes interviews with Durham’s daughter Marcia and sons Eric and Terrance. 

“There’s been a lot of talk about roots; roots of civilization, families, of art, and history. When it comes to music in America, very few artists have deeper roots than Eddie Durham, and finally, a documentary has been produced to reveal how deep his story truly is. Above all, it’s a story of talent, perseverance, and love”, said Producer Loren Schoenberg. 

The trailer for WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham can be viewed here.

For a full list of PBS stations carrying WHAM Re-Bop-Boom-Bam: The Swing Jazz of Eddie Durham, please visit our website here, or contact your local station directly.

WVIA News Awarded Grant for New Full-Time Journalist

WVIA was recently awarded a grant through the Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania to support the addition of a dedicated, full-time WVIA News reporter to exclusively cover Williamsport and the Lycoming County region. The position has now been filled by Chase Bottorf, a Lock Haven native, providing dedicated WVIA News coverage to the area.

Bottorf is a graduate of Lock Haven University and holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in writing. Having previously been a reporter for the Lock Haven news publication, The Express, he comes with an existing awareness of the unique issues in the Lycoming County region, and has ties to the local communities.

“I am extremely excited to work for WVIA in bolstering community-based reporting in Northcentral Pennsylvania,” said Bottorf. “While working with the station, under the NPR/PBS umbrella, I hope to achieve greater transparency within the community and tackle stories that will benefit the area as a whole. This, and at the same time, garner experience that will help push my boundaries in the field of journalism overall.” 

Mr. Bottorf will be responsible for reporting and producing stories exclusive to the Lycoming County region on WVIA’s radio and digital platforms. He will focus on the many complexities of the Williamsport area by providing in-depth coverage of local issues and community engagement opportunities with residents of the region. Bottorf will work out of the WVIA Studios Lycoming County Bureau in the Community Arts Center on West 4th Street in Williamsport.

Bucking the national trends of shrinking staff and non-local ownership groups, WVIA has grown – and is quickly becoming the source for balanced, local news throughout the 22-county region it serves. Founded in 2022, WVIA News has grown to a team of six full-time journalists in less than two years. 

“First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania is thrilled to support WVIA’s continued expansion into Lycoming County,” stated Betty Gilmour, Director of Grantmaking, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. “With a dedicated journalist closely involved in the greater Williamsport and surrounding area, residents will become more knowledgeable about the place they call home, opening new avenues to a more connected community.”

This is the second grant-funded news position for WVIA News since its founding in 2022. These additions to WVIA’s growing news department are evidence of the level of support from donors and the community for local nonprofit journalism and the level of commitment from WVIA to fill the need for such.