AUSTIN, Texas—"Last Best Hope: A True Story of Escape, Evasion and Remembrance," a PBS documentary film made possible in part by the Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, recently received a Silver Award in the documentary/history category at the 43rd annual Hugo Awards for Excellence in Television ceremony in Chicago.
The film producers include three alumni from The University of Texas at Austin: Ramona Kelly (B.S. 1977), David Grosvenor (B.F.A. 1975), and Wilson Waggoner (B.S. 1995). Mat Hames, Waggoner’s partner in the Austin production company Alpheus Media, Inc., directed, wrote and edited the film.
"Last Best Hope," a co-production of KLRU TV in Austin, premiered nationally in October. The film is an official selection of the Calgary International Film Festival, the Jackson Hole International Film Festival, the Dallas Video Festival, the Texas Independent Filmmakers Festival (People’s Choice Award) and Worldfest.
"This extraordinary and historically significant film tells the little-known story of the Belgian resistance in its efforts to harbor and repatriate Allied airmen downed within the borders of occupied Belgium during the Second World War," said Dr. Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History. "The center is pleased to have been instrumental in bringing to the public this World War II story of courage and sacrifice."
Original footage shot for the film, as well as documentation and photographs amassed during the film’s research phase, will be archived at the center for scholarly research purposes.
"The Hugo Television Award recognition is significant," said Bill Stotesbery, chief executive officer for KLRU-TV. "Last year’s Silver Hugos in this category were awarded to ‘No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,’ produced by WNET-TV in New York and ‘American Experience: Fidel Castro,’ produced by WGBH-TV in Boston. The production value, powerful story and use of 3-D motion graphics in ‘Last Best Hope’ have yielded international recognition for the producers’ labor of love. The film was six years in the making and was funded entirely by grants and contributions."
An original component of the annual Chicago International Film Festival, the Hugo Television Awards recognize outstanding productions that achieve technical excellence and creativity.
More information about "Last Best Hope" is available on the Center for American History Web site. A trailer, photos and details about the film and the Belgian Resistance are posted on the film’s Web site—"Last Best Hope"—and on the PBS Web site.