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Mr. David Safin receives Bronze Telly Award for production of short film with his father

Mr. David Safin receives Bronze Telly Award for production of short film with his father

by Public Relations | July 20, 2023

LATROBE, PA – Mr. David Safin, Associate Professor of Digital Art and Media in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, was recently awarded a Bronze Telly Award for his short film “Up on the Hill,” which he produced with his father, George J. Safin.

“The video allowed our passions to overlap,” said Safin. “He poured himself into [Five Town Park] for decades, and I was able to relate because that is how I feel about video production, something I’ve been involved with for decades.”


The film focuses on George Safin’s recollections regarding his history with a property known as “Five Town Park” as it reaches a critical inflection point in its continuously evolving relationships with its surrounding community. Spanning over 49 acres, the land rests above the small Pennsylvania town of Roscoe. Its association with the area it serves is in a constant state of flux, and, since the early 1960s, it has been a terrestrial playground, a communal recreation facility and a natural sanctuary. As a lifelong resident of Roscoe, George Safin has spent the better part of his life ‘up on the hill.’

“I don’t make videos to win awards, I make them to share stories that I strongly believe are worth sharing,” said Safin. “I felt this was worth telling because my dad is passionate about ‘the hill.’ It is a place where he seeks refuge to find comfort.


The Telly Award is the premier award that honors outstanding local video and film productions. The Award honors “innovative, inclusive and disruptive work that breaks through the static of overwhelming content delivery and consumption,” per their website.

As a widely known and highly respected national and international competition, the Telly Awards received over 12,000 entries from 5 continents. Entries are rated on a 10-point scale; those who receive ratings between 7.0 - 8.9 are awarded a Bronze Telly statuette for outstanding achievement. The competition is unique in that entrants do not compete against one another, but against a high standard of excellence.


“Regardless of whether or not it won the award, I would still be proud of it because of what it represents: my dad’s lifelong devotion to the idea of community,” said Safin.

Safin’s film also won an Award of Recognition from the Best Shorts Competition in June 2022.

The film is approximately fifteen minutes long and can be viewed here. It was first screened at the Parkway Theatre in Pittsburgh as part of their Film Kitchen series in June 2022. It was also broadcast on WQED’s Filmmakers Corner this past January.