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2015 Staff Picks

2015 Staff Picks

Every Friday at our office in Dumbo, Brooklyn, the Storyhunter staff gets together for a little tradition we call “Storytime”: we make some popcorn, set up the projector and watch a bunch of videos produced through the platform that week (aka #PoweredbyStoryhunter videos). Whether the videos end up getting published online, on TV, or on Facebook, the best ones have one thing in common: you don’t forget them.

So we asked all our staff to pick their most memorable #PoweredbyStoryhunter video this year, and we’d like to share that collection with you. Congrats to all the video storytellers and editors who produced these amazing videos. Here are Storyhunter’s 2015 Staff Picks!

Best Mini-Docs:

Title: Who are the Death Photographers of Varanasi
Producer: Varun Nayar
Publication: Discovery Digital Networks

Delhi-based Varun Nayar gave us an intimate look into a fascinating tradition along India’s holiest rivers. A very well-told narrative indeed.

Title: Take a Ride on the Solar-Powered Plane Making History
Producer: Jonathan Keao
Publication: TIME

Hawaii-based Jonathan Keao tells the story of two men on a mission to prove the power of clean technology. Great production value. Check it out!

Title: Hot Sauce Made With Ants — Would You Eat It?
Director: Carlos P. Beltran
Producer: Gabriela Pereira
Field Photographer: Corina Moix
Publication: National Geographic

Caracas-based roaming filmmaker Carlos Beltran headed to Kumarakapay, in Venezuela’s Gran Sabana region, to explore the story behind their delicious hot sauce. Beautifully shot and edited story.

Best Mini-Doc Series:

Series: All Points Project
Publication: Discovery Digital Networks

The All Points Project is a mini-doc series produced by Discovery Digital Networks. For this weekly series, DDN commissions fully-produced videos from Storyhunter video journalists based in the farthest reaches of the world. Click below to watch Why These Virgin Women Live As Men, a video in the All Points Project, by Oddisee Films.

Best Social Media Videos:

Title: Japanese Students Clean Classroom To Learn Life Skills
Producers: Irene Herrera and Naotomo Umewaka
Publication: AJ+

The leading social media video, with 620,000 shares on Facebook (and counting), is this adorable video produced by Tokyo-based filmmakers Irene Herrera and Naotomo Umewaka for AJ+. If you haven’t watched this yet on your Facebook feed, you’re missing out.

Title: Drought Hack: Paint Your Lawn Green
Producers: Jessica Sherry
Publication: AJ+

Portland-based Jessica Sherry wanted to do stories about the California drought. As she brainstormed with AJ+ Senior Producer Geoffrey Dietrich, the idea of doing a story on lawn painting came up. Neither of them expected it to attract a 36 million views on Facebook, breaking AJ+’s record for views at the time. Check it out.

Best Investigative Journalism:

Title: Stealing Turtle Eggs Got People Shot, But The Thievery Continues
Producer: John Dickie
Camera: Gustavo Mora
Series Producer: Mishi Ebrahim
Publication: National Geographic

Mexico-based John Dickie has been doing a lot of digging; not just for turtle eggs, but also to get to the bottom of legal and cultural realities that threaten the species as a whole. Here’s his report for National Geographic.

Best Visual Poetry:

Title: New York From Every Angle
Producer: Salvatore D’Alia
Publication: Discovery Digital Networks

When we watched Salvatore D’Alia’s video at the Storyhunter HQ, we were all mesmerized. So we hit replay. And then again, and a couple more times. This video truly does NYC justice. See for yourself.

Best Short-Form Branded:

Title: Enter If You Dare: Inside a Real-Life Haunted House
Producer: Valerio Ciriaci
Publication: Zillow

Zillow is becoming a real innovator in content marketing, producing increasingly more video. They’ve taken a very innovative approach to their storytelling. This one is a great example. Not your average real estate video by any means.

Best Short-Form Branded Series:

In the run-up to the 2015’s New York City Marathon, production company M ss ng P eces were tasked to produce runner profile pieces from around the world for their client, Airbnb. Here are a few of the great stories they found.

Title: Host a Runner, Meet the World: Elisa
Producer: Alberto Chelleri

Title: Host a Runner, Meet the World: Fabrizio
Producer: Fabio Butera

Title: Host a Runner, Meet the World: Kenneth
Producer: Sifiso Khanyile

Title: Host a Runner, Meet the World: Mac
Producer: Irene Herrera