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Release Date: Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:45 PM
Media Contact:
LaToya L. Ransom
(202) 806-7855      
Howard Professor, Director Awarded Best Film/ Video Prize

WASHINGTON (Aug. 8) – Theodore R. Life, Jr., an assistant professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Film of Howard University School of Communications, received the Best Film/ Video Documentary Production Award at the 26th Black International Cinema Berlin Festival for his documentary, “Reason to Hope.”

The film chronicles the experience of two network correspondents, Bill Whitaker and Erin Lyall George, who remained in Haiti for over a month after the January 2010 earthquake, witnessing more than any other American network journalists.

“This honor recognizes the hard work and dedication that goes into making films that Professor Life exemplifies," School of Communications Dean Jannette L. Dates said. “In addition, this is an important representation of the caliber of excellence that the Department of Radio, Television and Film and others in the Howard University community strive for daily.”

Life recently returned from presenting his film at the 2011 Summer Institute for Intercultural Research and the University Film and Video Association Conference, where it was received enthusiastically.

“The situation in Haiti remains current for many people who have seen the film,” Life said. “Howard under President Ribeau is seeking to expand Howard's global footprint. So, films like ‘Reason to Hope’ concretize that effort. I hope this film bolsters the department’s efforts to encourage students to devise global stories and create partnerships and alliances with students in other countries. We have to prepare Howard students to take the lead telling stories from every corner of the globe.”

Life’s work has been exhibited at the prestigious Montreal Film Festival, the Leicester Film Festival, the Ninth Festival of New Cinema in Brussels and the Festival of New Cinema in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Toronto Super 8 Film Festival. He has served as director and production executive for “The Cosby Show,” director of “A Different World” and director of “Sesame Street.” Life also wrote and produced “Native Son,” based on the life and work of Richard Wright, as part of the “Great Books” series for the Learning Channel of Discovery Networks.

About Howard University School of Communications
The Howard University School of Communications is a 40-year-old school that combines four departments: Journalism; Radio, Television and Film; Communication and Culture, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. The school has more than 1,400 students and offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. It has produced many outstanding professionals in communications including: Stephen Gray, correspondent, Time magazine; Depelsha McGruder-Thomas, senior vice president for MTV Networks; Kevin Chappell, senior editor/ White House correspondent for Ebony/ Jet Magazines Washington, D.C. Bureau; Constance Cannon Frazier, chief operating officer for the American Advertising Federation; Omar Tyree, best selling black fiction author (Flyy Girl, For the Love of the Money); and Fredricka Whitfield, CNN news anchor;. For more information on the School of Communications, call 202-806-7690, or visit the website at

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