UC Production Master Class Documentary Film Receives Regional Emmy Nomination

The University of Cincinnati student-produced

2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race

documentary film was nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The nomination is in the professional category of

Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical


A three-year project of the UC Production Master Class, the

Gold Rush Expedition Race

documentaries chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the

College-Conservatory of Music

(CCM), the

College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

(DAAP) and the

McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


The project was conceived by CCM Division of Electronic Media Professor

Kevin Burke

and professional television director/producer and distinguished CCM alumnus

Brian J. Leitten

(BFA, 2001), who advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentaries development.

Student teams shoot, edit, script and produce the

Gold Rush Expedition Race

films on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. “Although there is professional mentoring and oversight during the project,” Burke explains, “it is primarily produced and edited by the students, which makes it a unique example of successful experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

The UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which will allow the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period. The presidential investment represents Ono's ongoing support of interdisciplinary digital media projects and experiential learning at the University of Cincinnati.

"We are delighted with this nomination and are grateful to President Ono, Provost Beverly Davenport and the UC Forward Collaborative for their support of yet another successful example of experiential learning at UC," says Burke.

Burke and Leitten served as Executive Producers on the

2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race

, alongside UC students Callie Peters and Ben Proctor. You can watch a preview of the Emmy-nominated film at



The 51st Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards will be held at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Winners will be announced on July 25. The Ohio Valley Region includes Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, most of West Virginia, southern Indiana, southern half of Ohio and northern half of Kentucky. Learn more by visiting



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