Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

UGA Costa Rica documentary wins national award

Costa Rica Bungalows-h
Bungalows on the UGA Costa Rica campus.

Athens, Ga. – “UGA Costa Rica: Changing Lives,” a one-hour WUGA-TV documentary that follows 17 University of Georgia students studying abroad in Costa Rica, has been awarded a bronze award in the national documentary category as part of the 35th Annual Telly Awards.

The documentary follows UGA students taking Spanish, creative writing and photo-documentary classes from their first days on the UGA Costa Rica campus to their trips into the Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve. It shows the Finca La Bella sustainable treehouse community, the Pacific Ocean beaches and the capital city of San Jose. The story is told from a student’s perspective and the project was created with help from student videographers and post-production editors. The executive producer, writer and director of the one-hour documentary was Melissa Jackson of WUGA-TV.

“The program really captures the unique and awe-inspiring settings in which students from the University of Georgia and many other educational institutions live and learn,” said Quint Newcomer, director of the UGA Costa Rica program.

“UGA Costa Rica offers an immersive environment where students and eco tourists alike can see and participate in advanced sustainability programs on campus and explore the country from the Monteverde Cloud Forest and waterfalls to volcanoes and two oceans,” Newcomer said.

“UGA Costa Rica: Changing Lives” is scheduled for broadcast on WUGA-TV, the public television station owned and operated by UGA in a partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting, on May 18 at 7 p.m., May 19 at 9 p.m., May 25 at 7 p.m., May 26 at 9 p.m., May 31 at 5 p.m., June 2 at 9 p.m., June 5 at 7 p.m. and June 6 at 2 p.m. For a list of the cable and satellite providers carrying WUGA-TV, see The documentary is also available for free viewing online at

This year’s Telly competition involved nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world.