U.Va. Center for Politics Documentary Wins International Award of Excellence

June 2, 2009 — "Questioning the Constitution," a 2008 documentary produced by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and the Community Ideas Stations, has received an Award of Excellence, given annually by the International Academy of Visual Arts.

The Award of Excellence is the academy's highest distinction. The organization receives more than 9,000 nominations each year for its communicator awards from companies and agencies of all sizes, giving these prizes one of the largest nomination pools in the world. Only 330 entries were recognized with awards.

"Questioning the Constitution" takes an in-depth look at constitutional reform. The film explores the development of the U.S. Constitution, how it has been interpreted through the years, and goes on to question whether the document should be reformed.

Featured commentators include U.Va. Center for Politics director Larry J. Sabato, former Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole, NAACP chairman Julian Bond, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, ACLU president Nadine Strossen, and U.Va. constitutional scholar A.E. Dick Howard.

The film was made by Mason Mills, award-winning producer/director of "Wilder: An American First," which he also created in partnership with the Center for Politics.

The International Academy of Visual Arts is an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. Its members include executives from organizations such as Alloy, Brandweek, Coach, Disney, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Estee Lauder, Fry Hammond Barr, HBO, Monster.com, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Wired and Yahoo!. This is the 15th year that the organization has given out its Award of Excellence.

"We are truly delighted to have received this prestigious international award," Sabato said. "We hope this distinction from the IAVA will encourage more Americans to think about important constitutional questions and possible reforms."

In his widely acclaimed book, "A More Perfect Constitution," Sabato delves further into constitutional reform by proposing a comprehensive series of modifications to the nation's founding document.

About the University of Virginia's Center for Politics

Founded in 1998 by political analyst and professor Larry J. Sabato, the University of Virginia Center for Politics is a non-partisan institute that seeks to promote the value of politics, improve civics education, and increase civic participation through comprehensive research, pragmatic analysis, and innovative educational programs.

— By Brevy Cannon