“Paleoindians at Jackson Gore,” the short (20-minute) documentary produced in collaboration between community access station Okemo Valley TV, the state archaeologist and UVM’s Consulting Archaeology Program, received a first place Nor’easter Award for Historical Documentary from the northeast regional chapter of the Alliance for Community Media, a national advocacy and membership organization representing community access TV stations.
The film documents the 2007 excavation of Jackson Gore and what was learned about the paleoindians. Okemo Valley TV Production Coordinator Eric Chatterjee was in attendance to receive the award at a ceremony held in Portland, Maine on Oct. 31.
Chatterjee noted that this project was the digital equivalent of an archaeological project in its own right. While the excavation itself studied humans who traveled through the area 12,000 plus years ago, completing the documentary required piecing together footage that was recorded in 2007 with new footage from 2018, to form a narrative for the story. A phone call from state archaeologist Jess Robinson spurred Okemo Valley TV staff into action, to find a way to create something out of the old footage. Executive Director Patrick Cody explained “(Robinson) called last year asking if we still had footage that I and some volunteers shot during the excavation at Jackson Gore (in 2007). Thankfully, we did”, adding that it had not been made into anything. Cody offered to help Robinson create a short documentary, using the existing footage and adding to it. “The findings at Jackson Gore are really important in the overall mix of (how we teach about the period),” said Robinson.
Cody affirmed that “this project is exemplary of the kind of collaboration on which we thrive, with numerous local, regional, & state partners. We may have overseen the process, but it only came to fruition because of the collaboration.” He credited contributions from The Vermont Division of Historic Preservation, UVM Consulting Archaeology Program, Okemo Mountain Resort, Ralph Cameron / Sky Shots LLC, Cavendish Historical Society / Margo Caulfield, Mount Holly Community Historical Museum / Dennis Devereux, Sydney Miele, & Emma Vastola. Moreover, Cody encourages others who have an idea of their own for a documentary, other film project, or TV show, to contact the station.
“Paleoindians at Jackson Gore” is available for viewing on Okemo Valley TV’s website and is periodically shown on the station’s cable TV channels (Comcast channels 8 & 10 in Ludlow, Plymouth, & Cavendish; Comcast channels 20 & 21 in Mt. Holly; and on VTel system-wide,channels 166 & 167).