Smithsonian Channel original programming was recognized for its excellence at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival last weekend, winning 10 awards, including multiple Special Jury and Platinum Remi prizes, the highest awards given. Now in its 44th year, WorldFest is one of largest competitions in the world to honor outstanding creative excellence in film and video.

Smithsonian Channel Worldfest Houseton International Film Festival awards – won for the following:

AERIAL AMERICA: HAWAII – Special Jury Award, Documentary Television Series

A non-stop journey by air over our nation’s most exotic and breathtaking state. From lush green cliffs to black sand beaches, from ancient ruins to modern city life, discover the stunning landscapes and astonishing stories of Hawaii’s eight major islands without ever touching the ground.

CONCORD: FLYING SUPERSONIC – Special Jury Award, Flight & Space Travel

The definitive story of the world’s first and last supersonic passenger jet, exploring the defining moments in Concorde’s history and revealing the untold story behind the devastating crash of Flight AF4590 in 2000. Ten years on arguments still rage about what caused the crash that helped seal Concorde’s fate, but could Concorde still be flying today?

ELECTRIFIED: THE GUITAR REVOLUTION – Bronze Remi Award, Arts & Culture

Without it, there would be no Hendrix, Clapton, The Beatles or rock n’ roll for that matter. The electric guitar was invented to be heard among the brass instruments of the big band era, but it soon took on a sound and life of its own. From the early days of the Model U and the Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience its evolution through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians and rousing live performances.

HELIPCOPTER MISSIONS – Special Jury Award, Flight & Space Travel

Though relatively new to the fight, helicopters have become an integral part of modern warfare. They scout enemy terrain, deploy soldiers into battle, fight off approaching foes, and save lives. What made each chopper ideal for its mission and what made it vulnerable, through battle reenactments and interviews with the heroic pilots who flew into the face of danger.

MYSTERY OF THE HOPE DIAMOND – Special Jury Award, Documentary Television Production

Narrated by Academy Award® and Golden Globe®-winning actress Kim Basinger, the film tells the definitive story of the world’s most famous gem, mixing history, science and legend and features two exclusive events: the creation of new 21st century setting selected by the American people and an audacious experiment to reveal the inner secrets of the diamond.

PICTURING THE PRESIDENTS – Bronze Remi Award, Arts & Culture

A behind the scenes look into the minds of the artists that capture, commemorate, and, at times, condemn our presidents. From Elaine de Kooning’s abstract portraits of John F. Kennedy to Tim Oliphant’s skewering caricatures of the Bushes, the divisive results that occur when art and politics collide are examined.

RUNNING WITH WOLVES – Special Jury Award, Nature and Wildlife

The inspiring story of wolf biologist Gudrun Pflueger, an extraordinary individual, a heroic and determined woman who defied medical odds in an attempt to see her dream come true. This is the miraculous tale of returning to the Canadian wilderness, in search of the one of the world’s most elusive creatures, the Canadian Wolf.

SEIZING JUSTICE: THE GREENSBORO 4 – Special Jury Award, History & Archaeology

In February of 1960, a simple coffee order at America’s favorite five-and-dime store, sparked a series of events that would help put an end to the Jim Crow laws of the South. The extraordinary story of four otherwise ordinary young men – Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, David Richmond and Ezell Blair, Jr. –  African-American college students, whose nonviolent sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter helped ignite a revolution.

TATTOO ODYSSEY – Platinum Remi Award, Cultural

Photographer Chris Rainier has spent the last two decades documenting tattoo culture. His journeys have taken him through jungles, cities, deserts, and into the lairs of New Guinea hill tribes and L.A. street gangs and he’s found that tattoos are engrained in the consciousness of humans as a way of expressing identity.

THE RIVALS – Platinum Remi Award, Sports

The story of one incredible season in the lives of two high school football teams in Maine who share the same goal: to win the state championship. It’s a story about football, but also a story about America and the universal quest for respect.

How about that? Did you watch all this winner films and shows? Let me know your thoughts.

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