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Pirates of the Flats Honored in 31st Annual Telly Awards

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The Pirates crew hard at work filming Michael Keaton The Pirates crew hard at work filming Michael Keaton

Officials from Orion Multimedia have announced that the fly fishing television series, Pirates of the Flats, was honored by the Silver Telly Council during the 31st Annual Telly Awards.

Pirates of the Flats won a Silver Telly -- the council's highest honor -- for Nature/Wildlife, and Bronze Tellys for Use of Graphics, Editing, and Videography.

The awards are judged by the Silver Telly Council, comprised of the top industry professionals and past winners of the Silver Telly.

Produced in cooperation with Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and ESPN Outdoors, Pirates of the Flats stars news anchor Tom Brokaw, actor Michael Keaton, angling pioneer Lefty Kreh, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, author Tom McGuane, photographer R. Valentine Atkinson, and BTT board member Bill Klyn as they cast their flies on the western shore of Abaco in The Bahamas. They are fishing for bonefish, and fishing for answers as well. How can we protect these valuable coastal environments and help preserve these resources for future generations? It's a question that some of the world's top researchers help answer as they mix with these icons. The series weaves together the stunning beauty of The Bahamas, superb fishing action, scientific research funded by BTT, and camaraderie among an eclectic group of anglers.

Pirates of the Flats was taped over a 2-week span on the islands of Eleuthera and Abaco. The 17-man crew utilized the latest in HD videography, underwater camera techniques, and cutting-edge RED camera footage, as 32 cases of camera equipment were shipped to The Bahamas to make the production possible. In post-production, a talented team of editors and graphic artists whittled over 300 hours of footage into 6 episodes.

"It's always heartening to see an audience -- and award judges -- respond to a series in which so much production energy has been devoted," says Orion president Chris Dorsey. "And having an engaging all-star cast certainly helped attract a wide audience while advancing the cause of coastal conservation and showcasing the magic of flats angling."

The series succeeded at bringing in viewers and spreading BTT's message. Pirates of the Flats was the highest rated saltwater series in the first quarter of 2010 and the second-highest rated outdoor series overall for the period. Pirates also garnered an unprecedented amount of buzz in both print and online media. The series was featured in the New York Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and Outside magazine to name a few of the scores of publications and websites featuring this groundbreaking series. The series' trailer on YouTube has received over 24,000 views on-line.

About ESPN Outdoors: Since its inception in 1980, ESPN Outdoors has strived to inform and entertain anglers, hunters, campers and people of all ages who enjoy the outdoors. ESPN Outdoors is committed to increasing awareness of and participation in outdoor activities, a direction best exemplified by television programming on ESPN2. Each year, ESPN Outdoors stages more than 30 marquee events, including the Bassmaster Classic. ESPN Outdoors is comprised of BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing, and a growing array of multimedia platforms, including Bassmaster.com, ESPNOutdoors.com, and programming on ESPN2, in addition to promotions and activities that deliver a clear message of conservation and ethical sportsmanship.

About Bonefish Tarpon Trust: For the last decade, BTT has been pioneering groundbreaking research to help us understand the interdependence between flats fish species, anglers, and economies. BTT's global vision of science-based conservation is leading the way to find long-term solutions to create sustainable fisheries management models that help anglers and political leaders come together to ensure strong fisheries into the future.

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