Unfiltered with Kiran, Media Desperado awarded two national Telly Awards

BATON ROUGE — Unfiltered with Kiran and the local production company Media Desperado have been awarded two national Telly Awards for its work over the past year.

UWK and Media Desperado were recognized for their collaborative work on an investigation into the disappearance and death of Nathan Millard and for its documentary on the relief efforts following Hurricane Ida.

“These accolades are a testament to the type of journalism our team does day in and day out,” UWK founder Kiran Chawla said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the entire team and our partnership with the immensely talented team at Media Desperado. We hope these awards help shine a light on the journalism we are so proud of here at UWK.”

“Big Rig Relief”

Following the devastation from Hurricane Ida in 2021, UWK partnered with Media Desperado to document the storm’s historic path of destruction across south Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Unfiltered Efforts: A Story of Hurricane Ida Relief” includes reporting from various devastated parishes the week after Ida. Using its unique following, Chawla organized a relief effort to fill a big rig with supplies desperately needed by victims of the storm. The winning entry documents that effort and the generous support of the community.

“If I have a following, why not use it and let’s serve a purpose together,” she said.

Before being awarded with the Telly Award for , “Unfiltered Efforts” was also awarded with a regional Emmy Award, the organization’s first Emmy since launching the independent news organization.

“This documentary was a work of the heart,” Chawla said. “UWK has a loyal following, and their caring contributions are a big part of why we do what we do. These accolades are just as much for them as it is for our staff who works hard keeping south Louisiana informed.”

Media Desperado producer Amanda Kitch and editor Santiago Rodriguez were awarded the bronze Telly Award for non-broadcast general charitable category.

READ: Unfiltered with Kiran wins prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award

“One Night in Baton Rouge”

Once again working in collaboration with Media Desperado, UWK was also recognized for its true crime documentary “One Night in Baton Rouge”.

The documentary is an in-depth account of the disappearance of Georgia businessman Nathan Millard in downtown Baton Rouge. Millard was found dead in north Baton Rouge two weeks after vanishing during a bizarre trek through the Capital City.

Executive producer Daniel Brown, anchor/reporter Chawla, videographer Andre Chapoy, reporter Jordan Arceneaux, media attorney Katherine Read, social media manager Faren Wise and IT & web support Logan Dallalio from UWK along with producer and editor Kitch and editor and motion graphics Rodriguez from Media Desperado were recognized.

“This was a project rooted in genuine curiosity,” Kitch said. “It’s evident Nathan Millard’s story speaks to a greater problem in our community. It’s unfortunate he lost his life for this piece to even exist, but the problem won’t see solutions unless the community can see the real, lasting impacts.”

The Telly Awards

The Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television across all screens. Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world. 

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