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Local ecological short honored by The Webby Awards

April 15, 2014
Special to the Reporter ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel announced today that "Awaken" was honored for Best Travel & Adventure Online Film & Video in the 18th Annual Webby Awards.

The film is a five-minute digital experience celebrating the ecological diversity found along the beaches of Southwest Florida, while immersing potential visitors in destinations of natural beauty. At the forefront of digital innovation, the first-of-its-kind film was shot in a 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) format, using the latest photo, video, slow motion and time-lapse techniques. Awaken can be viewed on an enormous scale -- on an IMAX-sized screen -- as well as shared on personal computers and smart phones for travelers.

Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of web industry experts, including media mogul Arianna Huffington, Skype CEO Tony Bates, Mozilla CEO and Chair Mitchell Baker, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, mobile-phone inventor Martin Cooper, and creator of the Gif, Steve Wilhite.

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Beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers. PHOTO PROVIDED.

The 18th Annual Webby Awards received 12,000 entries from more than 60 countries and all 50 states. Out of all the 12,000 entries submitted, fewer than 15 percent received this honor and were deemed an Official Honoree.

"Honorees like The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. "It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 12,000 entries we received this year."

Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau, said the organization is embracing technology to engage new travelers and promote the region's unique beauty.

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"We wanted to be the first travel destination to create a film in 4K. This honor acknowledges Awakens success and underscores our efforts as innovators in the industry," said Pigott.

The full-length film can be viewed at



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