Communication and Media faculty receives prestigious award for film documentary

Gregory Bray, a lecturer in the department of Communication and Media at the State University of New York at New Paltz, has won a prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award for his documentary film, “A Horse Connection.”

Bray produced, directed and wrote the 40-minute documentary which was shot over a two-year period and focuses on an organization dedicated to providing equine-assisted therapy for persons with special needs.

The CINE Golden Eagle awards, distinguishing excellence in professional, independent and student works, are recognized internationally as symbols of the highest production standards in film and television. Since its founding in 1957, CINE has been dedicated to discovering, rewarding, educating and supporting established and emerging talent in film and video (

In the fall 2008 competition, more than 300 judges viewed and evaluated hundreds of distinguished entries. Experienced professionals in the field of film and video production, as well as subject matter experts, judged the entries using standards of overall excellence, evaluating such criteria as storytelling, production value, artistry, the extent to which the film met its stated goals and communicated with its intended audience, and overall excellence.

Among the talents whose first major awards include the CINE Golden Eagle are Stephen Spielberg and Ron Howard, and such great documentarians as Ken Burns, Charles Guggenheim, Stanley Nelson, Albert Maysles and Frederick Wiseman.

Bray said that the emphasis of the documentary is the impact equine-assisted therapy can have in the lives of people with special needs.

“It’s an honor to be recognized, of course,” said Bray, “but the more important goal is to make sure dialogue about this unique and important form of therapy continues so that it can be recognized by insurance companies and health care providers.”

Bray is the area coordinator for electronic media at New Paltz, and has taught every course in the production sequence, as well as electronic media writing and milestones in documentary. He has produced work nationally for Current TV, and locally on WAMC (National Public Radio Affiliate), and has original work floating in international film festivals.

Bray also has freelanced for MTV, Bravo, The Learning Channel, The History Channel and for Independent film studios in the United States and Canada. He previously worked for WPDH/WCZX/WEOK Broadcasting in Poughkeepsie. He has a variety of work published online, and has presented at the Broadcast Education Association and at the Comic Arts Conference: Comic-Con San Diego.

“A Horse Connection” is also eligible for The Special Jury Award (a Best-in-Show award) and The CINE Master Series Competitive Award.