Samuel de Champlain documentary earns national recognition

The advantage of an animated documentary could also be felt in that station's pockets, said Powers.

"If we were to have done this as a live action production, we would be talking many millions of dollars," he said. "We produced this film for less than a half-million dollars and in under a year."

NETA commended Mountain Lake PBS for combining its documentary with a bilingual companion Web site, www.champlaininamerica.org, which contains lesson plans which meet New York State and National Learning Standards to assist teachers in using "Dead Reckoning: Champlain in America" in the classroom.

"From the very beginning, we recognized we were going to be able to do much, much more and go into much greater depth on the Web site than we were ever going to be able to do in an hour," said Powers.

Combining the documentary with the Web site and a writing contest for students during the Quadricentennial has helped paint an overall picture of how Champlain has had a lasting impact on the region, said Powers.

"Champlain's story is one we can't celebrate enough," said Powers. "It needs to constantly be trumpeted."

(Editor's Note: "Dead Reckoning: Champlain in America" is available for $19.95 through Mountain Lake PBS by visiting www.mountainlake.org or www.champlaininamerica.org.)

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