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Filmmaker wins national award

Dec. 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Tom Ludwig, an instructor of English at Western Michigan University, won a 2009 Voice Awards Honorable Mention for a 100-minute documentary video he and local filmmaker Matt Clysdale directed.

The documentary, "A Long Strange Trip," looks into the lives of members of the Peers for Wellness and Recovery, a group of Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services consumers who go into the community to talk about their experiences living with mental illness.

Ludwig teaches digital video and film production for the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency's Education for the Arts program, and that program's students provided production assistance for the documentary.

The Voice Awards are presented by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in part to honor those who incorporate dignified, respectful and accurate portrayals of individuals with mental health problems into film and television productions. This year's award winners were recognized at an awards ceremony in October at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

Ludwig joined WMU's English faculty as an instructor in 1998 and teaches film interpretation classes. He also has taught at Bowling Green State University, Oakland Community College, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the Detroit Filmmakers Coalition.

A Kalamazoo resident, Ludwig has been making films since 1970 and is well known in local arts circles. Most of his work is in 16mm experimental film, but he has produced three documentaries and begun building a body of work in digital composite video. In addition, he has worked on several feature films, including serving as a screenwriter for 2002's "The City of Angels," and does commercial, promotional and educational film and video work.

Ludwig earned a bachelor's degree in film production from Ohio University and a master's degree in the same field from Southern Illinois University.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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