by Hans ten Cate
Friday, 10 May 1996

Alright, being nominated or actually winning an award is quite an honor. No argument there. But how about actually having an award named after you? Wow! That's exactly what the International Association of Audio Visual Communicators (IAAVC) did to recognize the most humorous industrial film at this year's Cinema in Industry (CINDY) ceremonies. This particular group created a John Cleese Comedy Award to recognize humor as an effective tool in non-theatrical audiovisual production.

The award was so named in recognition of John Cleese's many accomplishments in industry training films, many of which he produced for a company he co-founded, Video Arts. John co-founded Video Arts, Ltd. with Sir Antony Jay in 1972 and later sold the firm for a monstrous profit in 1989. John Cleese still continues to be the spokesperson for Video Arts, however.

"Cleese" nominees are selected from entries submitted by the CINDY Preliminary Judging Panels. Theses are in turn screened by a Blue Ribbon Panel, which chooses the finalist. This year's winner was Healthlink Communications, a Canadian company from Toronto who submitted a humorous health-education film entitled "This is a Video About... Herpes!!" The runner-up for the "Cleese" award was the Bureau of Business Practices, for their film: "Customer Service Central: The Essentials of Great Service." Because of the Bureau's association with Viacom (which also owns the Comedy Central cable channel), they were able to recruit a Comedy Central comedian to teach people about customer service in the film.

The CINDY (Cinema in Industry) awards began in the United States in 1959 as an industrial film competition. The most recent CINDY awards ceremonies were held in San Diego, California this year, February 23 through March 3. Visit the CINDY Awards web page for more information. Set your browsers to The Cindys Homepage.