Downtown Loft Studio (DTLS) Director Jason Letkiewicz has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Institutional, in recognition of his one minute spot, “I’m Positive,” part of an AIDS prevention campaign sponsored by MTV.
“We are so proud of him,” said Bruce Presley, president of DTLS. “To be nominated for an Emmy at such a young age is proof of the success that lies ahead for him.”
According to Presley, the mission of DTLS is to publicize the work of non-profits, mostly gay organizations, and to further the careers of recent film school graduates such as Lefkowicz.
"My work at MTV is a direct result of Bruce’s faith and support,” said Letkiewicz. He has been an active supporter and all that you could ask for in a boss, friend, and mentor. Without his help and guidance, this nomination simply would not have been possible."
Presley met Letkiewicz shortly after launching DTLS and commencing work on AMANCIO: Two Faces on a Tombstone, a documentary about the brutal murder of a young gay Mexican/American in Yuma Arizona.
Presley was collaborating with the late gay documentarian Tom Murray, (“Fish Don’t Fly,” “Tell,” and more) and they agreed that the project needed additional help to meet its deadline.
“We needed an assistant editor,” Presley said. “So I called Ringling College and asked the head of their film department to send me the best student he had. He sent Jason and we hired him on the spot. When Tom passed away, Jason completed the film which has won several prizes.”
Letkiewicz was born and raised in Metropolitan Detroit and graduated from Marysville High School in 2002. He joined the pop punk band Every Avenue as a guitarist and song writer but in 2006 chose a film scholarship to Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota over a recording contract with Fearless Records.
Letkiewicz joined DTLS in 2009 while he was still attending Ringling. After graduation, he opened the New York branch of DTLS in 2011 and has since been engaged in a number of projects for DTLS as well as other studios.
“This MTV spot served two purposes,” Letkiewicz said. “By being a call to action for young people to take responsibility for their sexual health and to promote an hour long documentary about young people living with HIV. It played during prime time as well as on the giant screens in Times Square.”
“The goal was to rethink what an AIDS public service announcement could be for a new generation and to offer an alternative to stigmatizing people who are positive,” Letkiewicz continued. “Instead of using scare tactics we shed light on all of the positive benefits that come from knowing your status and caring about yourself and others enough to do your part in ending AIDS forever.”
Other nominees in this year’s line up include “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nickelodeon.”
The awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and will be broadcast live on June 16 on HLN (www.hlntv.com). The spot can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/54246062