WASHINGTON, D.C. — Voice of America’s OnTen, a satirical weekly television program that covers and often pokes fun at Iranian officialdom, has been honored with a 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Award.
The Golden Eagle Awards are selected twice a year by juries of leading professionals in the film and television industry.
OnTen was awarded “Special Recognition for a Televised Series” and is now eligible for a CINE Special Jury Award, which goes to the best in each category from the spring and fall competitions.
“It’s pretty nice for Farsi-speaking media to get international attention,” says Executive Producer Saman Arbabi, who appears in the show and leads the New York-based production team. “It motivates and inspires us to work even harder and keep reinventing the show,” Arbabi says.
The show title, a play on words, means “antenna” in Farsi. OnTen is also a slang term for “spy” in Farsi, which is how the Iranian government labels most foreign media.
The show is hosted by Arash Sobhani and includes a mixture of political satire, original reporting and cutting-edge production techniques, offering Iranian viewers a perspective they can’t get anywhere else.
On the day of the June 14th presidential election in Iran, the show aired a special message from Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2 and co-founder of the advocacy group ONE. The videotaped message, recorded exclusively for OnTen, expressed solidarity with young people in Iran and included a performance of the protest song Sunday Bloody Sunday.
OnTen follows in the steps of the earlier hit VOA show Parazit.
Despite Iranian efforts to jam VOA programs on satellite, OnTen has attracted a growing audience. OnTen is optimized for easy download in more than 35 file sizes and is available on the VOA Persian website as well as YouTube and Facebook.