M.F.A. Graduate Contributes to CUNY TV Emmy Win

Brooklyn, N.Y.—Kalin Ivanov, who earned an M.F.A. in television production in 2000, was “ecstatic” earlier this year when he and his colleagues on the production staff at CUNY TV won three local Emmys.

Several of Ivanov’s co-workers attended the 55th Annual New York Emmy Awards, but he couldn’t make it. “I was at a wedding,” the Bulgarian native recalls, “but I was on my cell phone talking to them the whole time.”

“I’ve been nominated four times before,” explains Ivanov, who has worked as a senior videographer for the university’s cable television station for the last dozen years. Seven years ago, he was promoted to producer as well.

Since 1999, when CUNY TV began entering the local Emmy competition, the station has earned 36 nominations and won a total of nine Emmy Awards, including this year’s eight nominations and three wins.

One of this year’s award winners was “Auralis,” a profile of a Puerto Rican fashion designer who creates eco-friendly clothing and was making her New York Fashion Week debut. The program won the local Emmy for Best Program on the Environment. It was co-produced by Ivanov.

Another of the award-winning shows was an episode from the CUNY TV series Nueva York, a show about Latino culture in New York. It featured five segments, including “Auralis,” and won the local Emmy for Best Magazine Program.

The third award went to “That’s Me. That’s CUNY,” which won in the Community/Public Service category.

In 1989, after serving in the Bulgarian army, Ivanov returned to civilian life and began studying for a career in physics. But he soon realized that his true love was cinematography. So he switched majors, graduating from Bulgaria’s Film Academy in Sofia with a master’s degree in 1996.

He went to work for a popular TV show called Coo-Coo/Kanaleto. “It was a blend of Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” he says.

But after a while, Ivanov grew dissatisfied with the former communist country’s efforts at democratization. In September 1998, he relocated to New York and enrolled in the M.F.A. program at Brooklyn College, concentrating in television production.

“I had been to America once before that,” he says, when he was working on a program about the growing popularity of soccer in the United States. “I worked in Los Angeles and New York, but I fell in love with New York. It has real energy.”

Ivanov now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Ana, and is happy with the way his life has turned out. In his spare time, he produces videos for YouTube, and on the professional front, he is wrapping up another project for CUNY TV that may very well earn another statuette for the station — a program about Irish writers in New York.