Owner of the Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum has won a silver and a bronze Telly Award

Published on Thursday, 18 July 2019 17:18


BRISTOL – A documentary by Nutmeg TV about Cortlandt Hull, owner of the Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, has won a silver and a bronze Telly Award – an international award which receives 12,000 entries annually.

Joanie Sutter, executive director of Nutmeg Public Access Television, Inc., said that the Telly Awards are a “very prestigious” award that honors video and television. Entries include editorial interviews with the BBC and National Geographic, panels and discussions featuring from PBS, Vimeo, Univision, Dow Jones, Lockheed Martin and other top level corporations. The documentary, “Up Close & Personal with Cortlandt Hull”, won a Silver Telly for Documentary and a Bronze Telly for Biography.

“The Tellys honor the best of the best in TV production,” said Sutter. “The Silver Telly is very difficult to win and we are very proud to have won. This makes for the fourth and fifth Telly that Nutmeg TV has won over its 29 year history but the first time we’ve won a silver award. To go up against PBS and win – I believe it was because of some of the rare items and props that Cortlandt has collected over the years and his way of describing his life.”

Hull said he was “thrilled” to be part of the award-winning documentary.

“We did a lot of the shooting around the time of the Witch’s Dungeon’s 50th Anniversary in 2016,” he said. “Then they added some additional footage after. They included my appearance on ‘To Tell The Truth’ in 1976, which was the first network television show I was on. They did a wonderful job.”

Sutter said that the documentary tells the story of Hull, who spent most of his childhood ill but used art and imagination to work with Hollywood movie legends.

“This is a story about vision, talent and a proclivity for learning,” said Sutter. “But, more importantly, it’s a story about passion and the power that we all have, deep within us, to rise above affliction and condition and achieve our dreams. If you love the old Hollywood monsters, that the likes of Karloff and Price embodied, and if you love stories of hometown champions, this won’t disappoint.”

Hull has been commissioned by Universal Studios, the U.S. Postal Service and the Connecticut Dept. of Tourism and he continues to travel to major film conventions across the country. Hull’s museum, The Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, opens seasonally in Bristol each October at the Bristol Historical Society.

The documentary contains rare images – including childhood photos of Hull, the original version of Hull’s Zenobia witch mascot and interviews with Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price, and Sara Karloff, daughter of Boris Karloff. There is also an interview with two-time Emmy winner Bill Diamond, who helps Hull with lighting and set pieces to go with his life-size sculptures of famous horror and science-fiction figures.

The documentary also delves into Hull’s friendship with actor Mark Hamill, who was quoted as saying to Hull “Congratulations, I knew you were among the best of New England.”

Sutter said that it has been a “delight” to work with Hull for the last 25 years. She said that she is grateful to the Bristol Historical Society for allowing them to interview and film him there.

Sutter also thanked the “creative and talented staff who put the piece together.” She served as producer, host and assistant editor. Chris Bennett was director. Videographers included Eric DeMaio, Chris Farrell and Kyle Jones. Chris Farrell was also editor and Charlottee Neild did the celebrity interviews.

“In addition, Nutmeg TV would like to thank Sara Karloff, daughter of screen legend Boris Karloff, Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price and two time Emmy Award Winner, Bill Diamond for their candid interviews and access to rare and never before seen for TV family photos,” said Sutter.

The documentary has been uploaded by Nutmeg TV to YouTube and can be viewed at youtu.be/HZ0-R2pZQxE.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Thursday, 18 July 2019 17:18. Updated: Thursday, 18 July 2019 17:20.