Ben Saboonchian, a documentary writer-director for KIRO Television, CBS News/Seattle, has written, produced, directed and edited hour-long prime-time documentaries for 28 years.
His work has received numerous awards. “When the Salmon Runs Dry” was given the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1993. In 2002, Saboonchian was the recipient of the coveted Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton for his documentary, “Why the Orcas of Puget Sound are Dying.” In 2003, Saboonchianâ€TMs “War of the Woods” received First Place from the National Headliner Awards; Saboonchian received another National Headliner Award (Third Place) in 2005 for, “The Troubled Waters of Puget Sound.” And in 2004, “The Epic Journey,” an examination of the Lewis & Clark expedition in the Northwest, received the regional Edward R. Murrow Award for documentary. For his body of work, 44 documentaries in all, Saboonchian has won a total of 67 awards, including 9 national awards, 16 regional Emmys, 5 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and 25 other first place awards in regional competitions.
Some of his work has been showcased in film festivals and workshops around the country, including the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival in Leavenworth, Washington; the Siskiyou Environmental Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Workshop on Race and Journalism in New York City. In addition to his documentary work, Saboonchian has been teaching a class in Documentary Production at the University of Washington Extension for 15 years.