Shawn Vela Wins Emmy® For Short Film Documentary “Alive: Taking A Stand For Christ”

“Alive: Taking A Stand For Christ” tells the story of Courtnee Newsome, a high school student who suffered from scoliosis her entire life. She loves dancing, but scoliosis prevented her from immersing herself in dance. Despite the physical and emotional pain of watching her dreams diminish, she looks to rediscover Joy in Christ.

Emmy® Award Winning Short Film

Shawn Vela and Jeff Ottum received Emmy® Awards during the 40th Annual Suncoast Regional Emmy® Award Cermony that was held on December 3, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The Suncoast Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a regional chapter of the Emmy® Awards that recognizes productions in television markets in the entire State of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.

An Emmy® Award winning Cinematographer, Director, and Editor; Shawn Vela is the Founder of Vela Visuals, a video production company based in Orlando, FL that serves companies and organizations world wide. Shawn has filmed on 4 Super Bowl Commercial Sets and filmed commercial projects featuring Nick Anderson, Ricardo Kaka, Alessandro Nesta, and Hillsong.  Additionally, Shawn Vela, along with his wife Nory Vela, are Co-Founders of Vela Visuals Wedding Films , specializing in creating cinematic wedding videos.

Shawn holds a BSBA in Marketing from the Lebow College of Business at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA; an AS in International Business, and an AA in Communications from Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.

Follow Vela Visuals on Facebook and Instagram

“As documentary filmmakers we are trusted with vulnerable and triumphant moments. What we do with those moments is what defines the story and inspires the viewer.” Shawn Vela, Emmy® Award Winning Director | Cinematographer | Editor



The film was produced with the help of First Baptist Orlando’s Student Ministry. First Baptist Orlando is a 14000 member congregation. The church’s 130 acre campus is located at 3000 South John Young Parkway Orlando, FL 32805. The church meets for worship services Saturday at 5:30pm and Sunday at 8:30am, 10:00am, and 11:30am.

Others who contributed to the project include: Christopher Bacon, Brandon Farris (YB Official), Amy Newsome, Vasile Petrutiu, Vladimr Bykov, Central Florida Ballet Inc, and The Lens Pal.


“Alive: Taking A Stand For Christ” is one of a three part video series showcased at Camp Orlando 2016, hosted by First Baptist Orlando on the campus of Southeastern University. Watch the other two short films in the Alive series below.

Alive: Walking In Christ

Drew, a high school student from Wisconsin, searches to find purpose for his life after moving to Orlando. The challenges of living in a new environment make him question the plan God has for his life.

Alive: Awake In Christ

Will, a middle school student, tried to do many things in his own strength. Throughout his life he enjoyed extracurricular activities and it was there he found a sense of purpose.

Interested in working together?

Fill out the form below or send an email directly to


Video production projects include, but are not limited to: brand videos, testimonials/success stories, commercials, training videos, and long-term time lapses. Check out a few samples from our portfolio below.

Share this Post