Congrats to…

The fledgling filmmakers from Helena and Harlem who received regional Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). During an online ceremony live-streamed from NATAS NW headquarters in Seattle on Saturday, June 6, officials announced that both “Looking Forward From Yesterday” (Short Form Non-Fiction) and “EAST” (Short Form Fiction) had taken top honors in their respective categories. They now advance to the national competition, where they will vie for the country’s top prize for student production work against high schools from predominantly larger markets. The films were created by students of the Montana-based MAPS Media Institute, and follow last year’s win of three regional production awards, and one highly coveted national award, from NATAS. Both films in the NATAS NW competition originated in MAPS Media Lab workshops. “EAST” was the result of a collaboration between MAPS and the Myrna Loy Center in Helena, where area students got a crash course in filmmaking from MAPS instructors in the spring of 2019. The film follows a day in the life of three East Helena teenagers, and touches on themes of a sense of places, enduring adversity, and the bonds of friendship. “Looking Forward From Yesterday” was the third MAPS project undertaken by the students from north-central Montana, who formed their own production company, Milk River Productions. Harlem High School is located just across the Milk River from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, which belongs to the people of the A’aninin (Gros Ventre) and Nakoda (Assiniboine) tribes. “Looking Forward From Yesterday” chronicles the challenges facing the tribes as they work to preserve and even resurrect their culture in contemporary times. It’s a powerful and intimate story about a way of life that many feared was lost completely. “Our tribes are doing some incredible work, and to have our own kids be able to document that work means more than you can imagine,” says Craig Todd, the production company’s Harlem High School advisor. Both films now move on to the national NATAS competition, winners of which will be announced in the fall.

Montana Arts Council, State of the Arts Newsletter, Summer 2020

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