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Lights, Camera, Education

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MAPS program wins more awards for student films

From Ravalli Republic | June 10th, 2015 • By Michelle McConnaha


All the long and challenging hours of production on “Darby Rodeo” and “Logger Days” have been rewarded as the Montana MAPS Program has been nominated for a regional award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter. The Montana Film Office is proud of the Big Sky Film Grant supported projects and their partnership with MAPS.

The awards keep pouring in for the MAPS Media Institute of Hamilton. They received two 2015 Northwest Regional High School Student Awards for Excellence from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Seattle last weekend.

In the Arts and Entertainment category MAPS won for both student productions – “Darby Rodeo” and “Logger Days.”

“Last week we won western Montana – this is the entire Northwest – Seattle and Portland and other big cities,” said Peter Rosten, MAPS Founder/CEO. “This is our first win where we get a statue. We’ve received nominations before, but this is the first time they said we are the best. It speaks highly of our community, parents, and the level of maturity of our kids, age 12-17, who are intelligent and have a sense of hard work, commitment and creativity.

“Wyatt Campbell, cinematographer, and Caleb Hallahan, director/editor/cinematographer, have been with us three to four years. They can take a blank slate and paint a really nice picture – people recognize that.”

“The MAPS program with Peter Rosten is excellent,” said NATASNW executive director Diane Bevins from Seattle on Wednesday. “I marvel at what he has done to help students over the years to just grow – it is incredible and there should be more of him around. I work with a lot of people in the television and film industry and some people just have the heart for students.”

Bevins explained that the High School Student Awards for Excellence are scored by five panelists for content, creativity and execution. Those are tabulated and the highest score in the high school division sets the bench mark and other productions are ranked from there.

“Darby Rodeo” and “Logger Days” essentially tied.

“In the Arts & Entertainment category, there were seven entries and only three nominations had a score high enough to reach that level,” Bevins said. “Eighty-five percent and above receive an award. So there can be multiple winners in a category or possibly even none. I work with the national office and design the call to entries, work with entrants and put on the awards banquet which we held here in Seattle, June 6. Peter didn’t attend this year but he said that if they win next year he will come.”

The list of all award winning high school entries are on the on the NATASNW website.

“People use the list as a learning experience for their students,” said Bevins. “They show them what did win an award and the high standards we have.”

Cal Ruark, coordinator of the Darby Elite Bull Connection, said the MAPS production of “Darby Rodeo” was excellent.

“Last year when they filmed the show for bull riding, I was around them a lot and it was new to them and they were talking to everyone – you could see their awe and enthusiasm,” said Ruark. “I wondered how it would all turn out. When I saw the video I was really, really pleased at how they came up with the final product. It was exceptional. I have only heard great things. They’ve done a great thing for our event and for the community and for their own payback, which they are getting now with this award.”

Rosten said he finds the client and the funding and turns the reigns of production over to students and MAPS filmmaking instructor Christian Ackerman.

“We all sit down and discuss the project – then I bow out,” said Rosten. “The kids shoot it and edit it with Christian’s supervision. They send me the cut and I make a few little suggestions – like ‘let it be a period instead of a comma’ – and we ship it to the client for their approval.

“I’m proud of my group. We provide this world and then they rock it year after year – it’s quite extraordinary.”

For more information about MAPS visit and to see the list of winners in the 2015 Northwest Regional High School Student Awards for Excellence from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences visit