‘Next Level’: 7 Montana Student Films Win Regional Awards

Seven films produced by Montana students received regional awards at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences annual ceremony last week.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a nonprofit organization that recognizes outstanding achievement, and the regional Northwest Chapter has a category for emerging filmmakers. MAPS Media Institute, a Montana nonprofit that provides free professional media arts instruction to students, submitted eight student films, seven of which won awards.  

“Having seven wins is next level,” said Clare Ann Harff, MAPS executive director, adding that this marks the eighth year that MAPS student films have won regional awards. “These awards not only celebrate students’ dedication and skill, but they also garner a wider audience and spotlight the students who will become the backbone of Montana’s growing film and media industries.”

Student films that received awards include:

  • Filmed by Harlem High School students, “Waking the Generations” explores details of their ancestral past to help others understand the importance cultural preservation.
  • In collaboration with the Fort Peck Community College, students at Brockton, Frazer, Poplar and Wolf Point schools produced three short films and one music video that explore different aspects of identity.
  • No Ordinary Time” was produced by Helena high school students. This film explores parallels among the 1918 Spanish Flu and COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In partnership with the Buffalo Unity Project, Poplar Middle School students produced “Peaceful as a Buffalo,” which explores the importance of bison to the Assiniboine and Sioux people.

Craig Falcon, who is Blackfeet and Aaniiih and MAPS Media Lab director, said voices featured in the films “communicate an understanding of the change they want to see in their communities.”

“Their stories serve as gateways into the past and present – cultural education and modern filmmaking coming together to promote change,” he said.

Read this article on the Missoulian Website