MAPS Media Institute Student Films Nominated for National Award

On October 17, 2022, The National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced the National High School Student Production Awards nominees. Five student films from the Montana educational nonprofit, MAPS Media Institute made the list. 

NATAS is the organization behind the Emmy Awards. It was founded in 1947 to recognize outstanding achievements, raise industry standards, and improve the quality of television and advanced media. 

 “The EMMY® Awards are the “gold standard” in the television broadcast industry – recognizing the very best of the best. Similarly, our National Student Production Awards recognize the very best from our industry’s next generation of media creators and leaders.,” said Terry O’Reilly, Chairman, NATAS. “The work they’re doing today promises an amazing future ahead – for them, and for the entire television community.” 

 “The work created by our nominees is exemplary,” said Danielle Mannion, Education Chair, NATAS. “Each year the students and their teachers raise the bar of excellence higher. The future of the industry looks bright with these talented individuals leading the way!” This year’s submissions were successfully culled from over 2000 entries from the regional chapters of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Entries were judged by selected industry professionals and media academics. 

The five MAPS student films nominated for the National High School Student Production Award represent student voices of students from the following communities:

  • Waking the Generations (Fort Belknap, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction
  • Peaceful as the Buffalo (Poplar, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction
  • No Ordinary Time (Helena, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction
  • I Am (Frazer, MT), Short Form Non-Fiction
  • I Am a Warrior (Brockton, MT), Short Form Non-Fiction 

In the nominated film, Waking the Generations, students from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation shine a light on the painful and hidden details of their ancestral past to help others understand why their heritage should never be allowed to fade away. This socially relevant film connects how cultural identification today honors the past and can save and preserve an entire way of life for future generations. After wrapping this film, several student filmmakers continue to work with MAPS on new film projects. 

MAPS and students participating in the Helena College Summer Bridge Program collaborated on nominated, No Ordinary Time. This short-form documentary explores the parallels between the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and the COVID Pandemic. 

In the 2020 – 2021 school year, the Fort Peck Community College CHANTÉ Project invited MAPS to partner with them to bring professional media arts programming into Brockton, Frazer, Poplar, and Wolf Point schools on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. This collaboration led to an online film course that met weekly and culminated in a two-week in-person intensive film workshop. The result of this workshop is two nominees, I Am (Frazer, MT) and I Am a Warrior (Brockton, MT). 

Through the lens of the MAPS Media Lab, the Statewide Educational Outreach Program of MAPS Media Institute, Program Director Craig Falcon noted, “Seeing native youth expressing their vision and story through media arts makes my heart sing,” regarding the Fort Belknap, Poplar, and CHANTÉ Project films. 

The final nominated film, Peaceful as the Buffalo, marks MAPS second collaboration with The Buffalo Unity Project, a program created by Poplar Middle School on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. In this film, students and community leaders share their perspectives on the importance of the buffalo for the Assiniboine & Sioux people. This project aims to help students learn that communities thrive when united in a common purpose. 

 “These nominations are testaments to the creativity, courage, and determination of Montana’s students. They are also evidence of the amazing things that can come from nonprofits, schools, state/federal agencies, and private businesses working together to provide opportunities that make achievements like these possible,” said Clare Ann Harff, MAPS Executive Director. 

The nominated films were made possible with generous support from Brockton High School, Fort Peck Community College CHANTÉ Project, Frazer High School, Greater Montana Foundation, Helena College, Island Mountain Development Group, National Endowment for the Humanities, Poplar Middle School, and MAPS. 

Recipients will be announced at the web stream NATAS Award Ceremony on November 17, 2022. The ceremony will be available on NATAS’ dedicated viewing platform powered by Vimeo, available on the web at and via The Emmys® apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, Roku, and Samsung TV. MAPS will also post a link on its website’s homepage.

For more information about MAPS, and to watch any of the award-winning and nominated films, please visit:


  • I Am (Frazer, MT), Short Form Non-Fiction
  • I Am a Warrior (Brockton, MT), Short Form Non-Fiction
  • No Ordinary Time (Helena, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction
  • Peaceful As a Buffalo (Poplar, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction
  • Waking the Generations (Harlem, MT), Long Form Non-Fiction

Read this article on the Char-Koosta News website