MontanaPBS and Montana State University faculty, staff and alumni won Emmys for local productions at the 53rd Annual Northwest Regional Emmy Awards held recently in Seattle.
Winning entries included a documentary about a local ultra-runner, an MSU institutional commercial featuring graduates who worked on the documentary “Unbranded,” and an episode of the popular MontanaPBS series, “11th and Grant with Eric Funk,” featuring violinist Angella Ahn.
The Northwest Emmy Awards are a division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Entries in the contest came from the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Montana.
An MSU institutional commercial that highlighted the work of the MSU film graduates, faculty and staff who made the popular mustang documentary “Unbranded,” won the Emmy for single spot commercial. Julie Kipfer, MSU director of marketing, who also won an Emmy as the executive producer, said she believes it is the first time that an MSU institutional product has received an Emmy.
“This award shows that Montana State University has what it takes to compete at the highest level in the Northwest region,” Kipfer said.
The MSU advertisement featured the work of MSU film graduates and faculty that formed the production crew of “Unbranded,” an award-winning, feature-length documentary about the epic journey of four young cowboys who in five months ride 3,000 miles along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains from the Mexican border to the Canadian border using a string of 16 rescued wild mustangs.
In addition to Kipfer, those cited on the award were: Dennis Aig, director of MSU’s School of Film and Photography, who was producer, director and writer; Scott Chestnut, director, cinematographer and editor; Andy Hahn, special effects; and Phillip Baribeau, cinematographer and talent.
“Finding Traction,” a MontanaPBS documentary about Nikki Kimball, a Bozeman ultra-runner who attempted to become the fastest runner in the 273-mile Long Trail through Vermont’s Green Mountains, won an Emmy in the topical documentary category. Persons cited included: Jaime Jacobsen, director; Aaron Pruitt, executive producer; Charles Dye, director; Rick Smith, director of photography and Daniel Schmidt, director of photography.
“11th and Grant with Eric Funk,” the popular MontanaPBS show curated by Funk, who teaches in the MSU School of Music, won its eighth and ninth regional Emmy for a show featuring Ahn, a world-class violinist who teaches at the MSU School of Music and makes her home in Bozeman.
The show won an Emmy for best audio. Jeremiah Slovarp, who is an MSU graduate and also teaches in the MSU School of Music, was cited. The episode also won for best arts/entertainment program in the Northwest. It is the fourth year running that the show has received the top award in that category. In addition to Funk, who is artistic director, those cited include: Scott Sterling of MontanaPBS, director; Pruitt, executive director; Paul Gomez Routhier, producer and Slovarp, audio director.
“The content being produced by Montana State University is encouraging and these awards are a wonderful example of how strong the film and television industry is in the state of Montana,” Slovarp said.
Other Montana winners included “On the Mountain,” a production of KXLF in Butte about the Our Lady of the Rockies statue outside the city. The show won two Emmys. Shawn Newton and Carley Rainey won in the director post-production category. The show also won in the historical documentary category. Newton (writer, producer and editor) and Rainey were cited as well as producer Andrew Preston, executive producer James Sally and Matthew Wheat, director of photography. All of the KXLF staff who won Emmys are also MSU graduates.
“We had at least three generations of MSU faculty and alumni winning Emmys this year,” Aig said. “It is a great testimonial to the quality of professional film and television training MSU offers.
Jeremiah Slovarp (406) 994-5028, email@example.com