GV faculty receive nominations for Michigan Emmy Awards

GVL / Eric Coulter
Film and Video Professor John Shmittes documentary is up for an emmy

Eric Coulter

GVL / Eric Coulter Film and Video Professor John Shmitte’s documentary is up for an emmy

Anya Zentmeyer

Grand Valley State University professors John Schmit and Brian J. Bowe have both been nominated for Michigan Emmy Awards, which will take place on May 14 in Detroit.

The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has nominated Schmit, associate professor of film and video, for an Emmy for Best Topical Documentary for “Lake Invaders,” which explores the effects of invasive species in Lake Huron.

Though Schmit directed the film, he said students in his Nature Documentary Production course shot the bulk of the footage used during trips out on research boats with scientists in spring 2008.

Schmit said the students received news of the nomination with enthusiasm. Most of the students are graduates who, Schmit said, lost work in Jan. when Gov. Snyder announced the dramatic reduction of film incentives in the state.

“So this was a bit of good news for them in a way – even though it’s not work,” Schmit said. “It’s something at least lift their spirits.”

With much of his past documentary work linked to environmental topics, Schmit had a conversation with a friend who manages the Alpena Fisheries Research Station that revealed the collapse of the salmon fishery due to invasive speeches. Quickly gaining interest in the topic, Schmit decided to tackle the project.

He said he wanted people to understand both the ecological impact and the impact on people’s lives that invasive species can have.

“The learning curve on this is pretty long – sometimes it takes up to ten years to discover that something new has gotten it’s way into the great lakes,” Schmit said. “So just to understand the potential for this problem, this dynamic – I hope people get that much out of it.” Schmit said that looking back, he is most proud of the positive feedback from the public and the regional PBS airtime “Lake Invaders” has received.

“It’s very gratifying,” Schmit said. “It’s a long process – I started this project in 2007 so you kind of hope that at the end of it you’ll have something that people want to see and then getting the recognition beyond that is even better. “ To learn more about “Lake Invaders,” visit www.lakeinvaders.com.

Bowe, visiting assistant professor of communications has also been nominated for a an Emmy in the Documentary-Historical category for his work co-producing “The Death of an Imam” alongside Michigan State University’s Geri Alumit Zeldes and Salah D. Hassan. Bowe also composed the films soundtrack, and the film has recently received the Broadcast Education Association’s Best of Festival King Family Foundation Award.

The film, which can be viewed in it’s entirety online at http://www.beafestival.org/video/The_Death_of_an_Imam, examines the news reporting associated with the 2009 shooting of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in a Dearborn warehouse.

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