The 2011-12 academic year marked the tenth anniversary of the beginning of classes in the program. Here are some memorable moments from a landmark year.
The anniversary year began with a celebratory reception at the 34th International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF) n Missoula. Pictured here are SNHF students Deia Schlosberg (Cohort 9) and Alain Douchinsky (Cohort 10) enjoying the music, conversations, and general good time.
Named after the program's founder, the first Ronald B. Tobias Award for Achievement in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Education was presented to Professor Tobias, the program's first Director. Current SNHF Program Head Dennis Aig (right) presents the award to Professor Tobias (left).
Among the award winners at IWFF were SNHF alumni John Shier (MFA 2005, left) and Jeremy Roberts (MFA 2009, right). John and fellow SNHF alumnus Henry Harrison (MFA 2011) won for Best Web-Based Program for PolarbearsInternational.org and Jeremy won a Merit Award for Best Made in Montana film for Crossroads.
Assistant Teaching Professor and acclaimed filmmaker Gianna Savoie was nominated for a national Emmy in documentary programming for her production Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom, which was part of the PBS Nature series. Although her film lost out to a BBC production by Sir David Attenborough, her achievement brought honors to the SNHF program. Read more here
In October 2011, 32 SNHF faculty, students, and alumni attended the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
A winter trip to Yellowstone has become part of Gianna Savoie's Natural History Production class. In 2012, her class made a memorable trip. They also had amazing luck: they came upon a wolf pack and produced several outstanding short films. (From left to right: Cohort 11 members Roshan Patel, Ingrid Pfau, Zuzana Gedeon)
The program sponsored an anniversary reception at the much-praised Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Associate Professor Cindy Stillwell and several SNHF students hosted the event. They also celebrated the premiere of Cindy's film, Mating for Life.
SNHF student Seth Ring (Cohort 7) received The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship. The award includes a $10,000 scholarship and the opportunity to be mentored by children's programming professionals. Read more about Seth and the award.
Hands-on production experience is a major principle of the SNHF and during the anniversary year, a record number of students held internships. Students worked with the Past Foundation, John Heminway's Bones of Turkana production, several departments of National Geographic, and Peter Gabriel's WITNESS human rights advocacy group.
The School of Film and Photography and SNHF sponsored the premiere of Bozeman-based filmmaker John Heminway's latest National Geographic film Bones of Turkana at the Ellen Theatre before its national PBS broadcast. This beautiful film about Richard Leakey's work at Kenya's Lake Turkana attracted a packed house.
Through MSU's Strategic Investment Proposal Initiative, the funding model of the SNHF was changed to be in line with other graduate programs on campus. The result will mean teaching assistantships with in-state tuition and possible fee waivers, a fixed funding stream, and a much more stable fiscal future for the program.
The 10th anniversary year ended where it began at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula. This year's festival saw two awards go to films produced as part of the WITNESS internship and the Tobias Award presented to American University's Chris Palmer during the Tarkio Retreat. On to the next decade!