November 1, 2001

Member News, November 2001

Charles Fletcher Lummis: Lion of the Southwest, a script for a feature-length documentary by Bert Atkinson, was recently selected as one of the three finalists in the Screenwriting Competition at the Silver Lake Film Festival. The script was written with a grant from the California Council for the Humanities and traces the story of Charles Lummis, the West’s first multiculturalist and a seminal figure in the development of the Southwest. Bert is currently raising production funding for the project.

Christopher Carson, producer of The Living Century, reports that the film recently won the following awards: The AFFMA International Film Festival New Vision Award; The Aurora Awards - Platinum - Best in Show; Temecula Valley International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary; and the Palm Springs International Film Festival Audience Favorite Award.

Doug Hawes-Davis feature documentary, Varmints, had its broadcast premiere in October on Free Speech TV. The 90 minute film, dubbed the “Schindler's List of wildlife documentaries” by The Coloradoan, offers a cohesive history of prairie dogs in the American West. It raises important questions about the ethics of hunting for sport and our relentless efforts to control the natural world. The film was directed by Hawes-Davis and produced by High Plains Films. High Plains is also proud to announce the release of El Caballo: The Wild Horses Of North America, which documents the evolution, history and current management of wild horses in North America. The film is by Drury Gunn Carr and Doug Hawes-Davis.

Six films by Paul Espinosa were broadcast on KPBS in October in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The films provide an insightful and far-ranging view of culture and history in the border region. Films broadcast are as follows: Ballad of An Unsung Hero; Uneasy Neighbors; In The Shadow of the Law; The Lemon Grove Incident; The Border; and …and the earth did not swallow him.

David M. Frank executive-produced America’s Best Haunted Places, which premiered on The Travel Channel in October. The one hour special traveled around the United States in search of the most haunted buildings, houses and public places in five cities: Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco.

Executive Producer Mark Mori won a News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story - Programs for Kent State, The Day the War Came Home.

Jensen Rufe completed Orick, CA, U.S.A., which he co-directed. The controversial film focuses on a small Northern California town’s struggle to survive against what they feel to be an overly aggressive and “intrusive” National Park Service. Rufe resigned in July as the Humboldt County Film Commissioner in order to pursue his career in documentary filmmaking.