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Copper Country filmmaker on Hancock guardsmen receives nomination for Emmy Award

August 24, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - "Where Soldiers Come From," the documentary film about young National Guard members from Hancock - directed and produced by Houghton native Heather Courtney - has been nominated for a 2012 News and Documentary Emmy.

Winners will be announced Oct. 1 at an awards ceremony in New York City. "Where Soldiers Come From" was shown on PBS as part of the "POV" series.

Funds are being raised to help get the young men in the film - Dominic Fredianelli, Cole Smith and Matt "Bodi" Beaudoin - to the Emmys. A drive to help pay for their entry tickets, air travel from Michigan to New York, and accommodations in the city is being conducted online at

Article Photos

Director Heather Courtney films in the Copper Country as part of the documentary, “Where Soldiers Come From,” following three young Upper Peninsula National Guard members from home to Afghanistan and back. (Justin Hennard photo)

Courtney, a 1985 graduate of Houghton High School, followed the three young men through training as members of the 1431st Company of the 107th Engineering Battalion of Michigan Army National Guard to deployment in Afghanistan, as well as during their return to their hometown after their service.

"I wanted to make a film about rural America," Courtney told The Mining Journal in 2011. "Rural America is not represented very accurately in mainstream media. So I went back to my hometown to tell a story about rural America. I was researching ideas when I found these young National Guardsmen and started to go to their monthly trainings. That's where I met Dom and his friends, just after they graduated from high school. They were 19 years old."

The 33rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City. The event will be attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists.

"Where Soldiers Come From" is nominated in the Outstanding Continuing Coverage Of A News StoryLong Form category.

An encore presentation of the film on "POV" is set for 10 p.m. Sept. 7 on WNMU-TV 13, the local PBS affiliate.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.



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