Faculty's documentary wins its category at Iris Film Festival

Penn State Altoona communications faculty members Mary Lou and Doug Nemanic won first place in the feature-length documentary category during the Iris Film Festival held in Huntingdon, Pa., in September.

The film, "Cattlemen's Days: The Grandaddy of Colorado Rodeos," tells the 100-year history of Colorado's oldest continuous running rodeo. The story is told in a non-narrative format through black and white and color video, old and new photographs, documents, old publications, music, poetry and voices from oral histories and recorded conversations. The film features music arranged, performed and recorded by Dave Villani, instructor of communications and music at Penn State Altoona. Jerry Zolten, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, also plays guitar on two pieces.

Doug Nemanic served as producer and director of the film. He is a Guggenheim Filmmaking Fellow, a Columbia Dupont winner and national Emmy Award nominee. Mary Lou Nemanic was producer and historian. She holds a doctorate in American studies and has had her work published in books and shown on television. The Nemanics have been making documentaries together since the late 1970s.

Conceived by a group of Huntingdon area movie fans and filmmakers in 2004, the Iris Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating filmmaking in the Keystone State by showcasing only the work of Pennsylvania residents and students attending colleges and universities in the state. Find out more about the festival at www.irisfilmfestival.org online.

Story originally posted September 29, 2009