Montana filmmakers score big wins at regional Emmy awards

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 21:20:48-04

BOZEMAN – Two local filmmakers had quite the surprise when they went to the regional Emmy awards in Seattle earlier this month.

“What we do at Montana PBS is just really top flight,” Professor of Music and Composer Eric Funk said.

That point was surely proven when Director Scott Sterling and Funk’s documentary, "The Violin Alone", won six Emmy awards earlier this month. The film is based around Funk, who is a Montana State University music professor and classical composer and a Hungarian violinist.

“We ended up raising some money, flying to Budapest for two weeks, two and a half weeks shooting the whole thing. But it took almost five years almost to make this film,” Sterling said.

Funk composed this music for the violinist and has the ability to sound like other instruments in an orchestra.

“The driving force behind this film is art for the sake of art,” Sterling said.

“But it’s really interesting because it kind of shows a connection between a composer and a performer and all the things you go through. It’s kind of like an engineer and a builder, you know, trying to create something that no one has ever seen before,” Funk said.

And after all the hard work came together at the Montana PBS, their dreams really came true at the regional Emmy awards.

“They kept saying, ‘and the Emmy award goes to,’ and it would be us and the lights would come on and people would clap; it was, like, very surreal,” Funk said.

Winning six awards out of the eight nominations was something neither Funk or Sterling thought was possible.

Funk said, “you kind of have a speech in your mind that you might say if you win and in this case I just thought, ‘there’s no way that it’s going to happen.’”

“It was amazing, I mean it’s always such an honor to be recognized by your peers. I never expected it to win as many as it did, you know, particularly the film is kind of different. It’s pretty esoteric, it’s experimental music,” Sterling said.

Local television stations have the opportunity to air the documentary if they choose to, and distributors have contacted Sterling about getting it on DVD.