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Helena College student film wins award from academy that awards Emmys

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 02, 2022

HELENA — A student-made film out of Helena College recently received an award from the same academy that awards Emmys. The film is from 2021 and is entitled “No Ordinary Time.”

“It's so crazy, like it doesn't even feel real. Like you said, it's a huge honor to come from Helena, you know, kind of this small place, and Montana doesn't have much to do with the film world and all of that. So, to, you know, come from there and get to share the stories from Montana and have those stories be recognized is just amazing and a huge honor,” says student filmmaker who worked on “No Ordinary Time,” Mara Flynn.

The National Student Production Award was given by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Helena College’s 2021 film, “No Ordinary Time.” The film centers around the history, arts, and cultural impacts of the Spanish flu in Montana, drawing relation to Covid-19.

The film was born out of a summer film program through Helena College and a collaboration with MAPS Media Institute made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). High school juniors, seniors, and recent high school graduates spend a couple of weeks putting together a film over the summer.

Dr. Ari Lee Laskin, Director of the NEH Program at Helena College, believes the academy chose this film over others because of its timeliness and use of history to relate to the modern day.

“It tapped into a zeitgeist. This was 2021, and the students were struggling with living and going to school and work in the pandemic. And there hadn't been a lot of films on that quite yet,” says Laskin.

One of the film’s creators, Mara Flynn, credits the film’s success to the team of students she worked alongside.

“If we had a single person missing from that group it would not have been the film it was. And everybody contributed in their own really unique way. So, I'm just really grateful to have gotten to work on a project. And I'm grateful that it's gotten to reach as many people as it has,” says Flynn.

Appearing in over a dozen film festivals around the globe, “No Ordinary Time” has also won multiple other awards at various film festivals.

If you’d like to check out “No Ordinary Time” for yourself, you can find it on YouTube.