03/02/2005

SPLC Film Nominated for Emmy

Teaching Tolerance's educational film, Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks, has earned a National Television Academy nomination for an Emmy in the Children/Youth/Family Special category.

The 40-minute video revisits the familiar Montgomery Bus Boycott while highlighting and introducing new stories and unsung heroes of the Movement.

"We're honored to receive such an endorsement," said Jennifer Holladay, director of the Center's tolerance programs. "But the real tribute goes to the remarkable people who made the Montgomery Bus Boycott happen."

Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks is part of a classroom curriculum kit including a viewer's guide with classroom activities and historical documents that bring the Montgomery Bus Boycott alive for today's middle- and upper-grade level students. Released in 2003, the Center has distributed the free kit to more than 42,000 educators across the country.

Home Box Office broadcast the film last year.

"We hope the nomination will prompt even more educators to utilize this free resource in their classrooms," Holladay said.

Other nominees in the Children/Youth/Family category are Saving A Species: Manatees in Peril and A Separate Peace. Winners will be announced at the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, set for May 20 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.

In 2003, Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks was a finalist for an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category. A companion film, Mighty Times: The Children's March, won the Academy Award in that category on Sunday.

In the Rosa Parks film, boycott participants and witnesses are joined by their sons, daughters, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews to tell Parks' inspiring story. The presence of family members enhances the narrative and shows how the story of the Bus Boycott inspires today's younger generation.

Teaching Tolerance teamed with California filmmakers Bobby Houston and Robert Hudson of Tell the Truth Pictures to make both of the documentaries. Based in Ojai, California, the two also made A Place at the Table, another Teaching Tolerance film.

To date, Mighty Times has won a Chris Award in the Social Issues category at the Columbus (Ohio) Film & Video Festival and a Grand Festival Award in the Education category at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival Awards.

"We are proud to have produced this remarkable film honoring Rosa Parks," said Morris Dees, Center co-founder. "Her legacy should live on as an inspiration for us all, but especially for our youth."

The film is the fifth in a series of video-and-text curriculum kits produced by Teaching Tolerance and was the fourth Center educational film to be nominated for an Oscar. A Time for Justice, the Center's first Teaching Tolerance film, also won the Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category in 1995.

Educators and community group leaders can order Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks free of charge.