NAIT Digital Cinema instructor makes the Oscar list
Unclaimed, a documentary by NAIT Digital Cinema instructor Michael Jorgensen, has made the Oscar list. It’s one of 134 films vying for Best Feature Documentary.
“It’s an honour to be on the list and get nominated,” said Jorgensen, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker who teaches in NAIT’s Digital Media and IT program. “You have to consider how few films get this far. It’s nice to be recognized for doing good work.”
Unclaimed tells the story of Tom Faunce, who after enduring a traumatic childhood and two years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, makes an oath to spend the rest of his life helping those in need. Four decades later, he discovers a man in Southeast Asia who claims to be John Hartley Robertson, an American Special Forces soldier listed as killed in action. Throughout the film, Faunce struggles to prove the identity of the man. The critically acclaimed film made its world premiere on April 30, 2013 at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto to sold out shows and standing ovations. It is currently playing on Super Channel and is available on iTunes.
A shortlist of 15 films is expected to be announced in December by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Oscar nominations will be revealed Jan. 15, and ABC will broadcast Hollywood’s Big Night live on Feb. 22.
Unclaimed was shot between April and December 2012 on location in the U.S, Vietnam and Edmonton. DMIT graduates Jon Mathew and Nick Zacharkiw were among Unclaimed’s editors. Their involvement began as part of the DMIT Capstone program, where second-year students gain essential experience by working with real-world clients. DMIT grad Amanda Anderson designed the film’s poster and website.
Over the past 27 years, Jorgensen’s films have earned more than 80 international, national and regional awards for writing, producing, directing and cinematography. In 1998, he became the only filmmaker to ever be granted access inside a classified U.S. Department of Defense weapons competition, documented in the film, Battle of the X-Planes. The documentary earned Jorgensen the 2003 Emmy for the Best Long Form News and Current Affairs Documentary.
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