Award puts filmmaker in good company

Friday, January 13, 2006
Scott Huegerich

Southeast Missouri State University graduate presented award for documentary work.

ST. LOUIS -- A Southeast Missouri State University graduate is making a big name for himself in the world of documentary filmmaking.

Scott Huegerich, a St. Louis native with family in Southeast Missouri, graduated from Southeast in 1990 with a mass communications degree in radio and video and worked briefly for KFVS12.

A little over 15 years later, a documentary he co-directed called "The World's Greatest Fair" has won a prestigious international award.

CINE, a group that gives awards for documentary filmmaking, has bestowed its Golden Eagle Award on the documentary. Past winners include Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas and Ken Burns, putting Huegerich and co-director Bob Miano in elite company.

"When we entered it, I don't think we had an idea of the scope of the award," said Huegerich. Huegerich said competition this year came from programs made by networks like CNN, The Discovery Channel and The History Channel.

Huegerich said "The World's Greatest Fair" is a documentary of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair that tells the story of the fair through its human participants. Diary entries served as the source material for the narrative, with pictures originally shot on 8x10 glass negatives serving as visuals. The film was funded by Civil Pictures, a not-for-profit production company with the goal of preserving history through film.

"From the very beginning we knew that the story of the fair would have a national appeal, so we sort of kept that in mind and talked about what the fair meant to America at the turn of 20th century," said Huegerich. "And also we used the fair to tell people what it was like to be an American at the turn of the 20th century."

Along with the award has come a great deal of airplay for the documentary feature. Huegerich said the documentary will be able to reach millions through PBS stations that have picked it up. The local PBS affiliate in Carbondale, Ill., hasn't yet picked up the picture.

Over the summer the film also sold out in screenings across the state, he said. Huegerich's next project is a documentary about the construction and significance of the Gateway Arch called "The Gateway Arch ... A Reflection of America," slated for a summer release this year. For more information on "The World's Greatest Fair" visit www.civilpictures.org.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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