HANCOCK - With locally filmed documentary "Where Soldiers Come From" up for a News and Documentary Emmy award, local community members are doing their part to try to get the documentary participants to the awards ceremony.
Director Heather Courtney's documentary followed a group of local friends - Dominic Fredianelli, Cole Smith and Matt Beaudoin - who enlisted in the military immediately after high school. With the critical acclaim and nomination the film has received, 5th & Elm Coffee House owner Frank Fiala decided to do his part to help those involved attend the Oct. 1 ceremony in New York in the form of a fundraiser.
"When we found out the movie was nominated for an Emmy, we just thought that ... if it did win, and those folks weren't there to accept it, it would be a real lost opportunity for not only them but the community at large," Fiala said. "What we decided to do was try and have a fundraiser to raise the travel expenses to try and get as many there as we could, who would like to go."
That fundraiser will occur Friday and will include multiple events. The fundraiser will begin at 6 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock with a "meet and greet" with cast members - including at least Smith, Fredianelli and their mothers - followed by a showing of the film at 6:30. Tickets for entry are $10 and include an autographed movie poster. DVDs of the film will also be available.
"After (the showing), we're going to have a kickoff party at the Monte Carlo," Fiala said. "We're going to provide pulled pork sandwiches and some other stuff for people to snack on. It'll be a $5 contribution, and I think there will be a 50/50 raffle."
Tickets for the dinner are $5 and are available at the door. For those who want to donate but are unavailable for Friday's event, donation cans are located at the Monte Carlo and the 5th & Elm Coffee House locations.
Whoever is able to go to the Emmys will join Courtney at the proceedings. She was thrilled to garner a nomination for the film.
"It's a real honor to be nominated for an Emmy," she said in a phone interview in late August. "It doesn't even matter if you win. ... I'm excited to see Dom and Cole and whoever can come; this is just as much their award as it is mine."
The documentary was part of the POV series on PBS, which amassed 15 nominations, including two in the Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - Long Form, the category that featured "Where Soldiers Come From."
"It's a real honor to be part of that group," Courtney said.
Fiala also believes the film earned the nomination, and that it would be a shame for the participants to not go to New York.
"It's really a truly moving documentary," Fiala said. "It's just a story that I think we need to embrace and promote in terms of the people that were involved in it, and what they did not only for the community but the country."
For more information on the fundraiser or donations, call 281-2896.