Austin-East student film earns Emmy nomination

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A film produced at Austin-East Magnet High School has been nominated for a regional Emmy Award for Information/Instructional Program.

The informational film promotes the school’s performing arts program and premiered in December 2013.

The film was co-written and produced by Olivia Riggins, Magnet Coordinator and Dance Teacher at Austin-East Magnet High School, and co-written and directed by Tyler Hays, local cinematographer and owner of Tyler Hays Creative.

Riggins was shocked. The modern dance teacher at Austin-East Magnet High School thought it was a good idea to make a film that was going to promote the school’s performing arts program. She didn’t know the popularity surrounding it would grow this big.

“So much of whom Austin-East shines through that video and I feel like the people watching it can see that and so I’m proud of us,” said Riggins.

Riggins is also a jazz dance teacher but she can also add producer to the list of hats she wears after coming up with an idea to make a film showcasing the schools performing arts program.

The film premiered in December 2013. Riggins tells me she really wanted to document a positive image of the school to the public because she was tired of hearing bad things about the school.

“A lot of times there’s perceptions about Austin-East that are just simply untrue. People are just unaware of all the positive things we have happening in our building so we wanted to make people aware, we thought a great way to do that would be with a video,” said Riggins.

Darrisha Triplett, one of the featured students in the film, says this recognition proves that her school is moving in the right direction.

“I was shocked. I really didn’t believe it but then she showed me and I was like yeah this is real…I’m glad that the video is here because it shows what we’re all about…we’re awesome and we’re the best school ever and you should be here,” said Triplett.

“I’m just really proud of our kids and who we are at Austin-East and I’m just excited for it to be shown on a bigger scale like this I think it’s a really cool opportunity for us,” said Riggins.

The regional Emmy Award competition will be held January 31, 2015 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

More online: Watch the film

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