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EMMY Nomination for Tribal Documentary

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  • EMMY Nomination for Tribal Documentary



    Film records military service by Native Americans from World War II to present

    By Edward Sifuentes12:01 A.M.MAY 12, 2013Updated1:16 P.M.MAY 11, 2013

    A documentary that started as a project to record a North County tribe’s history of military service has been nominated for an Emmy award.

    The documentary, called “Defending the Homeland: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces,” was created by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. It features interviews with tribal members who served in the military and their families.

    “This documentary was dedicated to the many Pala tribal members who made the ultimate sacrifice in service, and we are proud it has been nominated for this very distinguished award,” said Robert Smith, chairman of the Pala tribe.

    The film was nominated for an Emmy in the Military, Special Program category by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Pacific Southwest Chapter, which includes much of Southern California and southern Nevada.

    Kilma Lattin, 34, a member of the Pala band and a former Army helicopter pilot, said he approached his tribe’s leadership in 2010 about funding a project to record tribal elders’ military stories.

    “I told them we needed to start getting our World War II veterans on film and documenting their service,” Lattin said last week.

    After recording some initial interviews, Lattin said, he wanted to go even deeper, conduct more interviews and hire a professional to put it all in documentary form.

    The tribe agreed and hired Craig Harris, a longtime film and television producer, to serve as the documentary’s executive producer.

    Harris said he was happy to be asked to participate in the documentary and described it as “one of the better experiences” of his career.

    “I’m really pleased (with the nomination) because the project held such a special place in my heart,” he said.

    Among those interviewed in the film are tribal members who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Lattin, who is also featured in the film, said he enlisted in the Army shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was medically discharged in 2006 as a lieutenant, Lattin said.

    The film was released in November 2012 and has aired on several PBS stations. It was screened in the Los Angeles Skins Fest, a Native American film festival, last year.

    Lattin said he was pleasantly surprised when he heard that the documentary had been nominated. He added that he hopes the documentary helps increase awareness about Native Americans’ contributions to U.S. military history.

    A ceremony to announce the winners will be held June 15 in Las Vegas.

    For more information or to see the film, visit homeland.


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