News Articles

NAMB civil rights documentary earns director Emmy nomination

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–North American Mission Board producer/director Bernie Hargis has been nominated for a national Emmy Award for his direction of the documentary “We Shall Not Be Moved,” which aired last year and early this year on ABC affiliates as well as NAMB’s own FamilyNet network and the Hallmark Channel.

“I am so proud of Bernie and the team that worked with him under the direction of David Clark, our vice president for broadcast communications,” said NAMB President Robert E. Reccord. “Our broadcast communication group at NAMB has made a commitment to provide programming with substance, a clear Christian message and media excellence — and this is living proof that it is being accomplished.

“This nomination is an outstanding achievement which serves to confirm the dedication and talent Bernie brings to his craft,” said Clark, who also serves as president of FamilyNet. “We are very proud of Bernie’s accomplishments but even more impressed by the dedication of his many gifts to God through his work.”

We Shall Not Be Moved highlights the central role the African American church played during the civil rights movement. It focuses on several key churches in the movement, including interviews with pastors, activists, church members and others. The emphasis is spiritual as well as historical, investigating the role their Christian faith played in their involvement.

“Here’s a huge historical event, but the tremendous role of the church rarely gets reported,” said Hargis, who produced, wrote and directed the documentary. “Everybody that we interviewed is saying the church is the movement. If it hadn’t been for the church there would be no movement.”

The nomination is the first for NAMB or its predecessor, the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission, since 1994. The RTVC is a previous winner of an Emmy for the 1988 documentary “China: Walls and Bridges,” and the organization also received a total of seven nominations during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The nomination is for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Direction” in the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. The category includes all nationally broadcast documentaries, with other nominees including three that aired on PBS and one each airing on CNN, HBO and CNBC.

“To have a faith-based documentary nominated amidst such a secular arena is a God-thing, and an amazing tribute to how far Southern Baptists have come in broadcast communication,” Reccord said. “And isn’t it a blessing that this documentary addressed one of the greatest needs of our day, racial reconciliation.”

Previously, Hargis said, Radio and Television Commission nominations were through various categories in the Daytime Emmys — often competing against game shows and talk shows because they did not fit neatly into any particular category. So the recognition is especially significant, mirroring the level of interest the program has generated.

“I would say it’s been one of the biggest responses we’ve ever had, especially in terms of having a life beyond the initial broadcast,” Hargis said.

While the documentary is distinctly Christian in emphasis, he said, the historical significance helps it appeal to a broad base of viewers.

Hargis has been producing and directing network specials and documentaries for ABC and NBC which also air on FamilyNet since 1988. A 1973 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., he earned a master’s degree in film in 1974 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

The News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented at a black-tie dinner and ceremony September 10 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

FamilyNet is a 24-hour television network airing more than 50 hours of original, values-based programs weekly. FamilyNet broadcasts to a potential 34 million TV households and is available on cable systems and broadcast stations nationwide.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: NOMINATED and BERNIE HARGIS.

    About the Author

  • James Dotson