If at first you don’t succeed, maybe the 9th time will be the charm.
That was true for Moline-based Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, who received a Mid-America Emmy award Saturday evening for their short documentary “Over & Under: Wildlife Crossings,” in the Environmental/Science category. The Rundles’ films have been nominated nine times altogether (including a best musical score one last year).
“Our sincere gratitude for this important win goes to all involved in this production,” producer Tammy Rundle said Monday. “And, a big thank you to Lora Adams and WQPT-PBS for the qualifying broadcast and their ongoing interest in our films.”
“Our hope was that the film would bring more awareness to this important environmental subject and inspire action to save human and animal lives,” said director Kelly Rundle. “Over & Under” aired on WQPT on Jan. 20, 2021.
“Over & Under: Wildlife Crossings” (a nine-minute 2020 film) examines wildlife crossings by exploring two successful yet different approaches to turtle crossings under state highways near Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Stevens Point, Wis. The film was partially funded by a grant from BeWildReWild/Big River Connectivity and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Previous Fourth Wall Films documentary film projects nominated for Mid-America Emmy awards include “Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe,” “Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City,” “Letters Home to Hero Street” (co-produced with WQPT), “River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6,” “Country School: One Room – One Nation,” and three 2020 nominations for the Rundles’ docudrama “Sons & Daughters of Thunder” (including one for St. Ambrose professor and composer Bill Campbell for best musical score).
The Rundles are working again with the loosely-knit volunteer group BeWildReWild on their next environmental film, “A Place To Be Wild” (which is a working title).
That project will profile a successful partnership between a landowner near Lone Tree, Iowa, and the permanent Wetlands Reserve Program. Using on-camera interview comments, landscape and wildlife footage, as well as maps and colorful graphics, the film will also illustrate how this program addresses the concept of Cores and Corridors, and show how rewilding benefits people and the environment.
“This film, combined with Fourth Wall’s earlier crossings film, goes to the heart of our BIG RIVER CONNECTIVITY Vision,” according to Roger Ross Gipple of BeWildReWild. “The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is one model for rewilding steep slopes and frequently flooding river bottoms. We suggest a WRP-like permanent easement on privately owned land funded by the government as a means of restoring and rewilding areas suitable for core wildlife habitat and connecting travel corridors. Yes indeed, this is another important and timely film project.”
The short Fourth Wall documentary is being funded in part by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and BeWildReWild/Big River Connectivity.