Calcite documentary wins an Emmy
DETROIT – A documentary about Calcite Quarry in Rogers City took home an Emmy Saturday, scoring on one of two nominations for the film.
Anne and Brian Belanger, the brother-sister duo who make films for Bon Ami Filmworks, went to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Michigan Chapter’s 35th annual awards at the MotorCity Casino. Their film, “A Century in Stone,” was nominated for two Emmys. Brian netted an award for best program writer, missing out on best historical documentary to one about an early Detroit football team. It’s not the first time the pair have been recognized for their documentary work, and both are simply happy to receive the recognition.
“I think it just reaffirms that historical documentaries, they are stories that are not restricted to a particular region or a community,” Anne said. “The fact that this documentary was viewed by people once again from out of our state … and it had tremendous appeal to them as well reaffirms that there are some historical stories that need to be told.”
When Brian found out he had won on Saturday night, he had to scurry to get to the stage, he said. He and Anne were seated at the very back of the room. The two were joined by Carmeuse Lime and Stone Calcite Operation’s Plant Manager, Ray LeClair, and his wife.
“It was a good experience, I got to talk to people who won in other categories,” Brian said.
Brian and Anne set out to make the film to coincide with the 100th anniversary of operations at Calcite. The challenge was making a half-hour film about a rock quarry interesting to the average viewer, Brian said. They did so by focusing on the people who made it happen, and how they were affected by events through the years. From the quarry’s beginnings to its boom years, to the Great Depression and the demand for steel during two World Wars, the documentary covered a lot of ground. It also focused on some bad times.
“The foreign steel during the 70s and 80s really took a bite out of the business,” Brian said.
The film wouldn’t have been possible without the help of historian Gerald Micketti and Joseph “Paleo Joe” Kchodl, Brian said. He also thanked LeClair and Carmeuse’s management for giving him and Anne the access they needed to the quarry itself.
The Belangers are also the crew behind November Requiem, a documentary about the sinking of the freighter Carl D. Bradley. The film won for Best Historical Documentary and Best Musical Score in 2010.