Montana State University

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Honors Program Speaker Series

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7:00pm
Strand Union Building, Procrastinator Theater

The Honors College is pleased to present a screening of the award-winning film "Battle for the Elephants" on Wednesday, October 30th, at 7 PM in the Procrastinator Theater. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with writer, filmmaker and conservationist John Heminway.  This event is part of the Year of Engaged Leadership Speaker series. Tickets are free and available in the Honors Office, or by calling 994-4110.

John Heminway's career has been distinguished by a fascination with nature, science, evolution, travel, the human drama and the conservation of the world's natural treasures. He was born in New York, and educated in Switzerland, and Massachusetts. He graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966.

Heminway is completing his sixth book. His first, The Imminent Rains, published when he was 23, describes an overland journey from South Africa to Kenya. Another, No Man's Land, is a portrait of striking people affected by Africa. William F. Buckley called it "the best book I have ever read on Africa and one of the best I have read in any category in years."  Tom Brokaw called his Yonder: A Place In Montana, published in 2000 by National Geographic, "eloquent and deeply felt." Heminway is completing Flight: A story of Africa and Atonement, to be published by W.W. Norton in North America, with other publications scheduled for Europe and in Israel.

Heminway began his film career in 1968 with ABC Sports' "The American Sportsman," then America's highest-rated sports show.  Over the decades he has written and produced a wide-range of television and film films, earning such honors as two Emmys, the George F. Peabody Award and Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award for Broadcast Journalism, as well as a Telly, a Ciné Golden Eagle, a Christopher and many others.  Heminway's opening to the first show of "The Brain" is in the Smithsonian Institute's permanent collection. In 1988, Heminway wrote and produced two hours of the PBS series "The Mind" and won the Primetime Emmy for writing.

Between 1988 and 1993, Heminway was Executive Producer and host of the popular PBS series, "Travels," comprising nearly 50 authored journeys to far corners of the world. In addition, he wrote, directed the story of human evolution for PBS' Evolution series and produced, directed and wrote National Geographic's "Stress: Portrait of a Killer."

"Bones of Turkana" also written, directed and co-produced (with Katie Carpenter and JJ Kelley) for National Geographic Television was aired in May 2012 on PBS. It won many awards, including the Special Jury Award at the International Wildlife Film festival, as well as the best edited film at the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards.

"Battle For The Elephants," also co-produced with Katie Carpenter and JJ Kelley for National Geographic TV, aired on PBS in February 2013. Its outreach program continues, with its producers and on-camera investigative reporter, Bryan Christy, lobbying for elephant protection at the C.I.T.E.S. conference in Bangkok and in many venues around the United States. Recently it premiered in Nairobi in the presence of Kenya's First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta. Its recent awards include several at the International Wildlife Film Festival as well as the best conservation of the year at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

Heminway battles to save species and wild places, especially in Africa. He has been and remains active on many boards, including Trout Unlimited, White Oak Conservation Center, Tusk USA, Elephant Family USA, and the African Wildlife Foundation, which he served at Chairman for nine years. In May 2013, Dr. Richard Leakey asked him to be Chairman of WildlifeDirect, based in Kenya. Its mission is to change minds, behavior and laws to ensure Africa's revered species endure forever.

Heminway travels greatly. He lives with his wife, Kathryn, and eleven-year-old daughter, Lucia, in Montana. On 4th October, 2013 Montana State University made a rare decision by honoring a non-graduate with the Blue and Gold Award, thanking Heminway for his many services to the University and State. 

For questions regarding this event, please contact: