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Mauricio Lasansky:  Latest News

I.C. Filmmaker wins Emmy

Wyrick would like 'Nazi Drawings' to be broadcast nationally

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City filmmaker recently won a Mid-America Emmy Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for a documentary chronicling an artist's depiction of the Holocaust.

Lane Wyrick won the award October 16 for "The Nazi Drawings," his 1999 documentary about artist Mauricio Lasansky's graphic series of 33 life-size drawings detailing Nazi atrocities. The documentary consists of interviews, archival photos, images of Lasansky's drawings and film footage from Nazi death camps.

The documentary became eligible for the award when it aired regionally the last two years on Iowa Public Television. Wyrick submitted it to the academy, whose members nominated it for the award alongside two other documentaries. The winner was announced at a black-tie event in St. Louis.

"It's really gratifying," Wyrick says. "I've spent about four years marketing and promoting the documentary and this is the culmination of the whole experience."

Wyrick, 37, is a 1990 graduate of the University of Iowa and owns Xap Interactive video production in Iowa City. He says he believes the documentary received a positive response from academy members because it captures the emotion of the drawings and the passion of the artist.

"The drawings are very powerful and they draw a great gut response," Wyrick says. "My responsibility as a documentary filmmaker was to translate that into my medium, and I think it was really successful."

Now that the documentary has won a regional award, Wyrick says he hopes he will be able to secure a national broadcast.

"This will definitely help in that pursuit, people will take it more seriously," he says. "There are no gurantees, but people are going to look twice at it."

A DVD version of "The Nazi Drawings" was released earlier this year. The DVD can be purchased at www.nazidrawings.com and features bonus interview footage with Lasansky and still shots of each drawing.

Wyrick is now working on a feature-length documentary about Bill Sackler, an Iowan who was played by Mickey Rooney in the 1981 made-for-TV movie "Bill." Wyrick is collaborating with "Rain Man" screenwriter Barry Morrow on the project.

Reprinted from The Gazette,
October 23, 2004 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Used with permission.

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