In the Loop
Alumni News : Dec 8, 2016

SAAH alumna produces Emmy nominated documentary film

By Rachel Sherman

The freelance work that Suzann “Sooki” Martinsen, a UF BFA in Drawing and Minor in Art History graduate, recently produced with Emmy Award Winner and Oscar Nominee, Bill Suchy, received an Emmy Nomination in December 2015 and a Silver Telly TV Award in January 2016.

Martinsen originally dreamed of becoming a traditional animator, but she found herself working in marketing, graphic design, photography, video editing and computer animation alongside Suchy.

“Working with Bill Suchy has been an important and validating opportunity in my career,” she said.

She initially felt intimidated by the thought of working with Suchy because of his impressive collection of awards and nominations. However, when she met him, “things just clicked.”

Suchy’s passion for storytelling is displayed in the work he does. His enthusiasm for the project he and Martinsen worked on, Silver Wings, Flying Dreams: The Complete Story of the Women Aviation Service Pilots, was clear to Martinsen because she felt he truly cared about the stories of the women in the documentary. These women served as the first female pilots in the US military during WWII, a time of great discrimination, Martinsen said.

Suchy had confidence in Martinsen’s ability, which was a rewarding feeling for her. She was an assistant editor on the project, and Suchy’s trust in her helped Martinsen remember that she held an essential role in something that was much bigger than one person.

“I find being a part of something larger than yourself is a validating feeling,” Martinsen said.

Martinsen is very proud of the Emmy Award nomination for historical documentary and the Silver Telly TV Award win. She attributes the film’s accomplishments to the crew’s hard work and passion for the story behind it.

“So, to my fellow University of Florida alumni and current students, dream big and work hard,” Martinsen said. “You may think your life is planned ahead, but don't forsake opportunity big or small that may lead you down another path.”

To watch the official trailer of Silver Wings, Flying Dreams, visit Vimeo by clicking here.