Kelly and Tammy Rundle are agreeing with the cliche — it is a thrill just to be nominated.
"We thought it was a long shot and were not expecting it at all," Tammy said of the Mid-America Emmy nomination for best historical documentary for "Letters Home to Hero Street."
Co-produced by the Rundles' Fourth Wall Films and WQPT, "Letters Home" dramatized the correspondence between World War II soldier Frank Sandoval and his family in Silvis. Sandoval, who was killed in Burma in 1944, was one of eight casualties of WWII and the Korean War from a 1½-block-long neighborhood in Silvis now known as Hero Street.
Tammy noticed the nomination on the Emmy website at about 9 p.m. last week at the couple's home in Moline. After kissing husband Kelly, she started dialing Lora Adams of WQPT — but remembered that Adams was in England, attending classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. So she put an Emmy Award photo on her Facebook page instead.
"While the three of us are beyond thrilled with the nomination, it doesn't begin to touch how excited our actors are," Tammy said of Eric Juarez, Maya Chavez, Cindy Ramos and Josh Wielenga. "The best part of all of it is that it honors the men and the families of Hero Street, USA."
"Letters Home" has already won a Silver Eddy, and the audience award from the 2015 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.
The documentary's competition includes one entry from the University of Illinois and three from St. Louis, two by TV stations and one by Missouri State Parks.
"We're always competing against bigger and better-funded films by commercial television stations and production houses in Kansas City and St. Louis," Kelly said. "Still, it's our third entry and our second nomination.They can't keep the statue away from us forever."
The Rundles/Fourth Wall were previously nominated in 2012 for historical documentary for "Country School: One Room — One Nation."
The awards will be given out Oct. 3 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel. As previously announced, KWQC's Paula Sands will receive a Silver Circle Award, given to those with 25-plus years in broadcasting.
The Rundles are on a roll: Tonight their documentary "Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg," will be screened at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City as part of the Landlocked Film Festival. It shows at 8 p.m.
Their documentary short, "Any Kid, Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories," co-produced with Braking Traffik, is also a part of the festival and will be shown at 2 p.m. today at the Iowa Public Library.
The couple's next project, the documentary "River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6," will premiere Sept. 17 at the Putnam Museum.
"Hero Street" isn't the only Quad-City contender at the Mid-America Emmys.
KWQC's morning show is up against stations in Little Rock and Rogers, Ark., for best morning/daytime newscast in markets No. 50 and smaller (the Q-C is No. 100). Doug Rogers and Brianna Nielsen Wier are the producers.
The station, with producer Megan Trinrud, also is up for best weekend newscast in all size markets, against stations from Rogers, St. Louis and Kansas City.
WQAD reporter Shane Simmons and photographer Jacob Nice have one of the two nominations for best environment news story, about frack sand mining. They're up against a report from KC.
A spring graduate of the University of Missouri journalism program is the new No. 2 in the sports department at KWQC.
Mihir Bhagat, who began on air this week, is a native of Fremont, Calif. He has been a sports reporter and anchor at KOMU, the NBC station operated by the Missouri School of Journalism.
While at Mizzou, he anchored weekday and weekend sportscasts and managed a team of 25 reporters for "Friday Night Fever," that station's version of Channel 6's "Highlight Zone."