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Photo courtesy of "Songbirds: A Documentary" / Irv Berner is shown discussing one of the guitars at the Songbirds Guitar Museum during filming of "Songbirds: A Documentary."

After several wins at film festivals around the world, "Songbirds: A Documentary" can add "Emmy nominated" to its resume.

The film's creator, Dagan Beckett, learned late Monday night that the film — which tells the story of the Songbirds Guitar Museum, once home to the world's largest collection of rare and unique guitars before closing its doors during the pandemic — was among the nominations for the 36th Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards.

It is nominated in the Documentary Topical category by the Nashville/Midsouth chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Its competition is "Amber's Halfway Home," "Broken," "Facing North: Jefferson Street, Nashville" and "The Skin We're In."

Winners will be announced in late February. Peer professionals from the television academy's chapters of Boston/New England, Chicago/Midwest, Michigan, Suncoast, Rocky Mountain Southwest and Upper Midwest judged the entries.

"I know I submitted it to all kinds of festivals and contests back in April or May and really kind of forgot about it," Beckett said. "This is very exciting."

The Songbirds documentary also competed in the Lonely Seal International Music and Screenplay Film Festival in Boston, where it was named a finalist for best documentary feature film, and the Franklin International Independent Film Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, where it was named the winner for best Tennessee feature film.

It also won best documentary awards at virtual festivals at the Around International Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain, the Oniros Film Awards 2021 in New York, and the 2021 Silk Road Film Awards at Cannes, France.

"We are also currently in discussions with a distribution firm out of Los Angeles to discuss distribution opportunities," Beckett said.

Beckett spent countless hours with former staff members and internationally-known guitarists such as Vince Gill and Doyle Dykes telling the stories of many of the nearly 1,400 guitars in the privately owned collection. The museum closed in August of 2020, but before the guitars were packed up, Beckett spent time making the film with co-writer/producers Irv Berner, David Davidson and other staff members.

The Songbirds Foundation is still operating in the former museum space at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and while it resembles the museum in many ways with many of the same display cases and a regular lineup of performances, it is focused on the Guitars for Kids program it operates.

Beckett said as a requirement of entering many of the festivals, filmmakers are prohibited from showing the works publicly, but that once the festival season is over, he has plans to show the film locally, perhaps in the spring.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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