A documentary film created and directed by 1983 Pulaski County High School graduate Scott Self is in the contention for four Oscar nominations in the 86th annual Academy Awards to be held March 2 in Hollywood.
“MURPH: The Protector,” is under consideration for Oscar nominations in the Best Feature Documentary, Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Film Editing categories. It has advanced in the Best Original Score, Best Original Song categories for the soundtrack and song “Sacrifice (I Am Here)” for the works of Chris Irwin and Jeff Widenhofer.
According to the movie’s website, www.murphmovie.com, Academy voters will select five nominees in each category and will announce the final nominees Jan. 16.
The documentary, which opened in Regal theatres last March, is about the life of Michael “Murph” Murphy, a Navy SEAL who gave his life to save his team in 2005. The soldier was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007 for entering an open field, knowing he would be shot, to make a radio transmission to save the lives of his team members.
Self’s company, Mactavish Pictures, created the documentary. Self, whose full name is William Scott Self, began using the name Scott Mactavish when he started writing professionally in 1992 so his work wouldn’t become confused with the British author William Self. Mactavish is a distant name on the family tree of his mother, Cary Sutherland.
Mactavish was on tour promoting the film and couldn’t be reached for comment on the Oscar considerations by press time, but he stated on the movie’s website, “This is a testament to the power and emotional impact of Michael’s story. I’m grateful to the Murphy family for entrusting me with (his) legacy, and to my team for their exceptional talent and dedication.”
He added, “ We have a long road ahead. We’re up against some major Hollywood heavyweights and the competition is going to be fierce. Considering our humble roots, however, we’re thrilled just to be in the fight and look forward to the battle.”
Mactavish said in March that he became involved in making the documentary after he worked with Michael Murphy’s biographer, Gary Williams, on the marketing and promotions process.
“They knew I had been in the Navy,” said Mactavish, who entered the military upon graduating from PCHS. “I became friends with the Murphy family and they knew there would be interest in a film (based on the biography). They wanted me to take the rights to it because they knew, as a veteran, I would do it right and not try to politicize it.”
He noted the movie is about the character of men who go into this “difficult and dangerous occupation.”
The film is being released on DVD and Blu-ray in Walmarts nationwide today.