Jenks Teen Finds Self Among Emmy Nominees This Summer

Michael Whitten

One Jenks high school graduate is garnering some attention for his documentary film that was nominated for an Emmy back in June.

Now an Oklahoma State University sophomore, Michael Whitten, Jenks High School 2012 graduate, was nominated for an Emmy for his documentary film "Doing What He Did Again." He will find out if his film will earn him the award on July 13.

Tulsa's Channel 8's community newspaper partner, the Jenks Journal, reported that throughout his junior and senior year at JPS, Whitten interviewed, filmed and edited this documentary about a man named Luigi, who was a performer for seniors dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia, and once graced the stages in Las Vegas.

"I think people have a lot of preconceived notions about nursing homes. I wanted to kind of convey a different perspective on that," Whitten said.

Whitten told the newspaper that the film is about Luigi's journey and how he is impacting those around him while at the same time impacting himself. Luigi's "heartbeat" was the focus of the documentary, he told the Jenks Journal.

"(Luigi has) such a heart for the people he's caring for," he said.

Throughout his high school career, Whitten worked on numerous films, some shorter than others. In the introduction to television and film, he directed five minute films. In the following years, Whitten took intermediate and advanced film classes at JPS where he placed many of his films in competition.

After Whitten's documentary aired on OETA's "Behind the Lens with Oklahoma's Future Filmmakers," they entered it into the Emmy's, which leads him to where he is at today.

Whitten is currently studying mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University while doing freelance film production work on the side.

He is currently working on videos for Redeemer Covenant Church and St. Simeon's Episcopal Home. He said he will be working with the executive team for Dance Marathon, OSU's fundraiser to benefit children dealing with cancer.

For other articles on the Jenks community, head over the Jenks Journal's website.