Idaho Filmmaker Receives Academy Award Nomination

“Frozen River” up for two awards

An Idaho filmmaker, Heather Rae, is celebrating the success of one of her productions. The recent Motion Picture Academy Award nomination of Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River” has sent excitement throughout the film industry in Idaho.

Veteran filmmaker Rae was a producer on the film, shot in up-state New York, which was nominated by the Academy for two awards: Best Actress (Melissa Leo) and Best Original Screenplay (Courtney Hunt, the film’s director).

"Frozen River" is a somber tale about the relationship between two poverty-stricken single mothers, both struggling to make ends meet and willing to do anything, including immigrant smuggling, to keep their families safe.

“We couldn’t be happier for Heather. She is an outstanding producer and deserves this nomination. Her work has attracted awards world-wide and shows that Idaho is capable of fostering prominent filmmakers,” said Kathleen Haase, Film Industry Specialist with the Idaho Film Office.

Rae, along with her husband (actor/screenwriter Russell Friedenberg), moved to Boise five years ago from Los Angeles.

“Frozen River” was also nominated for six Spirit Awards. Rae is expected to receive the Piaget Producer of the Year Award at the event in Los Angeles on February 21.

The Academy Awards will air on ABC on February 22 at 6 pm MST.

For more information on the film industry in Idaho, visit


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