An HBO movie, which aired last February, illustrating the life story of Temple Grandin, Colorado State University animal scientist and renowned animal behaviorist has received 15 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Entitled “Temple Grandin,” the film chronicles her perseverance while struggling with autism.
Among the nominations that the film received are those for Best Made for Television Movie, Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Claire Danes), Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (David Strathairn), Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Julia Ormond and Catherine O’Hara) and Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Mick Jackson).
Grandin is a high-functioning autistic person who is a renowned designer of humane animal-handling facilities, work she’s primarily accomplished while a CSU faculty member. The movie depicts Grandin’s life as a child, during her high school years, and follows her during the 1970’s as she begins her career in her chosen field of food-animal welfare and designing equipment to help make their lives less stressful. The film delivers messages about autism and treating animals humanely.
Grandin’s ability to see pictures in her head and her understanding that cows mainly experience their world as visual stimuli has enabled her to design livestock facilities that treat cattle more humanely.
A professor in Colorado State’s Department of Animal Sciences, Grandin teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design. She regularly consults with the livestock industry on design, livestock handling and animal welfare. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries around the world. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used extensively throughout the livestock industry.
Grandin has published several books on the humane treatment of animals and on a better understanding of autism. Her 1995 autobiography “Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism” is the basis for the HBO movie. She’s also the author of “Animals in Transition: Understanding the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior,” a New York Times best seller published in 2005, and last year’s “Animals Make Us Human”.
Grandin’s writings on the flight zone and other principals of grazing animal behavior have helped to reduce stress during animal handling. She developed an objective scoring system for the assessment of handling cattle and pigs at meat plants. This scoring system is being used by many large corporations to improve animal welfare.
Other Emmy nominations for the movie “Temple Grandin” include:
• Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie
• Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
• Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or A Movie
• Outstanding Main Title Design
• Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie
• Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special – (Original Dramatic Score)
• Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
• Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
• Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie
The 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Aug. 29 and broadcast on NBC.