Red Rock Films

And the winner is…Red Rock Films for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series. The Silver Spring production company took the 2021 Emmy award for Secrets of the Whales, its four-part documentary series distributed by National Geographic and streaming on Disney+. The series, which took more than three years to produce, follows five whale species to 24 far-flung locations around the world. Using a new technology that allowed photographers to take video cameras deep underwater, the series captures spectacular and rare footage of whales interacting in ways the filmmakers believe show the animals’ culture and emotions. Series director and Chevy Chase resident Brian Armstrong, president of Red Rock Films, says it’s no surprise the company is based in Montgomery County. The region is home to National Geographic, PBS and the Smithsonian Channel, making it a production center for science and nature programs. “There’s a hub of documentary filmmaking here that you don’t see anywhere else,” he says.

A humpback mother and calf in the series Photo courtesy of National Geographic for Disney+/Adam Geiger