About 10 years ago, Peter Musurlian hopped on a plane — alone — to Botswana with just a camera and one contact in the South African country.
The 15-year city employee was headed to Gabarone, the country’s capital, which also happens to be one of Burbank’s four sister cities. Curious about Gabarone and how it became Burbank’s sister city, Musurlian set out to produce a self-funded documentary.
Musurlian spent eight days in Gabarone, where he collected roughly 18 hours of footage. Last Saturday, Musurlian won a Los Angeles area Emmy Award for the 30-minute documentary, which he produced 10 years later.
The Emmy was Musurlian’s first after being nominated seven times throughout his career.
Captured in the film are scenes from a village wedding 85 miles outside of the city, a local Christmas celebration, news of a possible labor strike and what the country is doing to combat HIV/AIDS.
“It makes you feel good that people are watching [who] have no connection to your job or the sister city (program),” Musurlian said in an interview this week.