Chugiak High grad wins northwest Emmy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 19:00
Local filmmaker starts new production company
Kyle Aramburo gives his acceptance speech after winning an Emmy on June 14 in Seattle.

Being in the running for a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences northwest chapter award was the highlight of filmmaker Kyle Aramburo’s career.

“I was super excited just to be nominated,” the 1999 Chugiak High graduate said.

That moment was quickly superseded when Aramburo won a directing Emmy for “Ketchikan: Our Native Legacy.”

“It was all a blur when it happened,” Aramburo said of winning his most prestigious film award June 14 in Seattle. “Definitely a pretty cool experience.”

The film, a 24-minute documentary about Ketchikan’s Native culture, took home an Emmy in the historic/cultural category.

Aramburo made the film for the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. Once it aired on television, it became eligible for an Emmy nomination.

As an employee of Anchorage-based production company Alaska Channel, Aramburo directed three films for the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. The other films explore the city’s art and fishing cultures. All three films can be viewed at

Aramburo, who worked for Alaska Channel for nearly six years, recently started his own production company.

Aramburo’s goal is that Hybrid Color Films ( will raise the level of video production in Alaska.

“We’re trying to create a unique style,” he said. “We always try to do the most creative things.”

He always wants to change status quo of film making in the state. Most of the upper-echelon directing and producing jobs go to Outsiders, Aramburo said, but he wants to prove the same quality can be produced in state.

“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to show that Alaskans can do high-end work,” he said.

Aramburo’s interest in directing started when he was a Gruening Middle School student. Aramburo would make movies with his younger sister, Ariane, a 2000 Chugiak High grad.

“My sister was always in front of the camera, and I was always behind it,” Aramburo said.

Not much has changed.

While Kyle earns a living behind the scenes, Ariane works in Virginia where she serves as co-host of a morning show and on-air reporter for a Fox affiliate.

Starting a business isn’t easy, Aramburo said, but he’s learning a lot during the new endeavor.

“It’s scary at times but exciting at the same time,” he said.

Running his own production company has been one of Aramburo’s goals.

“It was always kind of my vision,” he said. “Filmmaking has always been a passion of mine.”

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