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Press Release
September 19, 2005

Film Screenings at the National Archives in October 2005

Washington, DC…The National Archives October public programs theme "Coming to America" celebrates immigration, genealogy, and family history with special screenings of the following films and series: Journey to America, The Ballad of Bering Strait, Destination America with David Grubin and three short documentaries from the National Archives holdings. Reservations are recommended. Reserve by email (public.program@nara.gov) or telephone (202-501-5000).

All film screenings are free and open to the public. The William G. McGowan Theater is located in the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

Friday, October 7--Journey to America
The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives presents this acclaimed 1989 documentary, produced for the PBS series The American Experience. The film chronicles the great migration to the New World between 1890 and 1920 and follows the immigrants as they begin their new lives all across America. Directed by Charles Guggenheim. (52 minutes.) Noon.

Friday, October 14--The Ballad of Bering Strait
This 2003 documentary follows seven Russian teenagers who came to America to become country music stars. In July 1999, their band, Bering Strait, began recording its first album in Nashville. Over the next two and a half years, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Nina Gilden Seavey chronicled the musicians' responses to the twists and turns of the recording industry, their rehearsals, their debut concert at the Grand Ole Opry, their tense discussions with their managers, and their adaptation to life in America. The filmmakers also traveled with the band members to their homes and music conservatories in Russia, documenting how they became adept at playing American country music. Tonight's screening will be introduced by director Nina Gilden Seavey. (98 minutes.) 7 p.m.

Friday, October 21-- Destination America with David Grubin
Since the U.S. Government began keeping official records in 1820, more than 70 million people have immigrated to the United States. The new PBS documentary series Destination America explores some of the forces that compel individuals to immigrate to America, including the particular forces that drive women. Special guest David Grubin, producer, will present clips from the series and discuss the project's creation. 7 p.m. Reservations required.

Friday, October 28-From the Vaults: Coming to America
The National Archives presents three short documentaries from the agency's holdings, produced by the Office of War Information, Overseas Branch:

The Town (1944) An exploration of the European cultural roots of an American small town: Madison, Indiana. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the citizens of Madison have a profound respect for each other's ways. (13 minutes.) Noon.

Steel Town (1944) Coming from a variety of European backgrounds, steel workers in Youngstown, OH, are portrayed as they contribute to America's war effort. (17 minutes.)

The Cummington Story (1945) The true story of a group of immigrants settling in a small New England town. The film touchingly shows how cultural assimilation is possible in America-although difficult at times. Music by Aaron Copland. (22 minutes.)

Now Showing in the William G. McGowan Theater:
The National Archives Experience
Signature Film Produced by Discovery (11 minutes)
"Democracy Starts Here"
Daily, every 20 minutes
10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Archives
Experience Special Film
Produced by NOVA (17 minutes)
"Preserving the Charters of Freedom"
Daily at 10:10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.

To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 501-5000, for information, or view the Calendar of Events on the NARA web site. To contact the National Archives, please call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD) 301-837-0482.

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