About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for 15th Annual Showcase of Academy Award–Nominated Documentaries and Short Subjects

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
February 21, 2019

Welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m very pleased to be here to kick off our five-day showcase of Academy Award–nominated documentaries and short subjects.

This year marks the 15th consecutive year we’ve hosted these screenings, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with the National Archives and the National Archives Foundation. We are honored to provide Washington, DC, filmgoers the opportunity to see all of these wonderful films for free.

We thank the staff of the Academy for all their help and guidance in planning and executing these screenings— in particular Manager of Public Programming Julie Gumpert and Film Services Manager Bruce Younger.

We’ll show the last of the Feature Documentary Nominees—Minding the Gap—on Sunday, February 24, and the film will end in time for you to watch the awards ceremony on television that night.

You can go to our website—www.archives.gov—to see the schedule of all the film screenings so that you can plan your movie-viewing through Sunday.

To find out more about all of our public programs and exhibits, check our website, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates.

Also in the lobby, you can see an actual Academy Award. Charles Guggenheim’s Oscar for the 1964 film Nine from Little Rock is on permanent display outside the theater.

The driving force behind these special screenings is the partnership between the National Archives Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

The Foundation, as the Archives’ nonprofit partner, has raised millions of dollars from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support the work of the National Archives. Alongside our National Archives staff, the Foundation has helped to develop exhibits, public programs, educational activities, publications, and internet components both here in Washington, DC, and nationwide.

And now, without further ado, is tonight’s film. Nominated for in the Best Documentary Feature category, here is National Geographic Documentary Film’s Free Solo, from award-wining documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer, Jimmy Chin.  With a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 95%!

Thank you for coming, and enjoy the show.