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NJPAC Teams with Participant Media for a Series of Film Screenings and Talkbacks for New Jersey High School Students

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (April 18, 2013) — The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) joins Participant Media, the leading provider of entertainment that inspires and accelerates change, for a series of four film screenings and talkbacks for New Jersey high school students and for the general public. The series, entitled Movies That Matter, is funded by the Women’s Association of NJPAC and, over the next year, will bring in students from across the State to watch the Academy Award-winning “Lincoln,” “Last Call at The Oasis,” “A Place at the Table,” and the yet-to-be-released “Chavez.” Through the series, NJPAC will work with Participant’s Social Action team and campaign associates to foster opportunities for New Jersey students and the public at large to take action on the issues illuminated by the films in the series. Prior to each film, participating schools will prepare students for the movies and the subjects each addresses through the use of unique educational curriculum created for Participant’s Social Action campaigns. After every screening, students will take part in a discussion with distinguished panelists about the issues raised.

Movies that Matter reunites NJPAC President and CEO, John Schreiber, with Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media. Prior to taking the helm at the Arts Center, Schreiber was the Executive Vice President, Social Action and Advocacy, for Participant Media.

“When John Schreiber told us about his idea for a program that would focus on how we take important, socially relevant films off the screen and into the community, we were compelled to do everything possible to support him,” said Berk. “Thanks to NJPAC and the Woman’s Association of NJPAC, Moves that Matter has become a reality and will benefit many thousands of New Jerseyeans.”

“During my tenure at Participant, I was privileged to lead a team responsible for creating Social Action campaigns for such films as Waiting for Superman and Food Inc., that were designed to educate and inspire community action,” said Schreiber. “Partnering with Participant enables the Arts Center to expand on our ability to address the relevant issues of the day and help educate citizens on how to get involved.”

The first screening in the series will take place on May 23, 2013. Over 1,800 students from Newark Public Schools, TEAM Academy, Jersey City Public Schools, East Orange Public Schools, Cicely L. Tyson High School, St. Benedicts’ Preparatory School, and Montclair Public Schools have been preparing for the last two months, using the educational curriculum created by Disney and Participant, and will attend a screening of the Academy Award-winning “Lincoln.” Following the screening, Dr. Clement A. Price, a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers and history professor, who also chaired President Obama’s transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities, will lead a discussion with students on both the film and the history it explores. Price has played leadership roles with many organizations in New Jersey, including the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Fund for New Jersey, the Newark Public Schools, the Newark Black Film Festival, the Newark Public Library, the Newark Education Trust, and the Save Ellis Island Foundation, and is an acknowledged expert on the 14th Amendment and the abolitionist movement.

The films:

Lincoln (print courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures/The Walt Disney Co.)
Screened May 21, 2013 at 9:45am for students
Steven Spielberg directs three-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

A Place at the Table (print courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)
Screened November 14, 2013 at 10am for students, 6:30pmfor the general public
50 million people in the U.S.—one in four children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity, interweaving their stories are interwoven with insights from experts, ordinary citizens, and activists including Executive Producer Tom Colicchio (Top Chef) and Oscar®-winning actor Jeff Bridges.

Last Call At The Oasis (print courtesy of ATO Pictures)
Screened April 10, 2014 at 10am for students, 6:30pm for the general public
Firmly establishing the urgency of the global water crisis as the central issue facing our world this century, this documentary illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system and shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects. Featuring activist Erin Brockovich, respected water experts including Peter Gleick, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon and social entrepreneurs championing revolutionary solutions, the film posits that we can manage this problem if we are willing to act now.

Chavez (print courtesy of Pantelion Films)
Screened May 22, 2014 at 10am for students, 6:30pm for the general public
Directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Peña (End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer), Chavez chronicles the birth of a modern American movement led by famed civil rights leader and labor organizer, Cesar Chavez. Torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to bringing dignity and justice to others, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle for the rights of farm workers. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one individual’s ability to change the system.

Participant (participantmedia.com) is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature films, television, publishing and digital content that inspire social change. Participant’s more than 40 films include GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, SYRIANA, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, FOOD, INC., WAITING FOR ‘SUPERMAN’, THE HELP, CONTAGION and LINCOLN. Participant’s social action campaigns and digital network TakePart.com continue the conversation and connect audiences to a wealth of content and actions. Its new millennial television network Pivot pivot.tv, launching this summer in 40 million-plus homes, is TV for The New Greatest Generation.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.