Sept. 20, 2018
Kristina Smith
Marketing Committee chairman
American Presidents Film & Literary Festival
Fremont, OH 43420
800-998-7737, ext. 217

FREMONT – From a documentary about Teddy Roosevelt and the environment to a feature film about America’s race to the moon in the 1960s, the American Presidents Film & Literary Festival will feature a variety of independent films and documentaries.

The new event takes place Sept. 27 – Oct. 7 at various locations in Fremont.

Filmmakers submitted films on the themes of people, places politics and power. Portions of commercial films and a PBS documentary relating to the American presidency also will be shown.

Films shown during the festival are:

  • Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking” – A short documental essay, this short  film explores the beauty and fragility of the North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana landscapes. It contrasts the vastness and stark loneliness of the relatively untouched wild areas with oil derricks, fracking towers, natural gas burn offs, coal mines, machinery, trucks, energy installations and energy towns. The recent boom and bust economy echoes the cattle boom and bust of the 1880s. This film is directed by Jack Cochran and Pam Faulkenberg.
  • “The Republican Movie” – Joseph Ocasta is a rising star in the GOP who’s set on shaking up the system and disrupting the status quo in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he makes enemies through is bullish, hard-nosed political stance. An assassination plot unfolds to eliminate him on election night. Life or death becomes a matter of a single vote. This short film is directed by Jon Navarro.
  • “Writing the Peace” – In May 1945, a document was signed that ended World War II in Europe. But who wrote the words that changed the course of the 20th Century? This film reveals that it was written by an actor turned soldier named John Counsell. This short film is directed by A.D. Cooper.
  • “The Astronot” – Daniel longed to touch the moon. With Sandy’s help, he’d reach the stars. It was 1969, and America was embarking on the biggest adventure known to humankind with its voyage to the moon. Daniel, too, was pursing the unknown, leaving the path of isolation he had known for so long to embrace the love of another. The only question was would he be able to maintain that trajectory, or would he veer off course, never to be seen again. That was the challenge for “The Astronot.” This feature-length film is directed by Tim Cash.
  • “The Reagan Show” – This film is an all-archival documentary about the original performer-president’s role of a lifetime. Teasing apart the spectacle at the heart of finger-on-the-button global diplomacy, the film follows Ronald Reagan’s rivalry with charismatic Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, tracing how the communicator-in-chief uses his public relations chops to overcome Soviet mistrust, the objections of a skeptical press corps and the looming threat of World War III. Full of wit and political irony and told solely through 1980s network news and videotapes created by the Reagan Administration itself, the film explores Reagan’s made-for-TV approach to politics as he faced down the United States’ greatest rival. This documentary film is directed by Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez.
  • “Murder of a President” – This PBS documentary follows the shooting and eventual death of President James A. Garfield. It is based on Candice Millard’s bestselling book, “Destiny of the Republic.” Garfield rose from poverty to become the most powerful man in the United States, and many Americans believed he had the potential to become one of the country’s truly great presidents. On July 2, 1881, mentally disturbed drifter Charles Guiteau shot Garfield as he walked through a Washington, D.C., train station. Garfield survived the immediate shooting. With the importance of sterilization not yet realized by most American medical professionals, infection set in, killing the president 79 days later. Todd Arrington, James A Garfield National Historic Site manager, will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.
  • Commercial film program “Fascists, Fools and Action Heroes: Fictional Presidents in Three Movie Periods” – Jack Nachbar, Bowling Green State University professor emeritus, will discuss commercial films in three different time periods and how they portray the president. Films that he will discuss include “Wild Boys of the Road” (1933), “Dr. Strangelove” (1964) and “The American President” (1993).
  • HBO miniseries “John Adams” – Episodes of this 2008 miniseries will air beginning Monday, Oct. 1, at Birchard Public Library. This series spans President John Adams role in defending British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre to his involvement in the American Revolution and building a nation to his presidency and later years. Kirk Ellis, screenwriter for the miniseries, will introduce the viewing of the final episode at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Birchard Public Library. Ellis is also giving the keynote talk at the Red Carpet Event: Lecture on the Presidency from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

For a full schedule of film festival events and to purchase tickets, visit Ticket sales will be available online through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4. Tickets will then be available at venues where ticketed events take place, subject to availability. Like the film festival on Facebook at @ampresfilmlit.

The American Presidents Film & Literary Festival is committed to providing a place for expanded national and international understanding of the history and current events that have and continue to shape and influence the President of the United States. Utilizing the site and community of America’s first presidential library and museum, filmmakers, film professionals and authors will inspire audiences to explore, understand, critique and analyze the people, places, politics and power surrounding the American Presidency.

It is organized by the Liberty and Learning Foundation, Fremont City Schools, Birchard Public Library, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums and Downtown Fremont.