Emerging Pictures Screens LETTERS TO JACKIE Nationwide Today
Emerging Pictures, North America's premier independent supplier of alternative content for movie theatres, today announced it will host a national screening event in theatres across the U.S. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Today, September 17, the film "Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy," a documentary by Academy Award-winner Bill Couturié, will be honored with a special event in Boston at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Emerging Pictures will screen the film simultaneously in its network of theatres, and, in select venues, broadcast live the post-screening panel discussion.
Within three days of Kennedy's November 22, 1963 death, 45,000 letters of condolence had arrived at the White House. Seven weeks later that number had surpassed 800,000, expressing grief, shock, outrage and sympathy for the First Lady and her young children.
"I'll never forget where I was when JFK was killed. No one will. It cast a dark shadow over America. The world, really. Afterwards, the American people poured out their hearts to Jackie. The strength and wisdom of the nation, coming out of profound tragedy, rings clear in these letters. As soon as I read them, I knew I had to make a movie around them and the time they so eloquently evoke," said filmmaker Bill Couturié.
"Emerging Pictures is deploying its digital distribution and exhibition network to commemorate this tragic event in American history," said Barry Rebo, Managing Director of Emerging Pictures. "But we also want to reinvigorate and highlight interest in a form of communication less evanescent than those of today, one with the potential to lastingly convey both joy and tragedy: the seemingly lost art of letter-writing."
Couturié's film features 20 letters culled from the hundreds of thousands, read by some of Hollywood's foremost actors, including: Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney, John Krasinski, Melissa Leo, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams. Archival film footage from the era, including never-before-seen Kennedy home movies, provides context for film's featured letter-writers.
In commenting on her role as one of the letter-readers, Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer said, "I was born and raised in Alabama. I thought I knew everything there is about the civil rights movement. But 'Letters to Jackie' taught me things I didn't know. Everyone needs to see this movie!"
The panel discussion following the screening will include director Couturié, Ellen Fitzpatrick, author of the book on which the film is based, Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper and four individuals whose letters written to Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination are featured in the film.
Following the premiere screening on September 17th, "Letters to Jackie" will be playing through October exclusively at Emerging Pictures network theatres. For locations, dates and show times visit www.emergingpictures.com.
The live screening event is being produced by Emerging Pictures by Chris Sharp and Christy Cashman's Saint Aire Productions.