Northern NJ Community Foundation Announces Discount Tickets for Students to See Screening of American River Film.

--Hackensack Riverkeeper's Captain Bill Sheehan to Participate in Talkback After Film Screening--

(Hackensack, NJ; May 17, 2023) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) invites youngsters and young adults to attend and be inspired by the special screening of the documentary film, American River, on Wednesday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

EDT at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC), located at 102 State Street in Hackensack, New Jersey.  Through the support of sponsors, the NNJCF announces a special discount ticket exclusively for students at all grade levels through college to view this film about the evolution of the Passaic River.

            "Any young person who is concerned about their local environment should go see this film.  This film is inspiring and can provide them with a lot of ideas for helping make the Hackensack River healthier and a better place to enjoy," said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.


            A special student ticket rate of $5 may be purchased with the promotional code StudentTix.  Tickets for the general public are available for $15 each.  All tickets may be purchased online at .  The doors open at 5:45 p.m., and the movie will be screened from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

            The theatre is handicapped accessible.  Designated handicapped parking spaces are available.

An Audience Favorite

            Since its world premiere in 2021 at the Montclair Film Festival in Montclair, New Jersey, the film has been screened at several festivals, including the 2022 Global Peace Film Festival in Florida, the 2022 Princeton Environmental Film Festival, the Environmental Film Festival at Yale, and the 2022 RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina, among others.  At the 2021 Teaneck International Film Festival, the movie received the Audience Award for Best of Fest and the Audience Award for Best Documentary.   

            “A fantastic voyage through America’s past and present, from its breathtaking, unspoiled beginnings to its growth as a global industrial power – all along a frequently overlooked river," stated Bill Westhoven, reporter with USA Today.

Passaic River Explored

            Directed by filmmaker Scott Morris and based on Mary Bruno’s 2012 book, An American River: From Paradise to Superfund, the film explores the Passaic River through community members' stories.  Bruno spent her childhood along this river, one of the most polluted waterways in America, and returned to kayak with her guide Carl Alderson on a four-day, 80-mile adventure down the Passaic River, from its pristine source in a wildlife refuge to its toxic mouth in Newark Bay.  The river’s amazing history, geology and ecology reveal themselves, as they navigate challenges, travel through urban landscapes and head towards the industrial disaster that poisoned the Passaic for the past 60 years.  The Passaic is an archetype for thousands of rivers across America facing similar reckonings.

Talk Back and Reception       

            After the film presentation, a talk back session will be held with producer Scott Morris and Hackensack Riverkeeper's Captain Bill Sheehan.  "I think those who watch the film will get a real understanding and appreciation of the fact that the Passaic and Hackensack are ’sister rivers’,” said Sheehan. “Not only are they close geographically and geologically - their watersheds having been created at the end of the last Ice Age - but they share a common human history as well.  And while folks know that too much of that history was negative, I hope they will be pleased to learn how organizations like ours, ICC, Passaic River Coalition and the Newark Parks Foundation are writing the newest chapters in the Passaic's ongoing history."

            The public is invited to attend and discuss how the communities surrounding the Hackensack River can be greener, healthier, and connect residents to their hometown river.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation will provide information about its environmental protection programs and how the public can get involved.  A reception follows in the HACPAC's art gallery.

Launch of Hackensack River Nation

            Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, works primarily in the areas of the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.  The NNJCF is leading efforts to address stormwater flooding and the impacts of climate change along the Hackensack River and in the City of Hackensack.  With the film's screening, the Foundation seeks to inspire ideas for the city's hometown river and to help launch the Hackensack River Nation initiative.

            The proceeds from ticket purchases support the NNJCF and its work to address pressing, challenging social and environmental issues in North Jersey.  Visions Federal Credit Union and Cullari Carrico are sponsors for the program.  To become a sponsor, contact NNJCF's Executive Director, Leonardo Vazquez, at

            For more information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, visit its website at, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.  For more information about the film, American River, go to

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
            The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.  Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved.  Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services and resources.  The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.  For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

Photo caption: American River.  Photo Credit: Scott Morris Productions

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