Discount Tickets for Students to See American River

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) invites youngsters and young adults to attend a screening of the documentary film, American River.  The film screening takes place on Wednesday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. EDT at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC).  The theater is 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 to make the Hackensack River healthier and a better place to enjoy,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Discount Tickets

Student discount tickets are available to see the documentary film, American River.

The Northern NJ Community Foundation provides student discount tickets to see the film, American River.

Purchase a special student discount ticket for $5 using promotional code StudentTix. In addition, tickets for the general public are available for $15 each. The student discount and general rate tickets may be purchased online. The doors open at 5:45 p.m.  The movie screens 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 screened at several other festivals.  These include the 2022 Global Peace Film Festival in Florida and also the 2022 Princeton Environmental Film Festival.  Furthermore, the film ran at 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 also 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, the film explores the Passaic River through community members’ stories. The film is based on Mary Bruno’s 2012 book, An American River: From Paradise to Superfund.  Bruno spent her childhood along this river, one of the most polluted waterways in America.  She returned to kayak with her guide Carl Alderson.  Accordingly, they ventured 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.  Bruno and Anderson travel through urban landscapes. They head towards the industrial disaster that poisoned the Passaic for the past 60 years. The Passaic also presents an archetype for thousands of rivers across America facing similar reckonings.

Talk Back and Reception

Captain Bill Sheehan leads students on a tour of the river.

Captain Bill Sheehan talks to students.

After the film presentation, a talk back session takes place with producer Scott Morris and Hackensack Riverkeeper’s Captain Bill Sheehan. “Those who watch the film will get a real understanding and appreciation 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 Foundation invites the public to attend and discuss how the communities surrounding the Hackensack River can be greener and healthier.  The discussion also provides a way to connect residents to their hometown river. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation will provide information about its environmental protection programs.  In addition, the Foundation plans to provide information about involving the public. 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, operates from its headquarters in Hackensack, New Jersey.  The Foundation works primarily in the areas of the environment and arts and culture.  In addition, it addresses issues in public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy. Leading efforts to address stormwater flooding, the NNJCF also examines the impacts of climate change along the Hackensack River. In addition, the Foundation seeks to inspire ideas and to introduce the Hackensack River Nation initiative.

Furthermore, ticket purchases support the NNJCF and its work to address 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, the film, or the discount tickets, send an email to or call 201-568-5608. In addition, check the film’s website for more details.

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