MORE THAN 175 ATTEND WXXI’S SCREENING OF LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM AND COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

Release Date: 
Wed, 04/22/2015

For immediate release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, 585-258-0253 (office) 585-259-5884 (cell)

(Rochester, NY) April 22, 2015 – Tuesday night more than 175 individuals attended the free screening of Last Days in Vietnam at the Little Theatre. Hosted by WXXI as part of its Veterans Connections initiative, the Academy Award-nominated film chronicles the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon. The screening was followed by a discussion moderated by WXXI’s Veterans Affairs Task Force Chair Mark Leary, with panelists including Vietnam Veteran Gary Beikirch and Veteran Center Counselor Laszlo Felhazy, MA.

The evening began with the Presentation of the Colors by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20 Color Guard and a welcome by WXXI & the Little Theatre President Norm Silverstein. Audience members included many war veterans, their friends and families, invested community members, and even a civilian at the U.S. Embassy during the 1975 evacuation in Vietnam. A podcast of the post-film discussion can found at WXXINews.org.

In addition to the special screening, WXXI will present the television premiere of Last Days in Vietnam on Tuesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. The television premiere anchors a week of Vietnam War programming on WXXI-TV to honor the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Additional programming includes:

  • The Draft airs Monday, April 27 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV The Draft offers a  vivid, contemporary, and probing look at the history of the military draft in America, including the turbulent Vietnam War and the searing stories of people who lived its realities. 
  • Dick Cavett’s Vietnam airs Monday, April 27 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV This program takes a look back at the conversations the talk show host had about the war with a range of high-profile public figures.
  • The Day the 60’s Died airs Tuesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV This documentary chronicles the nation’s upheaval during May 1970, the month in which four students were shot dead at Kent State University during a protest against the Vietnam War.

 

PBS is also hosting an online chat and national screening of Last Days in Vietnam on Wednesday, April 22 at 8 p.m. at <bit.ly/1DJZFoD >. Participants can chat with film participants Hugh Doyle and Binh Pho, and a live panel of veterans and Vietnamese Americans from the film that escaped hours before the fall of Saigon 40 years ago this April. Filmmaker Rory Kennedy will also make a special guest appearance.

In the future, WXXI and The Little will continue to feature more veteran-specific programming, documentaries and news stories pertaining to all American-involved wars and across all branches of the military.

WXXI’s Veterans Connections initiative is designed to link veterans in our region with needed community support and services.  Through special TV, radio and online programming, documentary films, group discussions, news features, and a comprehensive web site (WXXI.org/veterans), Veterans Connections will create a community platform to raise awareness and connect veterans with valuable resources.

Vietnam War programming on WXXI-TV is made possible with support from Woods, Oviatt, Gilman, LLP and the Veterans Outreach Center. 

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. WXXI also has a long-term affiliation with Little Theatre, which helps enhance the cultural life of the community and strengthens two of Rochester's most vital arts institutions. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and program.

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