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Brand USA Premieres Second Giant Screen Film Promoting the USA – "America’s Musical Journey"
February 14, 2018

In a nod to settlers who brought their own language, customs, and music to the United States, Brand USA is showcasing this country’s musical treasures past and present with the premiere of its second giant screen film, "America’s Musical Journey."

The IMAX film - a collaboration between Brand USA, MacGillivray Freeman Films, Expedia, and Air Canada - debuted February 15 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Lockheed Martin IMAX theater in Washington, DC, where it received rave reviews from dignitaries in attendance.

Honoring the diverse music and creative risk-taking spirit that characterizes the United States, "America’s Musical Journey" – narrated by Academy Award Winning Actor Morgan Freeman - follows Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc as he traces the footsteps of Louis Armstrong, one of the most influential jazz musicians in U.S. history, through the colorful locales where America’s music was born. 

The hand-clapping and foot-stomping film is set in the musically-iconic cities of New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; New York City, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; Miami, Florida – cities where the electrifying music genres of jazz, blues, country, and rock and roll were born. Along the journey, Blacc meets the artists, music makers, storytellers, and innovators who are shaping America’s culture today.

“Viewers will be immersed in the sights and sounds of music and culture in America,” said Brand USA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Thompson said. “This film showcases our nation’s diversity and blends of cultures that tell a fascinating story of this country’s history, as well as today’s American experience.”

“As perhaps America’s best storyteller, Morgan Freeman’s emotional voice lends empathy to our story of the collision of cultures which has led to America’s many musical creations,” said Director Greg MacGillivray, the film’s director and chairman of the award-winning film company. “His luminous voice will help highlight the various forms of American music that we explore in the film and how the blending of cultures sparks creativity that continues to be seen in our music today.”

Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer of Brand USA, noted: “Morgan Freeman’s distinctive voice is a national treasure and connects with millions all over the world. We are excited to hear him bring the story of "America’s Musical Journey" to life.  His soulful narration harmonizes with the sights and sounds of America’s richest cultural centers in a powerful way, driving interest, engagement and intent to visit the USA.”

The film was shown to the public February 17-25 at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Lockheed Martin IMAX theater and at the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Brand USA also partnered with Smithsonian Theaters and Destination DC for a screening at the National Museum of American History on February 16 for the grand re-opening of the Warner Bros. Theater, where the film will be exhibited indefinitely.

Set to premiere in multiple international venues, "America’s Musical Journey" will debut in Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico at the Papalote Museo del Niño in both locations on March 15. The film formally opened March 1 at Centro Cultural Tijuana in Tijuana. It will open in Aguascalientes, Mexicali and other locations later this year. The Mexico version of the film is narrated by world renowned guitarist and composer Javier Bátiz.

“America’s Musical Journey” comes on the heels of Brand USA’s first giant screen film – the award-winning "National Parks Adventure," the ultimate off-trail adventure celebrating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. national parks. Narrated by Academy Award Winning Actor Robert Redford, the action-packed film captured the majestic landscapes of treasured national parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Brand USA is hopeful the new film will be as successful as "National Parks Adventure," which became the highest-grossing documentary film of 2016; was viewed in 119 exhibitions in 16 countries within the first 12 months and captured multiple awards, including the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s Best Film of 2016 in the Short Subject category.  It now is available on Netflix.

“These films help us in our mission to increase international travel to the United States,” Thompson said.  “They drive interest and travel to the United States; enhance our relationships with our stakeholders; and illustrate that Brand USA is a strong global citizen and an organization fueling our nation’s economy.