News Release
MacGillivray Freeman Films and Brand USA Celebrate the London Premiere of “America’s Musical Journey,” the Giant Screen Documentary for IMAX® Theatres Starring Grammy Award-Nominated Singer and Songwriter Aloe Blacc
LONDON
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October 9, 2018

Global audiences to discover the varying musical experiences available throughout the United States.

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, has rejoined forces with MacGillivray Freeman Films along with global presenting sponsor Expedia Group and Air Canada to introduce their second giant screen film, “America’s Musical Journey,” to audiences in the United Kingdom. Starring Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc, the film premieres on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Science Museum, London, where attendees will be treated to live performances by Blacc and Mélat, a local artist from Austin, Texas who encapsulates the eclectic soul of modern R&B. Their performances will be alongside appearances by filmmakers, travel influencers, and additional musicians to celebrate the film’s official UK launch.
 
The London premiere of "America’s Musical Journey" comes after the film debuted in February 2018, and has received a warm reception from critics and audiences alike in the USA, Mexico, Canada, France, Spain, South Korea, and Japan. Uncovering the United States' rich musical heritage, the film follows Aloe Blacc as he traces the nation's unique cultural roots through the footsteps of icons like Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley. Blacc’s journey takes him through the diverse range of colourful locales and cultures at the heart of the United States’ music traditions, visiting iconic cities including New Orleans, La.; Chicago, Ill.; New York City, N.Y.; Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.; and Miami, Fla. The film also examines the collision of cultures that gave birth to distinctly American musical genres such as jazz, blues, country, rock and roll, hip-hop, and more.
 
As audiences join this joyful, tune-filled tour, they'll experience adventures like paddle-wheel boating up the Mississippi Delta, flash mob dancing in Chicago, and skydiving with Elvis Presley impersonators over Memphis in scenes shot exclusively for the giant screen IMAX® format. Moviegoers will also meet the artists, musicians, and innovators who are currently shaping American culture, including Jon Batiste, bandleader and musical director of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Latin music icons Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and many more.
 
Academy Award-nominated director Greg MacGillivray threads this all together to create an immersive experience of culture and originality, with a soundtrack that showcases the United States' passion for music. "America’s music has its roots in the diverse cultures that came together from different parts of the world, culminating in a unique blend of sound, culture, and innovation," said MacGillivray. "This trailblazing spirit is what makes American music such a treasured experience around the world. I hope people are inspired to explore their own creativity after seeing the film."
 
"Music is an essential part of the human experience, and I look forward to helping audiences discover the unique cultural influences that gave rise to jazz, the blues, folk, and other musical genres in the United States," says Blacc. "I love the freedom of expression in this country, which is a source of creativity and innovation unlike anywhere else."
 
"America’s Musical Journey" is a cornerstone of Brand USA's marketing strategy to promote the United States as a world-class travel destination. Ranked third in international visitation, the United Kingdom remains one of the most important inbound markets for the United States. While the most popular itineraries include Fla.; N.Y.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and the West Coast, travellers from the UK are increasingly looking for opportunities to explore new communities, landmarks, and traditions beyond the major gateways. According to the most recent forecast from the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States is expected to see about a seven percent increase in visitor volume over the next five years from the UK—from an estimated 4.48 million visitors in 2017 to 4.89 million expected annual visitors in 2022.
 
"The UK is a priority market for Brand USA and we are excited to showcase the depth of this film at the Science Museum, London, where we can reach UK travellers through the emotional power of our music and its roots throughout history," said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. "This film showcases the diverse and unique destinations, people, and experiences of the United States and provides us with the opportunity to strengthen that emotional connection with travellers from the UK. The UK has always had a deep appreciation for music and 'America’s Musical Journey' is a joyful exploration of that shared passion between our nations."
 
"Music has the power to bring people together, especially here in the United States where diversity and creative freedom are such an important part of the culture," says Shaun MacGillivray, producer of "America’s Musical Journey" and president of MacGillivray Freeman Films. "We’re using the immersive, visual giant screen experience to tell the story of America’s musical and cultural heritage in a new and powerful way."
 
"As a longtime partner of Brand USA, we are honored to lend support and raise awareness as a global sponsor and exclusive online travel activation partner of this film," said Wendy Olson Killion, global vice president of Expedia Group Media Solutions. "We believe music has the ability to inspire travellers from all over the world to explore new places and cultures."

"Great music both evokes particular places and transcends borders. As a global airline, Air Canada embraces this spirit and is pleased to partner with Brand USA so everyone can make their own musical journey on North America’s Best airline as rated by Skytrax. We offer easy, one-stop connections from the United Kingdom to nearly 60 U.S. destinations through our major Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal hubs," said John MacLeod, vice president of global sales and alliances at Air Canada.

Leveraging the experiential nature of the giant screen to show travellers the nearly limitless experiences that the United States has to offer remains an integral part of Brand USA's marketing strategies to drive international tourism to communities in all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. Brand USA's first giant screen film, "National Parks Adventure," now available on Netflix, was voted Best Film of the Year by the Giant Screen Cinema Association and became the highest grossing documentary film of 2016. The film is expected to generate more than 172,000 incremental visits and $700 million in incremental spend from 2017-2019. According to a study from Oxford Economics and Phocuswright, the $12 million giant screen film has generated 46,700 trips to the United States so far and $173 million in visitor spending in Fiscal Year 2017 alone.

"America’s Musical Journey” will play in select theatres across the United Kingdom. For a current list of theatres showing "America's Musical Journey", please click here. To discover more about the USA's rich musical culture and the diversity of experiences the country has to offer, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website VisitTheUSA.co.uk and follow Visit The USA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

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About MacGillivray Freeman Films
MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with 40 films for IMAX® and giant-screen theatres to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX® Hall of Fame. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one-billion-dollar benchmark for worldwide box office. For more information about the company, visitMacGillivrayFreemanFilms.com.

About Expedia Group
Expedia Group is the world's travel platform. We help knock down the barriers to travel, making it easier, more enjoyable, more attainable and more accessible. We are here to bring the world within reach for customers and partners around the globe. We leverage our platform and technology capabilities across an extensive portfolio of businesses and brands to orchestrate the movement of people and the delivery of travel experiences on both a local and global basis. Our family of travel brands includes: Brand Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Egencia®, trivago®, HomeAway®, VRBO®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Wotif®, lastminute.com.au®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Hotwire®, Classic Vacations®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, Expedia Local Expert®, Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, SilverRail Technologies, Inc., ALICE and Traveldoo®. For more information, visit ExpediaGroup.com.
 
© 2018 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. CST: 2029030-50

 

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About Brand USA

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation's first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the USA in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past five years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 5.4 million incremental visitors to the USA, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $38 billion in total economic impact and supporting, on average, more than 51,000 incremental jobs a year.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit TheBrandUSA.com. To discover more about the USA and the boundless diversity of American travel experiences and authentic, rich culture, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website VisitTheUSA.com and follow Visit The USA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.