Southern California loves a film premiere, and audiences in Los Angeles were not disappointed at the recent West Coast Premiere of a new documentary short film from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. "Brought to tears" was a common reaction of viewers after seeing Connecting Families, Advancing History, shown during a conference session at SCGS Jamboree in Burbank.
The film featured interviews with attendees at NEHGS Family History Day giving a glimpse at the face of genealogy today. Additional scenes from inside the library and around Boston help to place NEHGS in context as an historic and enduring repository for valued family records. NEHGS worked with independent film makers Nancy Beach and Bryan Vawter to produce the 14-minute documentary focusing on the Society's legacy and future plans.
Shortly after the conference, NEHGS President Brenton Simons announced on the NEHGS website that the film had been honored with a Telly award. "This award is voted on by its prior recipients and recognizes 'the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions.'"
While snippets from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBC Nightly News served as evidence of the mainstream popularity of genealogy today, personal anecdotes from everyday people discovering their ancestors were clearly the most moving. The theme of genealogy for everyone, not only an elite few, was underscored by the spotlight on various types of records available at the NEHGS Library and online through the AmericanAncestors.org databases. In recent months, NEHGS has successfully launched a new website emphasizing American ancestry and continued to expand its New England content.
Connecting Families, Advancing History, is presently being shown at conferences and NEHGS events. Watch www.AmericanAncestors.org for notice that the film is available for online viewing.