A Journey Down the Passaic
Newark Premiere at NJPAC
Friday, January 20th at 7:00 pm
Tickets Available Now!

Join us for the Newark Premiere of AMERICAN RIVER at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. This special screening of the award-winning documentary will be followed by a live conversation with the filmmakers. Experience AMERICAN RIVER in optimal quality at this fantastic venue. Details below.
AMERICAN RIVER comes home to Newark!
We'd like to see you, your friends and family there!
January 20th, 2023 at 7:00pm
followed by a conversation with filmmaker Scott Morris,
author Mary Bruno and river guide Carl Alderson.

“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." Bill Westhoven, Reporter, USA Today

"I loved the movie - very moving and compelling. Great visuals and connections to the area's fascinating history. Most rivers have a great story and you all did the Passaic proud!" Edgar Miller, Yadkin Riverkeeper, North Carolina

"Writer and ecologist Mary Bruno, with ebullience and genuine curiosity, expresses her love for the Passaic and respect for the voices of the people she meets along its banks. An utterly persuasive argument for preserving the natural world by allowing viewers to have their own -- perhaps newly birthed -- agency in the matter.” - George Esveldt, Port Townsend, Washington

"Mary and Carl's adventure is the perfect vehicle to tell the story - building awareness but without despair. Their friendship is the foil to the bigger message, inspiring our sympathy for the river in an engaging and spirited way."  - Melissa Litwin, New Jersey

“Rich informational content, engaging interviews, and a balanced yet optimistic outlook. American River is an expertly crafted film. We loved the focus on such a neglected river and believe it's an important story to share with our audience.” - Sam Fiebel, Environmental Film Festival at Yale 
Kayaking through Newark
Crossing the Passaic River at Great Falls

AMERICAN RIVER is a cinematic adventure about a 4-day, 80-mile kayak journey down New Jersey's Passaic River. The central character is Mary Bruno, who spent her childhood afraid of the polluted stretch of the Passaic near her home. Decades later, she returns to explore the river of her youth and tell its story.

AMERICAN RIVER follows Ms. Bruno and River Guide Carl Alderson as they kayak from the Passaic's pristine headwaters to its toxic mouth in Newark Bay. Along the way, candid conversations with residents, experts and advocates reveal the river's extraordinary history, geology and ecology: How did this powerful and once-celebrated river become one of the most contaminated in the nation? Can it be saved?

Three years in the making, the 86-minute documentary was directed by seasoned filmmaker Scott Morris and based on Mary Bruno's 2012 book, An American River; From Paradise to Superfund. The filmmaking team includes Producer Kelly Sheehan, Director of Photography Roger Grange, Consulting Editor Keith Reamer, Composer Ben Morris and Executive Producer S. Dillard Kirby.

Visit for detailed info about the film, cast and crew, press materials and screenings. And be sure to join the film's mailing list for updates and to send questions and comments.

  • September 2022 - Global Peace Film Festival, Winter Park, FL (Orlando) – In-person screenings and Q&A with filmmaker. For info click here.
  • October 2022 - Clean Water Celebration in Lewisburg, PA. AMERICAN RIVER was the centerpiece of the event with an in-person screening and panel at the historic Campus Cinema. Check out their blog about the film and event.

  • June 2022 - Waterkeeper Alliance Global Conference in Washington DC.  Scott Morris presented Film As Advocacy Tool, a training session for non-profits about how to use AMERICAN RIVER for fundraising and community awareness.

  • May 2022 – The Nature Conservancy – Private in-person screening and fundraising event hosted by Montclair Film.

  • April 2022 - Yale and Princeton Environmental Film Festivals – official selection for both in-person and virtual events.

Visit the AMERICAN RIVER website:
AMERICAN RIVER is available for private events and fundraisers. Contact us to discuss.
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