The Johnstown Flood - Academy Award ® Winner
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(May 31, 1989)
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...a fine film...with a pr premier filmmaker...in the spirit and character of the story. --David McCullough
A true story in American history The Johnstown Flood Behind the broken dam lay empty lake and unanswered questions. Who was responsible for the disaster? Was the as tragedy caused by an act of God or by the hand of man? --The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat
About the Director
Charles Guggenheim, a Washington, DC based filmmaker, has achieved an international reputation in the area of documentary films. Described by The Saturday Review's film critic, Hollis Alpert, as "probably the most accomplished maker of documentary films in the country," Guggenheim has won top awards in every major international film competition.
Producing films for television and theatrical release, Guggenheim has received the George Foster Peabody Award in broadcasting, twelve Academy Award nominations, and four Academy Awards.
The Venice Film Festival's XI Gold Mercury Award for Guggenheim's "Monument to the Dream" marked the first time in the Festival's history that the award was given to an American.
The first of Guggenheim's four Academy Awards was received for "Nine from Little Rock," which chronicles the Arkansas school integration crisis and the changes wrought in subsequent years. "RFK Remembered," a film biography of Robert F. Kennedy that captures the late Senator's life and puts his death into perspective, received the second Academy Award. The third Award went to "The Johnstown Flood," a film commemorating the 100th anniversary of the famous disaster. Guggenheim's most recent Academy Award was received in 1995 for "A Time For Justice," the story of the Civil Rights Movement.
Guggenheim's films about architecture, which include "Monument to the Dream," depicting the building of The St. Louis Arch, "The Making of Liberty," the story of the birth and restoration of the Statue of Liberty, and "A Place To Be," documenting the design and construction of The National Gallery of Art, won him the 1987 Institute Honor from The American Institute of Architects.
Guggenheim has been commissioned by three of this country's Presidential Libraries to produce their films. The film biographies of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry S. Truman were produced for permanent exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; and Independence, Missouri, respectively.
Recent Guggenheim productions include "Journey to America," documenting the journey of immigrants to America through Ellis Island between 1890 and 1920, which was produced for PBS. "Island of Hope, Island of Tears," on which "Journey" was based, is on permanent exhibition at Ellis Island in New York.
Other films completed recently include "D-Day Remembered," an Academy Award Nominee in 1995, commemorating the invasion of France by the Allied armies and the liberation of Europe, which was produced for both PBS and The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans; "Clear Pictures," a film biography of the American novelist, Reynolds Price; the 1996 Academy Award Nominee, "Shadow of Hate," a history of intolerance in America; and the 1999 Academy Award nominated film, "A Place in the Land," the story of three seminal American conservationists. This year, Guggenheim will release "The Art of Norton Simon" for the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and "The First Freedom" for the Freedom Forum in Washington, DC.
Mr. Guggenheim has been a guest lecturer at Harvard's Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies, as well as a fellow at both Harvard and Yale Universities. He was a member of the faculty at Harvard's Salzburg (Austria) Seminar in American Studies and has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and from The American University in Washington, DC. He serves as President of the Foundation for the National Archives and was a trustee of the Danforth Foundation and the White House Historical Association.
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