The Secchia Family of Grand Rapids and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Partner on Documentary Film

Award-winning Ark Media selected to produce and direct film on President Ford

Aug 20, 2015, 17:15 ET from Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The definition of Presidential character was personified in the 38th president, and a new documentary film, commissioned by the Peter F. Secchia Family of Grand Rapids and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, will showcase these traits. Nationally renowned Ark Media and producers Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance have signed on to write, direct and produce the high-caliber film.

"While his time in office was relatively short, America's 38th president played a significant role in the healing and revitalization of our country," said Peter Secchia, former U.S. ambassador. "Our hope is that this documentary will not only reach audiences who are unfamiliar with Gerald Ford's Presidency, but also shed a new light on the importance of his character and his decisions that determined our nation's future."

Through never-before-seen archival materials, master storytelling and intimate interviews with prominent public leaders, historians and members and friends of the Ford family, the documentary tells the story of how Gerald Ford's character impacted decisions that helped shape and define the future of a nation and world.

"President Ford had a moral compass that guided his every decision, and he never wavered," said Red Cavaney, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation chairman. "As we all know, not every decision President Ford made was popular at the time, but popularity was not this man's goal. He took pride in the strength of his Midwestern values, which played a significant role in his presidential decision-making, as well as his life. This film will tell his story, helping people to better understand the 38th president. We've made an important decision in selecting Ark Media as our production company, and we're looking forward to seeing their artistic vision and high-quality product take shape in an objective and creative way."

Barak Goodman, co-founder and principal producer at Ark Media, is one of the most prolific and acclaimed documentarians in America. Ark Media's latest projects include "THE ITALIAN AMERICANS," a four-hour documentary series chronicling four generations of Italian-American lives spanning the late 19th century wave of immigration to present day, which aired on PBS in February. In addition, Goodman gained national recognition for directing and co-producing the recently released documentary series "CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES." "Cancer," produced in partnership with Ken Burns, aired March 30April 1 on PBS. Goodman will be joined on the Ford film by award-winning and long-time partner, Co-Producer Chris Durrance.  

Work on the film commenced in March and is expected to conclude in the fall. The film's title and release date will be announced once broadcast and distribution partners are selected.

About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values and legacy of America's 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford's extraordinary career of public service.  The Foundation promotes the ideals, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena.  It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. 

About the Secchia Family
Peter Secchia was a close friend and confidante of President Ford, and was later appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Italy in 1989 through 1993. The Secchia family supports a myriad of community projects and educational programs in Michigan for institutions such as Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Valley State University, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Kent County Millennium Park, East Grand Rapids High School, Spectrum Hospital, and numerous others. The Secchia Family Foundation also provides scholarships for West Michigan students and MSU students to study at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.


SOURCE Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation