Filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle will appear with their new documentary Country School: One Room – One Nation at the Falls Reception and Conference Center in Columbia, Illinois on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. The St. Louis film premiere will end a full day of festivities celebrating the dedication of the Monroe County Welcome Center, now home to the historic Shoemaker School.
From immigration issues in early schools to the controversial demise of their widespread use in the 1950s and 1960s, Country School: One Room – One Nation combines visually stunning images of a myriad of restored and decaying buildings—including one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright—with surprising, humorous, and heartwarming stories from former teachers and students. More than just nostalgia, Country School also delves into the dark side of the one-room school experience and dispels the myths behind the revered institution that helped bind a young nation together. Filming took place in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
“Country School: One-Room - One Nation presents the hopes, dreams, and the reality of those who built them, those who taught in them, those who attended them, and those who work to keep their history alive,” said Susan Fineman of the Country School Association of America’s Board of Directors.
The day-long celebration begins at 10:00 a.m. with the dedication of the Monroe County Welcome Center, School Museum & Commemorative Plaza. Tours of the historic Shoemaker School and Sand Bank School will run from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. An old-fashioned pie social will take place during the tour event. The morning events are free of charge.
The special Country School film presentation begins at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at the Falls Reception and Conference Center, 300 Admiral Weinel Blvd. in Columbia, Illinois. The program will include hors d’oeuvres and drinks, Shoemaker School reminiscences, the St. Louis premiere screening of the film, followed by Q&A with filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle. The event is sponsored by the City of Columbia. Tickets are $12.50 per person and are available at the City Clerk’s Office at Columbia City Hall.
Country School premiered at the State Historical Building in Des Moines in November 2010 and has been screening throughout the U.S. ever since. The DVD was released regionally in March and a national release is scheduled in the fall through the Rundles’ distributor Passion River Films. Midwestern PBS broadcasts are planned for Country School in 2012.
The Rundles previously produced the award-winning documentaries Lost Nation: The Ioway and Villisca: Living with a Mystery. They are currently in production on the documentaries Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (a co-production with Emmy-nominated documentarian Garry McGee) and the sequel Lost Nation: The Ioway 2 & 3.
Country School: One Room – One Nation was funded in part by Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.