University of Pittsburgh
September 17, 2010

Pitt in Hollywood to Present Special Screening of The People Speak Sept. 19

Coexecutive producer Lisa Smith, associate producer of the Steeltown Film Factory, will join a panel discussion following the screening
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Pitt in Hollywood and the Steeltown Film Factory will present a special screening and panel discussion of the feature documentary The People Speak at 5 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Frick Fine Arts Building Auditorium, Room 125, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public. 

Based on historian Howard Zinn’s best-selling A People’s History of the United States (Harper Perennial, 2005), the film has been called an “eye-opening and groundbreaking look at America’s past.” 

The film is narrated by Zinn and features Matt Damon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, and Rosario Dawson reading letters, delivering speeches, and performing music; it tells the story of our nation’s history through the eyes of those who witnessed it. 

Lisa Smith, a Pittsburgh native who recently returned to Pittsburgh to work on the film Abduction, in production, will talk about the making of The People Speak and its message. Her credits include work on Project Greenlight, a contest and television series focusing on first-time filmmakers, and television shows for MTV, VH1, and Discovery Channel. 

Following the screening, Smith will be joined in a panel discussion by August Wilson Center President and CEO André Kimo Stone Guess, Point Park University cinema professor Chris Sepesey, Clarion University political science professor Kevan Yenerall, and Pitt faculty member and screenwriter Carl Kurlander. The group will discuss the behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking as well as the historical and political aspects of The People Speak

The event is being sponsored by Pitt in Hollywood and the Steeltown Film Factory. 

Pitt in Hollywood is a student-run organization that aims to demystify how the entertainment industry works by bringing in guest speakers who work in the television and film business and providing students with mentoring, networking, and internship opportunities in the industry. Pitt in Hollywood also has helped facilitate students with internships both locally and with studios and production companies in Los Angeles and New York. 

Steeltown Entertainment Project’s mission is to nurture promising talent and to incubate meaningful and commercially viable entertainment projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania by connecting former Pittsburghers who are working in the entertainment industry with the region’s human, cultural, educational, and economic resources. 

For more information, contact Pitt in Hollywood president Ryan O’Shea at 724-622-1290 or 

For more information visit the Web sites of Steeltown Film Factory and The People Speak.