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ReadingFilm Presents FROM THE RIVER: 2023 Regional Filmmaker Spotlight

by ReadingFilm

May 23, 2023

Berks County, Pennsylvania is home to beautiful landscapes, towns big and small, people from around the world, and a river. FROM THE RIVER is a short film, produced by Schott Productions, which takes viewers on a 350+ year journey through the region’s history in just 35 minutes. ReadingFilm Office is pleased to present the premiere of FROM THE RIVER in collaboration with the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts’ First Friday event celebrating Reading’s 275th Anniversary on Friday, June 2, 8:30pm at Albert and Eunice Boscov Theatre, 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for students. Secure advance tickets on the Goggleworks website:

The Executive Director of ReadingFilm, Cammie Harris, expresses enthusiasm at working with Tracy Schott, the founder of Schott Productions, to present FROM THE RIVER to the community. “Tracy has a genuine passion for the art of filmmaking and for supporting our regional film community. She started ReadingFilmFEST, an annual international film festival, in 2015 to attract filmmakers from all over the world to Greater Reading. It has been a pleasure to witness her documentary come to life. The film offers a unique and intimate view into the rich history of Reading and Berks County, highlighting the stories of heroes and villains, innovators and disruptors,  and immigrants from around the world. As we commemorate Reading’s 275th anniversary, we hope this film inspires pride in our community and encourages a deeper appreciation for our shared heritage.”

The history of Reading and Berks County is multi-faceted and fascinating: from its early history as home to the Lenape natives and its inclusion in the William Penn Land Grant, to the innovative creation of industry, transportation and products, to the city’s political controversies, economic booms and losses, and the cultural growth of the 20th century.

FROM THE RIVER creates a visual and auditory montage of the region’s most compelling stories and characters, including voices rarely heard in history films. These are stories that should be accessible to all, for there are lessons that can only be learned by looking back. Schott describes the film as a labor of love and credits John Friedmann who initiated the project, as its brainchild.

“After visiting the New York Historical Society and watching a film about the history of New York, I started thinking about the fascinating history of Reading and Berks County. I’m not sure that many people who live here are aware of the rich history of our region. I hope this film inspires our community to feel proud of this place we call home” explains Mr. Friedmann.

Says Schott “Creating a short film to describe the centuries of Berks’ history has been incredibly challenging and intriguing. This could be a mini-series, there are so many compelling stories to tell.”

In addition to the film’s production/post-production crew, more than 100 people, 25 organizations, and numerous businesses participated in the film’s creation by providing consultation, locations, on-camera re-enactments, off-camera interviews, voiceover/narration, and archival elements. A mural and original paintings by Andrew Pochan are featured in the film, providing a visual thread throughout the film and a permanent reminder of the community’s history. Pochan’s mural, entitled “Reading is Ours: a folk mural of Reading, PA” will be unveiled in a joint event with Goggleworks Center for the Arts just prior to the film screening at 8:30pm.

FROM THE RIVER is funded by grants, donations, and private investors including John and Vicki Friedmann, Wyomissing Foundation, Dick Ehst, Customers Bank, and Reading Musical Foundation. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available to help create a permanent installation for the film. (Contact Tracy Schott for more information.)

Schott Productions is an independent production company whose mission is finding and telling the stories that matter. Productions include fiction and non-fiction films aimed at enhancing lives through entertainment and enlightenment, including the award-winning documentary film FINDING JENN’S VOICE.

ReadingFilm Office’s mission is to promote the region as a location destination for film and media production, enrich the community through events and programming, and cultivate a regional film industry. ReadingFilm is committed to lifting-up voices of the under-represented and providing content and services that reflect and meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve. Learn more at

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