KC-produced IMAX film will premier at Union Station

Kansas City Business Journal

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Overland Park-based Inland Sea Productions will premier its latest documentary, a full-length IMAX film called “We the People,” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Union Station in Kansas City.

The premier is sold out, but Union Station will conduct five showings a day Nov. 8-20. Tickets cost $6 and are available online at www.unionstation.org. The film is being accompanied by a display of original historical documents, including one of the original 13 copies of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Susan B. Anthony’s trial proceedings.

The film was produced and directed by Aimee Larrabee, owner of Inland Sea Productions and wife of Arvest Bank’s Kansas City regional CEO Mark Larrabee. Aimee Larrabee is an Emmy Award-winning documentary producer most widely known for her work on the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary “The Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie.” She is also known locally for producing and directing a popular short IMAX film called “Kansas City Presents.”

Her latest creation, “We the People,” is her first feature-length IMAX film. It tells the story of the founding of the United States. Narrated by Morgan Freeman and Kenny Rogers, the film includes images of some of America’s most iconic structures, paintings, photographs and documents.

Larrabee said the film is the result of 10 years of work that started after the release of IMAX documentaries on Kansas City and Detroit. The short films elicited feelings of pride in those two communities.

“We thought if we could do this for communities and get them to rally together and celebrate who they are, we could do it for our country as well,” Larrabee said.

The film was financially backed by the Ford Motor Company Fund and a Who’s Who list of Kansas City companies and philanthropic foundations. Before filming, Inland Sea Productions assembled a team of 14 academic advisers who rank among the nation’s top constitutional scholars. The film was shot throughout Washington, D.C., and the nation, but the end product has a distinct Kansas City flavor. The cinematography, editing and animation all were done right here in Kansas City.

“What we have is a 40-minute film that will be in IMAX theaters around the country,” Larrabee said. “It tells the story of how the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights came about. Then how the concepts and construction of those documents have been the tools we’ve used throughout our history to continue to perfect the union. It’s just telling the story of freedom.”

Larrabee also is especially proud of accompanying classroom curriculum and lesson plans developed for grades 4, 7 and 12.

“Each year, we’ll build out a new set of lesson plans,” Larrabee said. “We’re also creating events and links for lifelong learners. We’re providing ways for people to learn more about what interests them. So the film is really a gateway to learn more and participate.”

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