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WNED Announces Launch of Free Mobile App for PBS Documentary “The War of 1812”

App Combines Technology with History in Explorations of Battles Sites from the War of 1812, Part of Comprehensive Media Project with PBS Film that Airs October 10

WASHINGTON, D.C., and BUFFALO, NY — Donald K. Boswell, president and CEO of WNED, announced today the launch of a history-based app for all mobile devices, The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App, available now for free from app stores.  Part of the expansive content-rich project “The War of 1812,” the new The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App serves as the perfect tool to help people of all ages explore battlefields, monuments, and other historic sites from the War of 1812.  The    e-book of the companion book to the project, The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites, is also available today, featuring 120 color photographs and archival paintings.

The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App and e-book are based on the major PBS documentary entitled “The War of 1812” — a comprehensive film history that examines 1812 to 1815, when Americans battled against the British, Canadian colonists, and Native warriors in a conflict that forged the destiny of a continent.  The two-hour HD film premieres on PBS stations nationwide on Monday, October 10 at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings).  The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App serves as the ideal companion for 1812 sites across North America, spanning Ontario, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Lakes Erie and Champlain.  Features include thematic exploration of the seven regional 1812 theaters of war, smart actions for each of the 115 historic locations, a “Nearby” function that shows what is close to that and other locations, a “Favorites” function to keep a smart travel itinerary, a “Share My Trip” feature that allows users to share their experiences via social media integration, and also bonus videos from the film.

“The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App is our first national educational app, and beautifully brings 200-hundred-year-old history to everyone’s fingertips,” said Boswell.  “The app compliments a bi-national effort that we created for both America and Canada to honor the War of 1812 Bicentennial — including the film, companion book and educational resources — allowing us to explore and celebrate our shared past.  Also, the e-book version of the companion book shows off those illustrations quite stunningly.”

The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App is available now for free from app stores for the iPad, Android, Blackberry and mobile web browsers on smart phone devices; the mobile website is warof1812guide.com.  The version for the iPhone and iPod Touch will be available later this week.  The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites e-book is available today for the Kindle and NOOK for $9.99.  The iBook version will be available early next week.  Readers can download the e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the App Store.

“The War of 1812” project, produced by WNED, includes the following components:

•    Film. Two-hour HD film for PBS, narrated by Joe Mantegna.  National television premiere on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.  Will be rebroadcast nationally in 2012.  The DVD is available for purchase via ShopPBS.org; will ship after broadcast premiere.

•    Mobile App.  The War of 1812: Guide to Historic Sites App allows users to explore the more than 115 locations where the legendary struggle known as the War of 1812 was fought.  It is the ideal companion for 1812 sites across North America.  Available now at app stores.

•    Book. Companion book, The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites, by John Grant and Ray Jones.  Illustrated with more than 120 color photographs and archival paintings.  Each chapter focuses on one of several distinct theaters of the war, allowing the reader to follow the course of events and their importance to the war as a whole.  Available to order now via ShopPBS.org.  Includes an e-book version, available for the Kindle, NOOK and iPad via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the App Store.

•    Educational Resources.  Bi-national education and outreach components, including Educator’s Guides with lesson plans, activities, and a host of educational-based resources designed for the United States and Canada, classroom posters, and several instructional events.  Available in the Classroom section at pbs.org/1812.

•    Website.  Content-rich companion website, with battlefield map and guide, web-only video features, scholar essays, and links to key 1812 sites on both sides of the border.  Available at pbs.org/1812.

For more information about “The War of 1812,” visit www.pbs.org/1812.  An electronic press kit, including downloadable photos for promotional use, is available at pressroom.pbs.org.

“The War of 1812” is a production of WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc., in association with WETA Washington, D.C.  The executive producers are John Grant and David Rotterman for WNED, and Dalton Delan and Karen Kenton for WETA.  Produced by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey of Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc.  Directed by Lawrence Hott.  Written by Ken Chowder.  Narrated by Joe Mantegna.  Principal Cinematography by Stephen McCarthy.  Production Design by Peter Twist.  “The War of 1812” has been made possible by a major grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities: Because democracy demands wisdom*.  With funding provided by The Wilson Foundation, Warren and Barbara Goldring, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: a private corporation funded by the American people, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations: Dedicated to strengthening America’s future through education, Phil Lind and The Annenberg Foundation.  With additional support from The Baird Foundation, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and Jackman Foundation. *Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

WNED-TV is a leading producer of single-topic documentary programming for national broadcast on PBS including “Chautauqua: An American Narrative,” “Elbert Hubbard: An American Original,” “The Adirondacks,” “Niagara Falls,” “The Marines,” “Window to the Sea,” “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo” and “America’s Houses of Worship.”  Also in development are films on the Underground Railroad and the history of golf course architecture in America.  More information on WNED and its programs and services is available at www.wned.org.

WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for public television.  WETA’s other productions and co-productions include “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal,” the arts series “In Performance at the White House” and “The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize,” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including the premiere this October of “Prohibition.”  More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc. is the production company of Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey, who have worked together since 1978.  They are part of the Florentine Films group.  Hott and Garey have received an Emmy Award, two Academy Award nominations, five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, fourteen CINE Golden Eagles, a George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, the Erik Barnouw Award.  Their work has been shown on PBS and screened at dozens of major film festivals, including the New York Film Festival, Telluride, Mountainfilm, and Women in the Director’s Chair.  More information is available at www.florentinefilms.org.

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