Filmmaker Ken Burns to Preview New Film at OIA Industry Breakfast

Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns to Preview New Film on National Parks at OIA Industry Breakfast

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today announced documentary filmmaker Ken Burns as the keynote speaker at the Industry Breakfast on Thursday, January 22. Mr. Burns will kick off the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market with a sneak peak at his newest film, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA airing on PBS in September 2009, to the industry.

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales — from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, Florida's Everglades to Alaska's Gates of the Arctic — THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a six-part, 12-hour documentary series by Ken Burns on the history of America's national parks. This is a story of people: people from every conceivable background — rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs — who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved and in doing so, reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns' films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” A December 2002 poll conducted by RealScreen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time” and named Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time.

THE NATIONAL PARKS, airing in September 2009 on PBS, will be a national television event with a major PBS advertising and public awareness campaign launching in January designed to engage Americans across the nation in learning about this precious resource. At a time of economic uncertainty, the outdoors and our parks present an opportunity for our industry to remind our customers the outdoors helps improve mental and physical health and is a great means for escape in troubling times.

"This documentary is a timely and welcome opportunity for our industry," remarked Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA. "This spring, Americans will be seeking low cost ways to spend time with their friends and families. Outdoor activities such as camping and hiking will have special appeal and we as an industry can tap into the resources of PBS and the film promotion to reinvigorate consumers about the outdoors."

Outdoor Industry Association, in conjunction with PBS, has developed a free toolkit for retailer of simple suggestion of how to tap into the national promotion and reach out to their communities, engage their customers in the outdoors and get them excited to head out to the parks and reconnect with nature. Toolkits will be available at the industry breakfast, or for download at

Presented by SmartWool and co-sponsored by W. L. Gore and Outdoor Retailer, the OIA Industry breakfast will be held on Thursday, January 22 at 7 a.m. at the downtown Marriott in conjunction with the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event is free but space is limited and online registration is required. Please visit to RSVP.

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About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to or call 303.444.3353.