‘Story of Acadians’ Lewiston’s Franco-American Heritage Center will host the U.S. premiere of this documentary

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“The Story of The Acadians” – a documentary that spans 170 years, beginning with the arrival of the French at Isle St. Croix off the coast of Maine in 1604 – will be shown Sunday, April 9, in Lewiston.

This is the U.S. premiere for the one-hour film which had its French premiere in Poitou, France, last October.

The one-hour documentary, which ends with the construction of the Acadian Line in France in 1774, will be shown at Lewiston’s Franco American Heritage Center.

“The Story of the Acadians” is a tale of discovery, tragedy and determination – of a peace loving people who never give up. The film features footage from three different countries – France, the United States and Canada – tracing the footsteps of French settlers. It takes the viewer on tours of Isle St Croix, St. Sauveur on Mount Desert Island, Port Royal, Annapolis Royal and Grand Pre as well as to Chaussee in Poitou, France, ancestral home of the Acadians. It ends in Chatellerault in France, where descendants of the Acadians still live today.

On the discussion panel will be filmmaker Brenda Nasberg Jepson and Francoise Paradis,whose ancestors migrated from France to Quebec more than 100 years before the Acadians were deported from Nova Scotia.

Jepson grew up in central Maine intrigued by her many neighbors and friends of French descent. She received a journalism degree from the University of Maine at Orono in 1978 and lived 14 years in Europe, where she trained under a BBC producer/director for five years.

She also owned and ran an award-winning production film company for five years before returning to Maine in 1992. Jepson teaches TV production part time at Caribou Tech Center and runs her own company, Crown of Maine Productions Inc. Jepson has been making documentaries for MPBN for nearly 30 years.

Paradis’ ancestors intersected and blended with Acadians as they migrated from Canada in the 1840s, settling in St. Luce Parish, Frenchville.

Paradis is the seventh child in a French speaking family in Frenchville, the heart of French-Canadian and Acadian culture in Maine. She has created a book, a reprint of “Evangeline – A Tale Of Acadie,” plus a study guide.

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