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New Paterson Documentary To Air In September

Workers in Paterson's Colt Factory represent one of the waves of immigrants that made up a segment of the city's ethnic history. A new documentary, "Paterson and Its People," will air this month on PBS.
Workers in Paterson's Colt Factory represent one of the waves of immigrants that made up a segment of the city's ethnic history. A new documentary, "Paterson and Its People," will air this month on PBS. Photo Credit: The Paterson Museum

PATERSON, N.J. -- A new documentary that explores the way the make up of Paterson's population has changed the city’s evolution will be broadcast this month.

“Paterson and Its People” examines population changes from pre-European history as the home of the Lenape tribe to its present-day multiplicity.

The documentary explores the diversity of ethnic and racial groups that have populated the city. It begins thousands of years ago when native Lenape Indians populated the area and continues on through the early English and French immigrants to more recent arrivals of Hispanic and Middle Eastern populations.

The film highlights some famous residents and visitors, but focuses mainly on the ordinary people who lived and worked in the city and contributed to its social fabric.

The documentary by noted William Paterson University sociology professor Vincent Parillo will air on NJTV at 2 a.m Tuesday, Sept. 22 and 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.

It also will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the university's Shea Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free.

Parrillo is the film's author, narrator, and co-producer with Jaroslaw Ziaja serving as co-producer and editor. Parrillo and Ziaja previously co-produced the film "Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson."

Rhoderick Holliday, video production coordinator at the university, is the associate producer and production manager. Passaic County Historian Edward A. Smyk was a consultant on the film. The William Paterson University Alumni Association provided support.

Parrillo is the executive producer and writer of three award-winning PBS television documentaries: "Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson" (2013), "Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson" (1992) and "Ellis Island: Gateway to America" (1991).

He is the author of many books and journal articles, and his work been translated into nine languages.

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