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Remarkable documentary on James Baker III draws giant names to Houston

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12 Barbara and President H.W. Bush, from left, and James and Susan Baker at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Barbara and former President George H.W. Bush, left, with James A. Baker III and Susan Baker at the documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
13 Peter and Lynn Conway, from left, and Françoise and Edward Djerejian at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Peter Conway, from left, with Françoise Djerejian, Lynn Conway and Edward Djerejian at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
1 Rich and Nancy Kinder, from left, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Rich and Nancy Kinder, left, with Phoebe and Bobby Tudor at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
2 Elizabeth Winston-Jones, from left, Mary-Bonner Baker and Christy Jennings at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Elizabeth Winston-Jones, from left, Mary-Bonner Baker and Christy Jennings at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
5 Shahla and Hushang Ansary at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Shahla and Hushang Ansary at the James A. Baker documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
11 Marilyn Baker, from left, and Warren and Rhonda Tichenor at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Marilyn Baker, from left, and Warren and Rhonda Tichenor at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
7 Anne and Charles Duncan, from left, and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Anne and Charles Duncan, from left, and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson at the Baker Institute documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
9 Paula Douglass, from left, Windi Grimes and Laurie Morian at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Paula Douglass, from left, Windi Grimes and Laurie Morian at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
10 Ann and John Bookout, from left, with Ginny Simmons at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Ann and John Bookout, from left, with Ginny Simmons at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
8 Peggy Barnett_Bill Barnett_Judy Allen_at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Peggy and Bill Barnett, left, with Judy Allen at the James A. Baker III documentry preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
4 Barry Silverman, from left, Shara Fryer and Doug Baker at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Barry Silverman, left, Shara Fryer and Doug Baker at the Baker Institute documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
3 Carolyn Alban, from left, Deanna Armstrong and Traci LaChance at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
Carolyn Alban, from left, Deanna Armstrong and Traci LaChance at the James A. Baker III documentary preview. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
12 Barbara and President H.W. Bush, from left, and James and Susan Baker at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
13 Peter and Lynn Conway, from left, and Françoise and Edward Djerejian at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
1 Rich and Nancy Kinder, from left, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
2 Elizabeth Winston-Jones, from left, Mary-Bonner Baker and Christy Jennings at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
5 Shahla and Hushang Ansary at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
11 Marilyn Baker, from left, and Warren and Rhonda Tichenor at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
7 Anne and Charles Duncan, from left, and Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wally Wilson at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
9 Paula Douglass, from left, Windi Grimes and Laurie Morian at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
10 Ann and John Bookout, from left, with Ginny Simmons at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
8 Peggy Barnett_Bill Barnett_Judy Allen_at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
4 Barry Silverman, from left, Shara Fryer and Doug Baker at the Baker Institute reception December 2013
3 Carolyn Alban, from left, Deanna Armstrong and Traci LaChance at the Baker Institute reception December 2013

It was not your ordinary film premiere that took over the central hall of the Baker Institute on the Rice University campus earlier this week. In fact, there has seldom been a Houston film showing that attracted such an A-list crowd, the exception last month when former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush hosted friends and family for a preview of The Book Thief. And they were in the mix on Monday.

On this night, individuals of power and influence gathered to salute former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and to view a preview of the documentary James Baker: The Man Who Made Washington Work. Close to 250 guests including former Mayor Bill White, Anne and Charles Duncan, Sid Bass and Lynn and Peter Conway (finance chair for the documentary) sat down for screening of the video that is set to be aired nationally on PBS, though no exact date has yet been scheduled.

Executive producer John Hesse and writer/director Eric Stange combined forces in this the most recent of three documentaries they have created for PBS. The previous two were based on the Berlin Wall — The Wall: A World Divided and After the Wall: A World United.

For this preview, the 90-minute documentary was edited to 60 minutes, beginning with a comment on Baker by NBC news analyst Tom Brokaw, "In a time before compromise was a dirty word, he was a master of negotiation." Following the film, a number of guests joined Baker and his wife, Susan Baker, and Baker Institute founding director Edward Djerejian and wife Francoise Djerejian at dinner in a private club on the edge of Memorial Park.

The VIP gathering at the Baker Institute included Shahla and Hushang Ansary, Nancy and Rich Kinder, Ginny and L.E. Simmons, Kay and Ned Holmes,  Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Pat and David Jones, Elizabeth Winston-Jones, Cornelia and Meredith Long, Mary-Bonner Baker, Doug Baker, Annette and George Strake, John Williams and Patty and James Huffines.

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