An important new movie about the state of teaching in America will be presented in a special community screening Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at the Nickelodeon theater in Santa Cruz.

“American Teacher,” narrated by Matt Damon, will be featured free of charge in an event sponsored by the Santa Cruz Office of Education and the New Teacher Center in collaboration with Microsoft’s “Partners in Learning.”

“The film is an important contribution to today’s dialogue about the state of education in America,” said County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins. “This is an opportunity for educators and community members to have an open discussion about the challenges facing us.”

“American Teacher” is a feature-length documentary produced and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth. It’s produced by Ninive Calegan, co-founder of the literacy non-profit 825 National, and by bestselling author Dave Eggers. It chronicles the stories of four teachers who live and work in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, the film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today.

The community is invited to the screening, with a question and answer period immediately following. Although the event is free, anyone interested in attending is asked to make a reservation by visiting www.americanteacherinsantacruz.eventbrite.com — or by calling 466-5901.

Donations to the Teacher Salary Project will be accepted.