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The Independent Television Service (ITVS) brings diverse independently produced, high-quality programs to local, national, and international audiences.

To accomplish this, ITVS provides a full life cycle of services to support independent filmmakers who are making programs for public television. We fund and help produce programs; promote and distribute the content; engage audiences on-air, online, and in their communities; and advance the mission of public media.

Funding and Services for Filmmakers

ITVS provides funding for U.S. independent producers working in the public interest, with a focus on innovative storytelling and underserved communities. In addition to production licensing for public broadcasting, ITVS provides production management, and feedback on works-in-progress to ensure programs meet broadcast standards, and secures television distribution.

To serve the most diverse slate of producers and projects, ITVS works with a range of partners including PBS, public television stations and the CPB-funded National Minority Consortia.

Through the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS works with international filmmakers and broadcasters, as well as domestic cable and digital distributors, in addition to our U.S. public television partners.

To find the widest and most relevant audiences, ITVS maximizes the impact of our programs through publicity, station relations, community engagement, social networks, and NGO and educational partnerships.

Community Engagement and Education

Using our content as a foundation for civic dialogue, ITVS produces the largest public interest outreach program in television with Community Cinema, an annual series of local and national screenings and panels, and Community Classroom, a multi-media toolkit of educational resources. By hosting town-hall screenings and discussions along with high-level leadership events; creating educational curricula, and developing long-term community engagement partnerships, ITVS Community Cinema and Community Classroom turn public television into a powerful resource for organizations, educators, civic leaders, and others working on social issues worldwide.

TV Series and Broadcast

ITVS produces three series:

Independent Lens is television’s largest showcase of independent film. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series is broadcast weekly on the PBS national primetime schedule Monday nights at 10 PM. (Check local listings.)

Global Voices, the first original series on the PBS WORLD channel, showcases internationally themed documentaries made by independent filmmakers from around the world.

True Stories: Life in the USA is a documentary series created for international audiences, featuring 16-episode seasons of diverse stories about American people and places seldom seen by viewers abroad. Broadcast by television partners in 14 countries.

ITVS publicly funded films also premiere on various PBS series including P.O.V., Frontline, American Experience, American Masters, and on the national schedule.

IndiesLab and Digital Projects

ITVS combines the mission of public media, the power of independent film, and the latest media technology to most effectively produce transmedia content, distribute across multiple platforms, and engage new audiences. Current digital activities include: IndiesLab, a groundbreaking partnership with PBS to distribute our programs online; FUTURESTATES, a collection of digital shorts exploring American society in the not-too-distant future; Project 360, a production initiative dedicated to innovative multi-platform work; gaming such as World Without Oil, and interactive websites for ITVS programs. ITVS’s online partners include: PBS Video, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, Snagfilms, XBox, and Zune.

Global Perspectives Project

Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International promotes a global exchange of documentary films made by independent producers working around the world. It brings international stories and perspectives to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. ITVS International brings global perspectives to PBS series like Independent Lens and P.O.V. and to cable networks like Sundance, National Geographic, and HBO, while carrying independent U.S. documentaries to television networks in other countries through the series True Stories: Life in the USA.