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  • 11/15/10

    Environmental Documentary Deep Down Launches Interactive Virtual Mine In Seond Life

    Fun for Gamers and Educators, the Mine — Modeled After Maytown, Kentucky — Lets Players Take Action in Solving the Local Power Crisis

    (San Francisco) –Deep Down’s Virtual Mine is an educational 3D environment, game, and educational curriculum for teachers, students, and anyone who'd like to learn more about mountain top removal, coal fired power production, alternative energies, and the music and culture of Appalachia.  Created by the producers of Deep Down in the popular world of Second Life, the Virtual Mine is a complete 3D environment and game modeled after Maytown, Kentucky — the town of focus in Deep Down. The interactive project was developed at BAVC's Producers Institute for New Media Technologies with funding from the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the MacArthur Foundation. 

    The Virtual Mine invites players to take part in a story as it develops in four chapters, allowing participants to take action in solving the power crisis in Maytown.  From mining for power, to reducing demand for electricity, to solving an alternative energy puzzle, and culminating in a “community jam” with music and virtual dancing — the game is dynamic, engaging, and educational.  Resources for those new to Second Life are available to accompany the game. An Educators Guide outlines how the game can be used in the classroom, and includes tips for entering and participating in Second Life, short videos, discussion questions, suggested activities, and online resources for each of the four chapters of the game. 

    To learn more about the Virtual Mine and start playing, visit: http://deepdownfilm.org/virtualmine.

    About Deep Down Beverly May and Terry Ratliff grew up like kin on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in eastern Kentucky. Now in their fifties, the two find themselves in the midst of a debate dividing their community and the world: who controls, consumes, and benefits from our planet’s shrinking supply of natural resources? A very personal look at an issue affecting communities from coast to coast, Deep Down will premiere on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10 PM (check local listings).

    About ITVS The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly PBS series Independent Lens. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue, and reach underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information can be found at itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    About BAVC Producers Institute for New Media Technologies The Producers Institute for New Media Technologies is a ten-day residency for eight creative teams (independent producers or public broadcasters) with a shared goal of developing and prototyping a multi-platform project inspired by, or based on a significant documentary project.

    CONTACT: Krissy Bailey krissy_bailey@itvs.org 415-356-8383, ext 254

  • 8/25/10

    Deep Down Explores the Human Impact of Our Voracious Appetite for Energy Through the Life of a Small Kentucky Town Where Coal is King

    Film to Premiere on the PBS Series Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 AT 10 PM

    (San Francisco, CA)— Beverly May and Terry Ratliff grew up like kin on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in eastern Kentucky. Now in their fifties, the two find themselves in the midst of a debate dividing their community and the world: who controls, consumes, and benefits from our planet’s shrinking supply of natural resources? A very personal look at an issue affecting communities from coast to coast, Deep Down will premiere on the Emmy® Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10 PM (check local listings).

    While Beverly organizes her neighbors to stop a coal mining company from advancing into her hollow, Terry considers signing away the mining rights to his backyard — a decision that could destroy both of their homes. Their once-peaceful mountain community of Maytown soon finds itself in a contentious battle over energy, and the wealth and environmental destruction it represents. At issue is the practice of mountaintop removal mining, in which explosives are used to blow up mountaintops, exposing the seams of coal underneath while destroying communities, cultures, traditions, and lives along the way.

    Mountaintop removal mining often divides communities like Maytown, where neighbors have existed peacefully for generations. While the mining companies provide much-needed jobs in areas with severe economic challenges, they also force people to make the choice between income and the health and safety of their communities. Through the richly nuanced story of Beverly May and Terry Ratliff, Deep Down explores issues of environment, economics, public policy, and culture, revealing the devastating impact of our energy consumption against an explosive backdrop: Appalachia’s centuries-old struggle over the black rock that fuels our planet.

    To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the companion website for Deep Down at www.pbs.org/independentlens/deep-down. Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmakers, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. Also included is a “virtual mine,” an educational 3D environment, game, and educational curriculum for teachers, students, and anyone who'd like to learn more about mountain top removal, coal fired power production, alternative energies, and the amazing music and culture in the Appalachian mountains. The site also features a Talkback section where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.

    Featured On Air Participants Beverly May was born and raised on Wilson Creek in Floyd County. She has long served her community: as a family nurse practitioner since 1995, and as a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth for 27 years. 

    Terry Ratliff is a carpenter, chair maker, and father, whose family has lived in Floyd County, Kentucky for over four generations.

    Rick Handshoe, a neighbor and friend of Beverly May’s, works tirelessly to document the abuses by the local mining company that have dramatically affected him, his family, his neighbors, and his land.

    About the Filmmakers Sally Rubin (Co-Director/Editor) is a Los Angeles-based documentary film director/producer and editor. Her credits include The Last Mountain (regional PBS broadcast), Freedom Files (editor), a nine-part series for the ACLU produced by Robert Greenwald, Iraq for Sale (editor), and David Sutherland’s six-hour Frontline series Country Boys (associate producer). A graduate of Stanford University's MA program in Documentary Film and Video and a full time professor at Chapman University, Rubin is committed to social change through documentary film. 

    Jennifer Gilomen (Co-Director/Cinematographer) is a documentary filmmaker and D.P., as well as Director of Public Media Strategies at the Bay Area Video Coalition, where she directs the public access television station and works in collaboration with public media entities, community organizations, and producers to develop innovative social media programs and initiatives. Her films have won awards and have been distributed nationally and internationally.

    David Sutherland (Executive Producer) is a critically acclaimed filmmaker whose series The Farmer’s Wife and Country Boys were seen by over 30 million PBS viewers. Sutherland is known for his documentary portraits, which command change via intimate observation. David provided story development support and overall guidance in all phases of the project.

    Nancy Golden (Co-Executive Producer) has a lifelong commitment to protect the environment for this and future generations, with over thirteen years of experience directing fundraising campaigns focused on national and international environmental issues. She currently serves as Development Director for NRDC’s Southern California and Western regions.

    About Independent Lens Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award–winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities, and moments in history. Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.

    For downloadable images, visit pbs.org/pressroom/ For the program companion website, visit pbs.org/independentlens/deep-down

    CONTACT Voleine Amilcar, ITVS 415-356-8383 x 244 voleine_amilcar@itvs.org Mary Lugo 770-623-8190 lugo@negia.net Cara White 843-881-1480 cara.white@mac.com