2007/2008 Season of PBS’s Independent Lens Concludes in June with the Broadcast Premieres of Two Unforgettable Feature Documentaries

Visit the companion Websites: DEEP WATER | ABDUCTION 

(San Francisco, CA)—The Emmy Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, concludes its 2007/2008 season this June with the broadcast premieres of two critically acclaimed feature documentaries fresh from the film festival circuit. Fascinating and harrowing, both films are filled with more twists and turns than any Hollywood blockbuster. 

Airing on Sunday, June 15, at 9 PM is DEEP WATER, a stunning psychological thriller that tells the amazing true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who enters the most daring nautical challenge ever—the very first solo, nonstop, around-the-world boat race. 

The year is 1968. The public frenzy surrounding the heroic voyage of Francis Chichester, who a year earlier had single-handedly sailed around the world with only one stop in Australia, has barely died down. To up the ante, The Sunday Times (London) announces the first nonstop solo round-the-world sailing race. There are two prizes: the Golden Globe for the first man home and £5,000 for the fastest voyage. Along with the seasoned sailors responding to the call of fame and fortune on the high seas is one Donald Crowhurst, a desperate 36-year-old father of four whose marine electronics business is ailing. Although far from being a world-class mariner, Crowhurst decides to enter the race, and with each step he takes to prepare, he becomes increasingly unable to turn back. In following the voyages of Crowhurst and the other competitors, DEEP WATER reveals what happens to the participants as they sail off alone into the uncharted waters of the human soul. 

A riveting story of life, death and a dream that went wildly wrong, DEEP WATER, directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, features a voiceover by recent Academy Award® winner Tilda Swinton, interviews with survivors and their families, and astonishing archival footage shot by the competitors themselves during their year at sea. 

The season then concludes on Thursday, June 19, at 10 PM with ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story, a thriller as terrifying as anything Hollywood could produce. The film tells the true story of Megumi Yokota, a 13-year-old Japanese girl abducted on her way home from school in 1977. For 20 years, her desperate parents had no idea what had happened to her or if she was even still alive. Then one day, the whole world learned the shocking truth. 

Complete with bizarre twists and an outcome no one could ever predict, ABDUCTION is a heart breaking, tantalizing mystery full of spies and secret international intrigue that is still being unraveled today. 

Hailed as an “extraordinary work of narrative mastery” by the Los Angeles Times and “engrossing” by The New York Times, ABDUCTION has won six festival awards and been shown in 22 countries, including Japan, where its theatrical release lasted more than 25 weeks. Written, directed and produced by Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim, ABDUCTION was executive produced by Jane Campion (The Piano). 

Independent Lens will return this fall, and opening the season will be Brett Morgen’s (The Kid Stays in the Picture) CHICAGO 10, an acclaimed feature-length documentary that presents contemporary history with a forced perspective. The film, which mixes bold and original animation with extraordinary archival footage and an explosive soundtrack, explores the buildup to and unraveling of the Chicago 10’s conspiracy trial. With animated representations of all the key figures of the trial voiced by top independent film talent (Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Baker, Jeffrey Wright, Liev Schreiber, Nick Nolte and the late Roy Scheider), CHICAGO 10 brings the events of 1968 to a new generation of audiences on the eve of the 2008 presidential election. 

About Independent Lens 

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award–winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM 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. 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. Further information visit pbs.org/independentlens. 

CONTACT: Voleine Amilcar, 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

Posted on May 29, 2008