A Small Gypsy Community in Romania Experiences the Bubble-and-Burst of Hollywood Dreams when Borat Comes to Town

Carmen Meets Borat to premiere on the Global Voices series, Sunday, September 5, at 10pm on the PBS WORLD channel

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(San Francisco, CA) – Carmen, a 17-year -old girl living in the gypsy village of Glod, located in the remote mountains of Romania, dreams of a future bigger and brighter than the quiet life she is currently living. Working at her father’s store and being courted by a boy she does not love, Carmen believes her only chance of experiencing a life like the ones she watches in Spanish soap operas, is to leave Glod and her family behind. That is, until British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen and his film crew arrive at her village to film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

A story about a small community in a big universe, Carmen Meets Borat documents the confusion, optimism, and ultimate changes experienced by Carmen and the villagers of Glod, when they realize the big dreams and money promised to them from Borat, and later an American lawyer, might not come to fruition. Carmen Meets Borat will premiere nationally on PBS WORLD’s Global Voices, an international themed documentary series, on Sunday, September 5, at 10pm (check local listings). The program will be available for online streaming beginning Monday, September 6, on PBS Video (http://video.pbs.org/program/1478905970/). 

When Cohen, in character as Borat, and his film crew land in Glod, the villagers cooperate on what they believe will be a documentary about their village and many, including Carmen’s father and her grandfather, agree to appear in the film. Unfortunately, since none of the villagers speak English, they are unaware that the film Borat depicts the villagers as primitive caricatures supposedly from Kazakhstan. The release of the film places the town squarely in an unwanted spotlight and leaves the villagers feeling abused and exploited. The atmosphere in the village abruptly changes when American and a German lawyers arrive and persuade Carmen’s father, grandfather and the mayor of Glod to sue 20th Century Fox for $30 million. The villagers begin to fantasize about the possibilities of a landmark lawsuit and how their lives might change for the better. However, many questions remain: will the village win the case? How will the money affect life in Glod? And will Borat himself come to apologize? 

About the Filmmaker 
In 1995 Pieter van Huystee started his own production company, Pieter van Huystee Film, located in the historical center of Amsterdam. He has produced documentaries, feature films and plays with well-known Dutch directors including Johan van der Keuken, Heddy Honigmann and Peter Delpeut. By combining daring with decisiveness, Pieter van Huystee Film has become one of the leading Dutch independent production companies, highly esteemed for the quality and wide range of its projects. In 1999 the distribution department Public Film was added, which set out to release “Dutch Docs” in local cinemas. Many van Huystee documentaries and features have screened at festivals all over the world and have received numerous awards. 

About Global Voices
Global Voices is produced by ITVS International and began airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel on Sunday, April 26, 2009. This 26-week series brings internationally themed documentaries made by both U.S.-based and international filmmakers to a national audience. This season, the series will feature the U.S. premieres of six documentaries funded by ITVS International, as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the PBS WORLD broadcast, select episodes will be available online, post broadcast—via iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and on PBS’s Video player through http://video.pbs.org.  For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices/. For more information about PBS WORLD visit http://www.pbs.org/pbsworld/. More information about ITVS International is available online at http://www.itvs.org/international. 

Krissy Bailey, ITVS, 415-356-8383, ext. 254 Krissy_Bailey@itvs.org

Posted on August 20, 2010