America Ferrera to Host New Season of theEmmy® Award-Winning Series Independent Lens on PBS

Talented young actress brings commitment to social issues and strong youth connection to television’s largest showcase of independent film

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(San Francisco, CA)—The Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens announced today that critically acclaimed actress America Ferrera will host the upcoming 2010/2011 season, making her debut when the series premieres on Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at 10pm (check local listings). Ferrera is the latest in the distinguished company of Independent Lens presenters, including Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Edie Falco, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, and most recently Maggie Gyllenhaal. 

“We’re so pleased to welcome America Ferrera as the host for the ninth season of Independent Lens,” said series producer Lois Vossen. “America is one of the most vibrant young talents working in film today. The characters she has played — from Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty to Ana Garcia in Real Women Have Curves — are fully human, risk-taking women who inspire us with their ability to embrace life and all its challenges. It is in that spirit we embrace America’s new role as the host of Independent Lens, a diverse and fiercely independent film series.” 

“I'm honored to be hosting this wonderful series of independent documentaries,” said America Ferrera. “ I love independent film and I think it's exciting that PBS is making these thought provoking stories accessible to a wide audience.” 

America Ferrera is perhaps best known for her fearless portrayal of Betty Suarez on ABC's hit comedy Ugly Betty. This breakthrough role has earned Ferrera an Emmy®, a Golden Globe®, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards. Ferrera secured her place as one of Hollywood's most vibrant young talents with her starring role in the Patricia Cardoso film Real Women Have Curves. Her performance earned her a Sundance Jury Award for Best Actress, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance, and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance for a Leading Young Actress.    

Ferrera was last seen in Rick Famuyiwa's Our Family Wedding opposite Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia. She also voiced the role of Astrid, a Viking teenager in the Dreamworks hit animated feature How to Train Your Dragon. Ferrera will next be seen in Ryan Piers Williams's The Dry Land opposite Melissa Leo and Jason Ritter.  Ferrera also executive produced the film, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and won Best International Film at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival. The film will be released this summer by Maya Entertainment.  Ferrera also recently signed on to executive produce "Pedro & Maria,” the first ever interactive telenovela for MTV.   

In keeping with Independent Lens’ commitment to community engagement on important social issues, Ferrera currently serves as an Artist Ambassador for the global humanitarian organization Save the Children, with a focus on championing education for children in marginalized communities in the United States, as well as in developing countries. Ferrera recently visited Save the Children early education programs on Navajo lands in Arizona, highlighting the importance of investments in early childhood development.  She recently traveled to Mali with Save the Children and personally raised over $44,000 this spring to help build a new elementary school in Disassadeni, Mali. The school is scheduled to open in October 2010. 

The ninth season of Independent Lens will premiere 27 documentaries that explore art, faith, politics, justice and more, taking viewers around the globe with up-close-and-personal stories featuring unforgettable people and places. The series debuts on Tuesday, October 19, at 10pm (check local listings) with Meghan Eckman’s The Parking Lot Movie, a droll look at a singular parking lot staffed by a select group of overeducated attendants in the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10pm 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 the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at 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. 

CONTACT Voleine Amilcar, ITVS 415-356-8383 Ext. 244 

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Posted on September 7, 2010