Be Good, Smile Pretty Wins Best Documentary Emmy

Independent Lens Receives First National Emmy Award for Tracy Droz Tragos's Debut Film

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(San Francisco, CA) – An Independent Lens film, Tracy Droz Tragos's BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY has won the Best Documentary Emmy from the National Television Academy News and Documentary Awards. Independent Lens, currently having completed its second prime-time season this past spring, is broadcast on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. The third season of the acclaimed independent film series, hosted by Susan Sarandon, will debut on Tuesday, October 26 with THE POLITICAL DR. SEUSS. 

"This extraordinary film touched the hearts of millions of viewers and it is gratifying to have it now recognized by the industry,” said Independent Lens series producer Lois Vossen. “As a new series, we are honored to have one of our films receive an Emmy Award from the Television Academy. We will continue to strive to be the premiere television showcase for innovative and entertaining independent programs.” 

BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY is a moving, personal documentary that chronicles Tracy Droz Tragos's struggle to know and grieve for the father she never knew. Tracy's father, Donald Droz, who was a swiftboat comrade of John Kerry's, died in Vietnam when she was a baby. Through her journey of discovery, and that of her family and her father's friends, the film sheds light on the more than 20,000 Americans whose fathers were killed in Vietnam—and those young Americans who continue to lose parents in war. Produced by Tracy Droz Tragos, the film is a co-presentation with KCPT/Kansas City. Executive Producers are Chris Donahue and Sally Jo Fifer. Co-Producers are Chris Tragos and Kat Tragos. 

About Independent Lens 
Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. Hosted by Susan Sarandon, 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 a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin to write in The New Yorker: “Watching Independent Lens... is like going into an independent bookstore—you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted.” Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach 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 (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

About ITVS 
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve 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 about ITVS can be obtained by visiting ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People. 

About KCPT 
KCPT is Kansas City, Missouri's local public television station serving 894,000 households with PBS programming, Emmy Award-winning local productions and an educational mission that includes an early childhood literacy program, K-12 instructional television, on-line college consortium and teacher training. Emmy Award-winning producers Randy Mason and Michael Murphy represented KCPT on the BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY documentary project. 

About PBS 
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (, continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. 

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Posted on September 14, 2004