FUTURESTATES: Ten Short Films, Ten Visions of the Future by Ten Visionary Indie Filmmakers

Series Debuts March 16, 2011, on www.futurestates.tv

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(SAN FRANCISCO, CA-March 14, 2011) — What if you were given a glimpse into what America will be like 20, 30, or even 50 years from now? Would it change the way you live today? The Independent Television Service (ITVS), which produces, high-quality public broadcasting and new media programs, announces the second season launch of FUTURESTATES, a collection of 10 fictional shorts exploring possible future scenarios through the lens of today's global realities. Launching March 16, 2011, FUTURESTATES will be available for free via streaming video on futurestates.tv with subsequent distribution on pbs.org beginning March 18, 2011. 

Produced by ITVS, and created by established filmmakers and emerging talents, FUTURESTATES aims to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time by fusing an exploration of social issues with elements of speculative and science fiction. 

“In many ways, the last season of FUTURESTATES was a snapshot of where we were as a country, and this new season captures how we've progressed over the last year,” said series manager Karim Ahmad. “Issues related to the environment and to economic hardship remain among the most urgent issues, and are represented in the second season. But FUTURESTATES also explores more controversial social issues of LGBT civil rights, urban planning, and the proliferation of electronic waste. Now more than ever, FUTURESTATES promises to make us think about the road ahead and what it means for how we live our lives today.” 

Each episode of FUTURESTATES presents a different filmmaker’s vision of what life might look like in an America of the future. 

"It's interesting to have an opportunity to direct a film dealing with issues that are also a projection of the future,” said award-winning writer/director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), who directed Remigration for the series. “I think it's a really important series because there's an issue at the heart of it." 

The series launches with Beholder, a film from award-winning filmmaker Nisha Ganatra, whose past directorial work includes films such as Chutney Popcorn, Cosmopolitan, and Cake. Touching on issues of race, sexual orientation, and conformity, Beholder examines the notion of identity, and the costs of belonging in a bipartisan world. In Barry Jenkins’ Remigration (March 21), San Francisco has created a program to “remigrate” working-class families from their rural homes in the exurbs back to the city that once pushed them out. But can they learn to trust their former home once again? In Asparagus (March 24) by Robby Henson, an introverted and cerebral agricultural engineer who monitors a regimented greenhouse laboratory learns a lesson about life and love from a renegade asparagus. 

Other contributors include internationally award-winning director/writer Suzi Yoonessi (Dear Lemon Lima, Vern, No Shoulder) who directs The Spring of Sorrow (March 28). In this short, sisters Lily and Isabelle live a nomadic life, displaced by global warming. When Isabelle falls sick, Lily embarks on an imaginative journey to find the mythical “Spring of Sorrow,” an everlasting spring of fresh water. Along the way, she forges a friendship with an eccentric florist and learns a valuable lesson about environmental responsibility. Digital Antiquities (March 31), a film by filmmaker and playwright JP Chan, is set in 2036, and features a young man named Kai who visits Digital Antiquities, a store in eastern Pennsylvania specializing in data recovery. There he shows Cat, the store’s only employee, an old compact disc left to him from his deceased mother and asks her to recover its contents. As Cat helps him find a working CD reader, they discover that the contents may change their lives. The remaining five episodes of FUTURESTATES will be released throughout the month of April. 

In addition to the projections into the future presented in the shorts, viewers will also get a chance to forecast future events and explore the predictions left by others in the popular "Predict-o-Meter,” an engagement feature that allows viewers to submit their own predictions about life in 5, 25, or even 100 years from today. Viewers can comment on the predictions of others and share their own via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. For more information about all ten episodes and to watch episode trailers, visit: www.futurestates.tv 

CONTACT Krissy Bailey, ITVS 415-356-8383 x 254 krissy_bailey@itvs.org

Posted on March 14, 2011