Independent Lens Submissions 2004-2005

ITVS Series INDEPENDENT LENS Seeks Submissions For Fall 2004 – Spring 2005

CONTACT: Cara White (, 843/881-1480) 

INDEPENDENT LENS, a 29-week national PBS series showcasing independent documentary programming and dramas, is seeking submissions of completed films for consideration for broadcast during the October 2004 - June 2005 season. Jointly curated by PBS and ITVS, INDEPENDENT LENS welcomes the full spectrum of film — from history to drama to animation to shorts to social-issue subjects. Programs accepted for the series must be compelling, pro-social stories, well told, with elements suited to attracting a national audience. INDEPENDENT LENS seeks work that is innovative, provocative, character driven, and well-crafted. We welcome individual expression and are committed to presenting diverse points of view. 

INDEPENDENT LENS is an acquisitions series and accepts only very advanced fine cuts and completed works of all genres and lengths. Although primarily a nonfiction series, dramas, experimental and short works are also welcome. While works of all lengths (30s, 60s, 90s, etc.) are accepted, please keep in mind that PBS has standard length requirements, which may necessitate edits. Most programs accepted will likely be scheduled in one-hour time-slots. 

As the series is designed as a showcase for independent film and video, INDEPENDENT LENS accepts only those works solely produced and authored by individuals not acting under the employment of a television station or major production and/or distribution studio. 

Programs that have been previously submitted to the documentary series P.O.V. but were not selected for inclusion in that series automatically will be considered for INDEPENDENT LENS. Duplicate materials need not be sent. 

Programs previously turned down by INDEPENDENT LENS cannot be resubmitted unless the producer has made substantial changes in accordance with feedback from PBS and ITVS or has been invited to resubmit. 

Programs accepted for INDEPENDENT LENS will receive a license fee (not completion funds) to be negotiated. The standard acquisition fee is approximately $20,000 for an hour-length program. No fee will be paid if productions have been funded from organizations within the public television system (PBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS, the Minority Consortia, etc.). 

Projects received before September 10, 2003 will be considered for broadcast in the 2004 - 2005 season of INDEPENDENT LENS. Submissions will be considered upon receipt of two (2) VHS copies of the program, a signed PBS Submission Release form, and program information (see details below). 

Programs acquired for INDEPENDENT LENS must carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, be fully cleared for broadcast in the U.S. and must be closed-captioned. If the program does not currently have E&O or closed captions, filmmakers will need to make arrangements to fulfill these requirements before the program can be accepted to the series. Producers should wait until the program is accepted before closed captioning, as editing may be required to fit standard lengths. 

INDEPENDENT LENS programs must meet PBS technical guidelines. Details on specifications can be found at INDEPENDENT LENS programs must comply with PBS underwriting guidelines. Information on PBS underwriting guidelines can be found at 

When sending in submissions, please include the following information: 

• Exact length of program including all production credits and all packaging elements; 

• A brief description; • Names of current program funders/underwriters, along with funding amounts; 

• Signed submission release form (for a copy of the release, please go to or call 703/739-5306). 

Materials should be sent to: 


1320 Braddock Place 

Alexandria, VA 22314 

Due to the large volume of submissions, PBS and ITVS staff are unable to provide producers with updates during the curating process. If you secure another acquisition deal for your program between September and April 2004, please notify and 

Producers will be notified of PBS/ITVS acquisition decisions in April 2004. 

About PBS 

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. Serving over 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. 

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 the vision of 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. 

Contact ITVS at or visit

Posted on March 10, 2003