International Documentary Series Global Voices Returns to PBS WORLD

Series Provides a Global Perspective into the Lives of People Around the World Season premieres Sunday, May 9 at 10 PM on the PBS WORLD channel (Check local listings)

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(San Francisco, CA)—Independent Television Service (ITVS) today announced the lineup for the third season of Global Voices, the international documentary television series on the PBS WORLD digital channel. The first original series to launch on PBS WORLD, this 26-week series presents a unique lineup of programming that introduces U.S. audiences to their global neighbors, opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences, and perspectives from around the world. Beginning Sunday, May 9 at 10:00 PM, Global Voices will present the U.S. premieres of six documentaries funded by ITVS International, as well as encore presentations of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the PBS WORLD broadcast, select episodes will be available online post broadcast — on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and on PBS’s Video player through For the complete lineup and schedule, visit 

Each Global Voices episode spans the globe and offers rare insights into the lives of people in countries as far away as Vietnam, Serbia, Jordan, Romania, Armenia, and Qatar, providing a global perspective and diverse viewpoints about our global community. The season opens in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam with Teacher, by Leslie Weiner Legrand. Legrand introduces us to Nguyen Van Hung — once a homeless drug addict — who, for the past 15 years, has dedicated his life to helping street children survive AIDS. Teacher is the story of his fight against an epidemic that claims its victims by the millions, and of the innocent children and teenagers trapped in a global nightmare. Filmed in Serbia, The Caviar Connection, directed by Dragan Nikolic follows two brothers in a small fishing village on a quest to find the big fish that will bring easy money and a one-way ticket to the bright lights of Las Vegas. 

In The Beetle, we meet Yishai Orian, an Israeli filmmaker who is the director of this charming documentary and the owner of an old, dilapidated Volkswagen Beetle. Orian goes on a journey to save his beloved Beetle by finding its previous owners. Along the way, he finds that his personal story blends with the funny, sad, and intimate memories of the Beetle’s previous owners. 

Other programming highlights include Carmen Meets Borat, directed by Mercedes Stalenhoef. In a small village in Romania, Stalenhoef sets out to document one teenage girl’s dream of escaping her gypsy village, but the vérité-style film grows into something much bigger than planned with the arrival of comedian and actor, Sasha Baron Cohen, there to shoot Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film is a hilarious and touching look at people with humble lives who are suddenly brought into the spotlight, exposing both the best and the worst of human nature. 

The season comes to a close with two films about teamwork and determination. Directed by Liz Mermin, Team Qatar follows the journey of five Middle Eastern teenagers into the world of competitive debating. Well aware that their region is associated, in Western minds, with oil, money, and jihad, they are determined to show that they are not closed-minded extremists and just as importantly they are determined to win. And in Armenia, we meet Zhora, aged 78, and Knyaz, aged 77 , both of whom were once the most celebrated masters of tightrope dancing in the country. With Zhora's health deteriorating and Knyaz struggling to find a student to succeed him, The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia directed by Arman Yeritsyan and Inna Sahakyan, looks at how these two men put their rivalry aside to train Hovsep, a 16-year-old orphan, who holds the fate of this ancient art in his hands. 

In addition to the seven programs making their U.S. broadcast premiere, the series will also include 19 award-wining programs that have premiered previously on PBS’s Independent Lens or P.O.V. series. These dynamic programs include, China Blue by Micha Peled, winner of the Amnesty Human Rights Award, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (2005) and the Independent Lens Audience Award winner (2007); Maquilapolis: City of Factories directed by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre, winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2006; Best Documentary, News and Documentary Emmy Awards winner 2001, Promises directed by Justine Shapiro, B.Z. Goldberg, and Carlos Bolado; Sentenced Home by David Grabias and Nicole Newnham, winner of Outstanding Informational Programming Nomination, News and Documentary Emmy Awards (2008). 

Select Global Voices episodes will also be available three months after broadcast on Hulu, YouTube, and SnagFilms. For the complete lineup and schedule, visit For more information about ITVS International, visit 


ITVS International is a division of the Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. More information about ITVS International is available online at 


PBS WORLD features documentary, public affairs and news programming from a number of public television’s award-winning signature series and acclaimed independent filmmakers. Produced and distributed by PBS, WGBH Boston, and Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with American Public Television and the National Education Telecommunications Association, PBS WORLD launched on 55 stations across the country, representing 24 licensees and reaching more than 27 percent of U.S. households. In most markets, PBS WORLD programming is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Programming on PBS WORLD includes such popular and critically acclaimed series as American Experience, Frontline, History Detectives, Nature, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nova, Scientific American Frontiers, and The Tavis Smiley Show

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

Posted on May 9, 2010