ITVS Announces Lineup for Upcoming 2007 Sundance Film Festival

This year's ITVS slate features BANISHED in the documentary competition and WONDERS ARE MANY and MISS NAVAJO in American Spectrum

San Francisco, CA.—The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announced today that BANISHED, WONDERS ARE MANY and MISS NAVAJO have been accepted into the upcoming 2007 Sundance Film Festival which will run from January 18-28 in Park City, Utah. ITVS has had a presence at the festival with its funded films since 1994. This year brings the grand total of ITVS films at Sundance to 58. 


BANISHED, directed by Marco Williams World Premiere A co-production of The Center for Investigative Reporting & Two Tone Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). 

BANISHED tells the story of how dozens of towns and counties across America — from the 1860s to the1920s — violently expelled entire African American communities. Thousands of families were forced to flee their homes. A century later, these towns remain all white. BANISHED tells the story of three of these counties and the black descendants who return to learn their shocking history. 

“I am honored to have BANISHED accepted into Sundance and to be included in the documentary competition,” said filmmaker Marco Williams. “This is my third documentary in competition and the second time that the film accepted has been supported by ITVS. This coupling (ITVS and Sundance) is telling. ITVS is responsible for their share of truly independent documentaries that interrogate who we are as Americans, while Sundance is a vital showcase of films that take risks.” 


The Sundance Film Festival Spectrum Program presents out of competition dramatic and documentary works by some of the most promising new independent filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad. 

WONDERS ARE MANY, directed by Jon Else World Premiere A co-production of Jon Else, Actual Films, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) 

Filmmaker Jon Else follows the creation of Peter Sellars’ and John Adams’ new opera about the first atomic bomb. As it tells the behind-the-scenes story of creating “Doctor Atomic,” the film simultaneously examines complex archival history behind the drama on stage and the full 60-year history of nuclear weapons. Both the film and the opera itself are constructed largely from recent declassified materials. 

"If you talk about truly independent documentary in America then you have to acknowledge that Sundance is the beating heart and ITVS is the lungs that makes it all breathe, except when ITVS is the heart and Sundance is the lungs. Either way, we would be just sunk without them", said Jon Else, director of WONDERS ARE MANY. 

MISS NAVAJO, directed by Billy Luther World Premiere Co-Production of ITVS 

For more than 50 years, the Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant has given its contestants opportunities to showcase not only their beauty but also their skills in dance, music and sheep slaughtering. Following contestants in their quest for the crown, and featuring personal stories of recent winners, MISS NAVAJO is a celebration of womanhood. 

“MISS NAVAJO is about a different take on what it means to be a woman,” said Billy Luther, director of the film. Beauty is so much more than a set of physical attributes and this documentary is about a very different kind of beauty contest. Sundance and ITVS are all about difference and their support is vital to a filmmaker like myself.” 

About ITVS 

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 PM 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. 

CONTACT Randall Cole, ITVS, 415.356.8383, ext. 254, Tim Etheridge, ITVS, 415.356.8383, ext. 250,

Posted on December 7, 2006