ITVS Announces Two New Projects Selected for Funding through ITVS International Call 2008

Final two selections bring total to seven independent films from around the world chosen from competitive applicant pool of nearly 400 submissions

Next ITVS International Call deadline for appplication: February 6, 2009

(San Francisco, CA)—ITVS announced that it has contracted with two additional projects from its recently completed ITVS International Call 2008. These films join the previously announced slate of five films funded through the initiative from last year. All seven films selected to receive production funding rose to the top during a very competitive application process, which saw its numbers increase to 385 submissions from 74 countries—from Afghanistan to Zanzibar. 

ITVS International seeks to bring to U.S. audiences the best in diverse documentary films by independent filmmakers from around the world, to help give more insight and understanding of the issues facing our global neighbors. These films have garnered numerous awards and accolades, claiming top festival and industry awards around the world, including national Emmy Award wins and a recently announced Golden Globe Award along with a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Oscar nomination for ITVS International’s WALTZ WITH BASHIR. 

The deadline for submission for projects to be considered in the next ITVS International Call is February 6, 2009. More information and guidelines for application can be found online at 

The 2008 International Call projects selected for funding and eventual U.S. television broadcast include films, which span the globe and represent a wide range of untold stories. The two newly announced projects include: 

BANANAS (Nicaragua, United States) directed by Fredrik Gertten and produced by Margarete Jangard Co-production of WG Film AB and ITVS International 

COWBOYS IN INDIA (India) directed by Simon Chambers and produced by Teddy Leifer and Paul Taylor Co-production of Rise Films Limited, Tiffin Films Limited and ITVS International 

Aided by two inept locals, Director Simon Chambers goes to the poorest area in India where a tribe is fighting to save a sacred mountain from multinational mining moguls who say its resources will bring prosperity to the people. COWBOYS IN INDIA explores accusations of murder and whether the company-built hospitals and schools actually exist—landing these investigators in bigger trouble than expected. 

The projects join the other five ITVS international Call 2008 films previously announced which include: 

CAVIAR CONNECTION (Serbia) directed by Dragan Nikolic and produced by Jovana Nikolic 

JALANAN (Indonesia) directed and produced by Daniel Ziv 

THE LAST TIGHTROPE DANCER IN ARMENIA (Armenia) directed and produced by Vardan Hovhannisyan and co-directed by Inna Sahakyan 

LAST TRAIN HOME (China) directed by Lixin Fan and produced by Mila Aung-Thwin 

ON THE BORDER OF DESPARATION (Kurdistan – Iran, Iraq) directed and produced by Nima Sarvestani 

These projects bring the total number to nearly 100 programs, which have been supported through ITVS International’s Global Perspectives Project and its International Media Development Fund since 2005. More information about these new projects and all ITVS International programs can be found online at 


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 PBS series Independent Lens. 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 can be found at ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 


ITVS International promotes the exchange of compelling documentary films between the United States and other nations, going beyond stereotypes and headline news to provide television audiences around the world with new insight into the cultures and people that comprise our global community. ITVS International Call enables independent producers from outside the United States to create documentaries for U.S. television. Through the Call, storytellers from other countries introduce U.S. audiences to their global neighbors, opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences and perspectives from around the world. 

ITVS International Call seeks films in production or post-production phase and encourages independent producers to submit their projects for consideration. For more information about guidelines, eligibility and how to apply, please visit The deadline to apply is February 6, 2009. 

ITVS International Call is an initiative of ITVS and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

Contact: Randall Cole +44 7538 476 283

Posted on January 29, 2009