ITVS at Sundance

This Year's ITVS Slate Features Seven Films – One in Dramatic Competition, Five in Doc Competition and One in American Spectrum


Randall Cole, ITVS, 415-356-8383, ext. 254 or Cara White, 843-881-1480 or For photography, Wilson Ling, ITVS, 415-356-8383, ext. 231 or 

(San Francisco, CA)— The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has announced that seven of its films have been accepted for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival 2004 in Park City Utah, January 15-25, 2004. This brings the number of ITVS films which have screened at Sundance to a total of 50 since ITVS first had a presence at the festival in 1994. The seven films for 2004 include six in competition and one in the American Spectrum category. 

Dramatic Competition 

BROTHER TO BROTHER, by Rodney Evans, is a surreal drama that looks back on the Harlem Renaissance and some of the era's most famous luminaries from the perspective of an elderly, black, gay writer—Bruce Nugent—who meets a young gay man in a New York City homeless shelter. BROTHER TO BROTHER is a co-presentation of ITVS and the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). 

Documentary Competition 

A PLACE OF OUR OWN, by Stanley Nelson, offers an intimate portrait by the acclaimed filmmaker's family and summers spent in the affluent African-American community of Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. The film is also slated for television broadcast as a part of ITVS's acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 at 10 P.M. (check local listings). A PLACE OF OUR OWN is a co-presentation of ITVS and the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). 

CHISHOLM '72 — Unbought & Unbossed, by Shola Lynch, is the first historical documentary on Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972. The program is slated for a broadcast premiere on the award-winning PBS series P.O.V. in 2004. CHISHOLM '72 is presented with ITVS and NBPC. 

FARMINGVILLE, by Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval, is a 90-minute, verité documentary (bi-lingual Spanish/English) that captures the year in which a small Long Island town is thrust into the national headlines after the chilling hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers. The program is slated for a broadcast premiere on the award-winning PBS series P.O.V. in 2004. FARMINGVILLE is presented with ITVS and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB). 

IMELDA, by Ramona S. Diaz, is at once a film about the intersection of personal and public power, myth, and illusion, and also about the larger-than-life persona of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos. The film addresses how excessive power is amassed and sustained by popular support, and how one woman rationalizes her seemingly unconscionable abuse of such power. IMELDA is a co-presentation of ITVS and the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA). 

IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL, by Jessica Yu, examines the parallel lives of Henry Darger, reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, whose 15,000 page novel details the exploits of the Vivian Girls, seven angelic sisters who lead a rebellion against godless, child-enslaving men. Using animation and other unconventional narrative elements, the film brings to life the fantasy world of this enigmatic artist who was ignored during his lifetime. Part mystery, part character study, the film ultimately celebrates the power of individual creativity. 

American Spectrum 

LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN, by David Petersen, is an hour-long documentary following five subjects who rely on a storefront church to sustain them through their hardships in an impoverished section of Washington, DC. During the months leading up to Easter, the film tracks how each person calls upon his or her faith and fragile community to cope with the poverty, racism and criminal persecution that ravage their lives and keeps them entrenched in the nation's underclass. 

"ITVS is thrilled to have such a large showing at Sundance this year with our seven films,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS president and CEO. "We could not be more proud of this diverse, talented group of filmmakers who are telling important stories from distinctly independent points of view.” 

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 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. 

Posted on January 20, 2004