ITVS Garners Four Wins at the 33rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards

Last Train Home, Where Soldiers Come From, and Independent Lens’ The Woodmans Awarded Emmys

Fill 54 Created with Sketch. PDF Download

(San Francisco, CA) — Independent Television Service (ITVS), the leading funder of U.S. independent public television productions announced today that three of its acclaimed films have won four Emmys at the 33rd annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in broadcast journalism during the 2011 calendar year. Since 1997, ITVS-funded projects have garnered 19 wins at the News and Documentary Emmys. The winners were announced on Oct. 1, 2012 by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at a ceremony in New York City. PBS won nine awards in total. 

The ITVS co-production and P.O.V. presentation Last Train Home, directed by Lixin Fan, took home two Emmy awards for “Best Documentary” and “Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting – Long Form.” The film follows the Zhang family during the world’s largest annual human migration as the Zhangs travel home on Chinese New Year to reunite with their teenage daughter. “Best Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - Long Form” went to Where Soldiers Come From — also an ITVS co-production and P.O.V. presentation. The  doc follows five friends in rural north Michigan as they join the National Guard and begin a four-year journey from teenagers to soldiers in Afghanistan to veterans. 

“We are extremely proud of the amazing recognition these films have achieved. It is wonderful to see the hard work, determination and artistic vision of these outstanding independent filmmakers recognized with such esteemed awards,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS president and CEO. 

The PBS series Independent Lens produced by ITVS, won an award for the presentation of The Woodmans for “Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming,” building on the series’ past four Emmy® wins in the News and Documentary category.  Directed by C. Scott Willis, the film examines the Woodmans, a family of ambitious artists in which Francesca Woodman burned the brightest, and burnt out the fastest. The celebrated photographer committed suicide at age 22, leaving her family with a complicated mix of pride in her legacy, guilt about her death, and anger over the brevity of her life. The series’ previous News and Documentary Emmy wins include Art & Copy (2011) for “Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming,” Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life (2008) for “Best Documentary,” A Lion's Trail (2006) for “Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming,” and Be Good, Smile Pretty (2004) for “Best Documentary.” 

This year Independent Lens received its second national primetime Emmy® Award in the “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking” category for its special presentation of Connie Field’s Have you Heard from Johannesburg, a five-part series chronicling the unprecedented international movement of citizen activists who fought for three decades to bring down the brutal, racist system of apartheid in South Africa when their governments would not. Independent Lens’s first primetime Emmy win went to A Lion in the House (2007) by Julie Reichert and Steve Bognar. 

About ITVS 
The Independent Television Service funds, presents, and promotes 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 Monday nights at 10:00 PM on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought more than one thousand independently produced programs to date to American audiences. Tamara Gould is the executive producer of Half the Sky for ITVS. For more information about ITVS, visit 

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the MacArthur Foundation. The senior series producer is Lois Vossen. More information at Join Independent Lens on Facebook at

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

Posted on October 2, 2012