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(San Francisco) The prestigious 27th annual News and Documentary Emmy Award nominations were announced this week by the National Television Academy, and four Independent Television Service (ITVS) programs which aired on PBS were among them. The Independent Lens program A TOUCH OF GREATNESS was nominated for Best Documentary, marking the third year in a row that Independent Lens will compete for the top honor. Weaving stunning archival footage together with interviews of former elementary schoolteacher Albert Cullum and his former students, A TOUCH OF GREATNESS is a portrait of the lives transformed by a maverick teacher who enabled children to embrace their own inner greatness. The program was produced by Catherine Gund and directed by Leslie Sullivan.
The second nomination for an Independent Lens program goes to A LION'S TRAIL for Outstanding Cultural & Artistic Programming. An illiterate Zulu musician wrote Africa's most famous song, Mbube -- inspiration for the pop classic The Lion Sleeps Tonight -- and received pennies for his efforts. Traveling into the musical worlds of South Africa and America, A LION'S TRAIL celebrates the song's timeless power while revealing injustices within the international recording industry. The program was produced by Francois Verster, Dan Jawitz and Mark J. Kaplan.
Two ITVS films, which were co-presented with P.O.V. and aired on that PBS series, also earned nominations. The Academy Award nominated STREET FIGHT by Marshall Curry was nominated for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - Long Form. THE SELF-MADE MAN by Susan Stern received a nomination for Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form and a nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing.
STREET FIGHT follows the turbulent campaign of Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School graduate running for mayor of Newark, NJ against a four-term incumbent twice his age. An urban David and Goliath story, this is a chronicle of a young man's struggle against an entrenched political machine, shedding light on issues of democracy, power, poverty and race.
In THE SELF-MADE MAN, faced with her terminally ill father's calm decision to commit suicide and an in-law's slow decline on artificial life support, filmmaker Susan Stern confronts the difficult choices presented by dying in modern times, and asks the question “Is it ever rational to choose death?” Prior to the News and Documentary Emmy Awards announcement, the nominations for the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards were announced earlier this month, and another ITVS funded film was among the nominees for this prestigious award.
IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL, by Jessica Yu and Sue West, which also aired on P.O.V., received a nomination in the category of Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking. The experimental documentary portrays the work of Henry Darger, a janitor by day and “outsider artist” by night who transcended social isolation and poverty by creating his own world through art.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. Hosted this season by Edie Falco, the acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at pbs.org/independentlens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.
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.org.
ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. About P.O.V. Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and now in its 19th season on PBS, the award-winning P.O.V. series is the longest-running showcase on television to feature the work of America's best contemporary issue independent filmmakers. Airing Tuesdays at 10 PM, June through October, with primetime specials during the year, P.O.V. has brought nearly 250 award-winning documentaries to millions nationwide, and now has a Webby Award-winning online series, P.O.V.'s Borders. Since 1988, P.O.V. has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today's most pressing social issues. More information about P.O.V. is available online at www.pbs.org/pov.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS's premier kids TV programming and Website, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Website on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.