ITVS Returns With Strong Presence of 10 Films at IDFA 2008

Six ITVS international and four ITVS domestic productions to screen at the world renown International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam

ITVS to host annual IDFA “Guests Meet Guests Reception,” Monday, November 24

(San Francisco)—The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has announced that ten of its funded programs have been chosen as official selections at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA), November 20-30, 2008. Now in its 21st year, the prestigious festival is the largest showcase of documentary film in the world. 

Many ITVS films have screened to great audience and critical acclaim, including last year’s award-winning features STRANDED and END OF THE RAINBOW, which both took home top honors in their respective categories. 

In addition to the ten films which will screen throughout the festival this year, ITVS will once again host the ever-popular “Guests Meet Guests Reception” to celebrate all the ITVS filmmakers at the festival. ITVS staff will be available to welcome guests and discuss the ITVS International Call and the approaching 2009 deadline. The event this year will be held on Monday, November 24th from 18.00 to 19.30 at the central festival venue Club Escape on Rembrandt Square. The event is open to all credentialed festival attendees and filmmakers. 

This year’s festival will feature six ITVS International productions: 

CAVIAR CONNECTION by Dragan Nikolic and Jovana Nikolic First Appearance Competition for debut or second documentary The film features a fishing roulette of two fishermen brothers and their dream of travelling with the product of their catch—caviar—from their little village in Serbia all the way to Las Vegas. 

THE ENGLISH SURGEON by Geoffrey Smith and Rachel Wexler Reflecting Images – Best of the Fests, non-competition A British neurosurgeon confronts the dilemmas of the doctor-patient relationship on his latest mission to Ukraine. 

JOURNALS OF A WILY SCHOOL by Sudeshna Bose and Debu Bhattacharyya India - East Side Stories, non-competition A young pickpocket in Kolkata, India is lured by police to help them crack down on more notorious criminals, and thereby gain his own freedom. 

LAKSHMI AND ME by Nishtha Jain and Smriti Nevatia India - East Side Stories, non-competition Exploring the relationship between employer and servant, the film asks how do two women negotiate the ingrained social and cultural attitudes that govern their lives? 

SEA POINT DAYS by Francois Verster, Lucinda Englehart and Neil Brandt Joris Ivens Competition for feature-length documentary The film offers a fresh, quirky and ultimately joyful record of one summer at Sea Point Promenade and Municipal Pools in Cape Town, South Africa. 

SOLO by Jennifer Peedom and David Michod Reflecting Images – Best of the Fests, non-competition This film follows one man's brave attempt to cross the wild Southern Ocean from Australia to New Zealand by kayak. 

An additional four ITVS Domestic (USA) productions will premiere at the festival: 

BRONX PRINCESS by Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed Reflecting Images – Panorama, non-competition The film follows headstrong teenager Rocky's journey as she leaves behind her mother in New York City to reunite with her royal father in Ghana, West Africa, reconciling her African heritage with her dream of independence. 

MILKING THE RHINO by David E. Simpson and Jeannie R. Magill Joris Ivens Competition for feature-length documentary The film tells the story of rural Africans at the forefront of community-based conservation: a revolution that is turning poachers into preservationists and local people into the stewards of natural resources. 

PROJECT KASHMIR by Senain Kheshgi and Geeta Patel First Appearance Competition for debut or second documentary Two young American women, one Muslim and the other Hindu, together sneak their cameras into Kashmir, where conflicting faiths mean war. 

WHO KILLED CHEA VICHEA? by Bradley Cox and Jeffrey Saunders Reflecting Images – Panorama, non-competition The assassination of a Cambodian labor leader leads us into a mystery set against the backdrop of the international garment trade. All is not as it seems. Are two innocent men paying the price for our cheap clothes? 


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, ITVS International or +1 415 425 3050 (mobile) A complete schedule of screenings and events will be available online at

Posted on November 10, 2008