Maggie Gyllenhaal Hosts New Season of PBS’s Emmy® Award-Winning Series Independent Lens

Season premieres with HERB & DOROTHY on Tuesday, October 13th at 10PM

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(San Francisco, CA)—The Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens announced today that critically acclaimed actress Maggie Gyllenhaal will host the upcoming 2009/2010 season, making her debut when the series premieres on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 at 10 PM (check local listings). Past seasons of Independent Lens have been presented by award-winning actors Edie Falco, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle and Susan Sarandon. 

“We are very pleased to be working with Maggie Gyllenhaal in this capacity. She is one of the finest actresses working in independent film today. The characters she has created on screen are indelibly crafted in honesty and truth; we are delighted that she will be hosting our upcoming season,” said series producer Lois Vossen. 

“I'm a passionate believer in the power of independent film. Independent Lens filmmakers ignore the rules of commercial programming and spend years pursuing diverse stories about people not normally seen on TV. I am truly honored to present their work as the new host of Independent Lens,” said Gyllenhaal. 

Gyllenhaal made her feature film debut in 1992, alongside Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke in Waterland. Gyllenhaal received her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her role in Secretary (2002). In 2007, she received her second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for Sherrybaby, in which she played a female convict struggling to overcome her drug addiction and regain custody of her daughter. Most recently, Gyllenhaal played Rachel Dawes in the Warner Bros. box office hit Dark Knight (2008) directed by Chris Nolan and appeared in Sam Mendes's Away We Go in 2009. Next up, Gyllenhaal will star in the dramatic film Crazy Heart alongside Jeff Bridges and in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang with Emma Thompson. 

This season Independent Lens will showcase a powerhouse selection of 27 independent films that bring a unique collection of stories unlike anything else on television. From a vast array of settings—including a cramped New York City apartment filled with a mind-blowing collection of modern art; the world’s largest garbage village in the outskirts of Cairo; the hills of Mongolia, where a Texas family seeks an unconventional treatment for their son’s autism; and Butte, Montana, where five generations intersect with key historical events—Independent Lens spans the country and circles the globe, showcasing wildly diverse documentaries about unforgettable people and places. 

The series kicks off with Megumi Sasaki’s acclaimed and endearing documentary HERB & DOROTHY, about a postal worker and his librarian wife whose passion led them to create one of the most priceless collections of contemporary art in the world. Independent Lens will have its season premiere on PBS on October 13th, 2009 at 10 PM (check local listings). 

About Independent LensIndependent Lens is an Emmy® Award–winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. 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 unique individuals, communities and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 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. 

CONTACT Voleine Amilcar, ITVS 415-356-8383 Ext. 244

Posted on September 21, 2009