Susan Sarandon to Host Independent Lens

From Dr. Seuss to Girl Wrestlers to The Ramones, From Kabul to Los Angeles to Bombay, New Season Offers Another Slate of Provocative, Original, Entertaining Independent Films

Independent Lens – A Film Festival in Your Living Room

Contact: Mary Lugo at 770/623-8190/ 

Cara White at 843/881-1480/ 

Randall Cole at 415/356-8383 x254/ 

Wilson Ling at 415/356-8383 x231/ 

(San Francisco, CA) — The Independent Television Service (ITVS) today announced that Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon, following in the footsteps of Angela Bassett and Don Cheadle, will be the on-air host for the Fall 2004/Spring 2005 season of its signature series, Independent Lens. The critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated series, which airs nationally on PBS stations on Tuesdays at 10:00 PM (check local listings), will begin its Fall 2004 season on October 26, 2004 with the premiere of Ron Lamothe's fascinating THE POLITICAL DR. SEUSS, which traces the political journey of the world famous children's author. Other upcoming highlights include AFGHANISTAN UNVEILED (Nov. 16), the first film about Afghan women after the fall of the Taliban told by Afghan women themselves, THE DAY MY GOD DIED (Nov. 30), narrated by Sarandon's partner Tim Robbins, which provides audiences with a window into the harrowing world of international sex trafficking, and the Spring 2005 television premiere of the recent feature END OF THE CENTURY: THE RAMONES. 

Says Ms. Sarandon, “I am so pleased to be a part of the new season of Independent Lens. It is crucial to have a place where anyone with a TV in the U.S. can tune in to experience these important stories—unique stories, often untold before—by truly independent filmmakers with diverse points of view.” 

Lois Vossen, executive producer of Independent Lens, is thrilled to have an actress of Sarandon's caliber as this year's host. Says Vossen, “Susan's life and career is an inspiration to all of us who think that filmmaking matters and that good filmmaking is about something more important than the bottom line. She brings a fiery passion to everything she does, and it's very exciting to have her bring that passion and integrity to what we think is the best season of Independent Lens to date.” 

Once again, viewers can look to Independent Lens to present its unique mix of the best new American and international documentaries and features—films that inspire, provoke, amuse, motivate and move us. For more information on our Fall lineup, feel free to contact us and visit the ITVS online pressroom at 

About Susan Sarandon 

Susan Sarandon brings her own brand of sex appeal and intelligence to every role—from her fearless portrayal in Bull Durham to her Oscar-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo's Oil, The Client and Atlantic City to her Academy Award® winning and SAG Award winning role as Sister Helen, a nun consoling a death-row inmate in, Dead Man Walking. 

Sarandon made her acting debut in the movie Joe, which she followed with a continuing role in the drama A World Apart. Her early film credits include The Great Waldo Pepper, Lovin' Molly, The Front Page and the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 1978 she played Brooke Shields' mother in Louis Malle's controversial Pretty Baby and went on to receive her first Oscar nomination in Malle's Atlantic City. Sarandon's additional feature credits include King of the Gypsies, The Hunger, The Sweet Hearts, Compromising Positions, The January Man, White Palace, The Buddy System, Sweet Hearts Dance, A Dry White Season, The Witches of Eastwick, Bob Roberts, Light Sleeper, Little Women and Safe Passage. 

More recently Sarandon starred opposite Paul Newman and Gene Hackman in Twilight; with Julia Roberts in the poignant comedy Stepmom; in the erotic farce Illuminata, directed by John Turturro; Tim Robbins' drama Cradle Will Rock; Wayne Wang's Anywhere But Here; and Stanley Tucci's Joe Gould's Secret. She also provided one of the voices for the hit animated features Rugrats in Paris, James and the Giant Peach, and Cats & Dogs and served as narrator for Laleh Khadivi's documentary 900 Women, about female prison inmates. She also starred in HBO's Earthly Possessions, based on the Anne Tyler novel and directed by James Lapine. On Broadway, Sarandon appeared in An Evening with Richard Nixon and received critical acclaim for her performances Off-Broadway in A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talkin' and the thriller Extremities and Off-Off-Broadway in The Guys. 

She was recently seen in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile with Dustin Hoffman, in the comedy Igby Goes Down with Jeff Goldblum, and in The Banger Sisters, with Goldie Hawn and Geoffrey Rush. Sarandon also starred in Ice Bound for CBS and played a supporting part in Children of Dune for the Sci-Fi channel. 

Sarandon will next be seen in Miramax Films' Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez opening on October 15, 2004, in Noel with Robin Williams, Paul Walker and Penelope Cruz, and in Alfie with Jude Law. She recently completed principal photography on The Exonerated. Sarandon is currently filming Elizabethtown directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. She will also be the new host of the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens, television's foremost showcase of independent features and documentaries, premiering nationwide in October. 

About Independent Lens 

Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. 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 a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin to write in The New Yorker: “Watching Independent Lens... is like going into an independent bookstore—you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted.” Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at lens. 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. 

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. 

About PBS 

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' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (, continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Posted on September 9, 2004