Television Academy Bestows 2017 Governors Award to ITVS in Recognition of Its 25 Years in Broadcasting

Fill 54 Created with Sketch. PDF Download

(San Francisco, CA, August 8, 2017) In recognition of its more than 25 years as the nonprofit engine and leading incubator, funder and co-producer of more than 1,400 documentaries by independent producers, ITVS has been selected by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles to receive its 2017 Governors Award. ITVS President and CEO Sally Jo Fifer will be presented with the Award at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, September 9, 5:00 PM (PDT), at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

The Governors Award is presented annually to “an individual, company or organization or project for outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television, which is either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature as to go beyond the scope of the Emmy Awards presented in the categories and areas of the competition.” First awarded to television pioneer William S. Paley in 1978, past recipients include “American Idol,” “Masterpiece Theater,” Lucille Ball, Hallmark Cards and Showtime’s diversity programming. The Television Academy’s board of governors annually chooses the recipient based on recommendations from its Governors Award Committee, led this year by the Chairman Michael A. Levine and Vice-Chair Mark Spatny.

“It is an honor to receive the Governors Award from the Television Academy and to be included among the other esteemed companies, organizations, and individuals that have made their mark on the television landscape,” said Sally Jo Fifer, President and CEO, ITVS. “It is our privilege to fuel the courageous work of the talented independent producers who authentically reflect the extraordinary lives of communities all over our country. Our board, staff, and funders are humbled by this recognition. Thanks to the vital and trusted PBS which airs our stories; and our major funder, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with its continued support.”

“ITVS cultivates projects that provide thought-provoking, innovative content from an enormously diverse group of creators,” said Levine when announcing the award. “We are proud to present the Governors Award to an organization that supports pioneering television and inclusion both on-screen and behind the scenes.”

Best known for the acclaimed programs showcased in the prime-time lineups of PBS’s iconic nonfiction series Independent Lens, POV, FRONTLINE, American Masters, and American Experience, ITVS has introduced local, national and international audiences to the works of many creative voices, including Marlon Riggs, Lourdes Portillo and Barry Jenkins.

In May, ITVS was recognized by the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors with the 2017 Peabody Institutional Award for its “broad transformative impact on the media landscape.” In addition, 15 documentaries funded by ITVS have been nominated for News and Documentary Emmy Awards, to be presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in October.

ITVS came to be through a hard-won Congressional mandate and federal funding to bring underrepresented voices to the public airwaves. The organization champions diversity and inclusion on the screen and behind the camera: nearly 70% of ITVS funds go to diverse producers — 50% to women.

About ITVS

ITVS is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that has, for over 25 years, funded and partnered with a diverse range of documentary filmmakers to produce and distribute untold stories. ITVS incubates and co-produces these award-winning films and then airs them for free on PBS via our weekly series, Independent Lens, as well as on other PBS series and through our digital platform, OVEE. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information, visit



Donna Hardwick, ITVS 

415-356-8383 x 241

Posted on August 8, 2017