Three ITVS Films Garner 2007 Peabody Awards

First-time wins for Independent Lens series and ITVS International program

67th annual awards ceremony to take place on June 16, 2008

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(San Francisco)—The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announced today that three of its acclaimed films are among the winners of the George Foster Peabody Awards for 2007. The Peabody Awards are the oldest and one of the most prestigious honors in electronic media. The three films being honored this year bring the grand total of ITVS Peabody Awards to 12 since opening its doors 17 years ago. 

BILLY STRAYHORN: LUSH LIFE and SISTERS IN LAW, both of which aired on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, and the PBS mini-series CRAFT IN AMERICA: Memory, Landscape and Community were chosen to be among the 35 programs honored with this year’s Peabody Awards. In addition, this year marks the first award to a production funded through ITVS International’s Global Perspectives Project, (SISTERS IN LAW) and the first Peabodys for programs broadcast on Independent Lens

The Peabody website describes CRAFT IN AMERICA as a “three-hour chronicle of America’s rich, ongoing traditions of weaving, quilting, woodworking and other craft art…carefully wrought and as beautifully shot as its subject matter.” In describing BILLY STRAYHORN: LUSH LIFE, the website lauds: “Along with celebrating the work of the often overlooked arranger and composer who was crucial to Duke Ellington’s sound and success, the documentary sensitively explored the homophobia that kept Strayhorn in the shadows.” And finally in praise of SISTERS IN LAW: “…makes viewers flies on the wall of a small-town courthouse in Cameroon overseen by two dynamic, wisecracking, larger-than-life sisters who are helping women stand up to abuse.” 

The awards will be presented on June 16th at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Brian Williams, the distinguished anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News will be the master of ceremonies. 

“We could not be more proud of the amazing accomplishments of all these filmmakers. It is wonderful to see their hard work, determination and artistic vision recognized by such a prestigious award,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS President and CEO. “American audiences are fortunate indeed to have a public broadcasting system that continues to bring content of outstanding quality to their lives and living rooms.” 

BILLY STRAYHORN: LUSH LIFE is a co-production of Robert Levi Films, Inc., ITVS and Washington Square Films, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The program was a presentation of the acclaimed PBS series, Independent Lens, where it had its broadcast premiere in February 2007. 

CRAFT IN AMERICA is a co-production of Craft in America, Inc. and ITVS, with funding provided by CPB, and is a co-presentation with KCET/Los Angeles. The three-part series aired nationally on PBS in May 2007. SISTERS IN LAW is a production of Vixen Films and is an acquisition of ITVS International. The program had its national PBS broadcast premiere on Independent Lens in November 2007 and is distributed through longtime ITVS partner Women Make Movies. 

“We are particularly thrilled that these three films represent the high quality programs we are regularly bringing to the American public through our ITVS International initiative and our very own Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens,” Fifer said. 

About ITVS 

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 is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. Hosted this season by Terrence Howard, 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. 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 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. 

About ITVS International 

ITVS International is a division of the Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences, and American stories to audiences abroad. Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. True Stories: Life in the USA promotes a series of American independent films to audiences around the world. ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the U.S. Department of State. More information is available online at 

Contact: Randall Cole, 415.356.8383, ext 254

Posted on April 3, 2008