(San Francisco, CA) May 6, 2020 — ITVS is proud to announce that two of its films, Hale County This Morning, This Evening and One Child Nation, were nominated in the documentary category for the 79th Annual Peabody Awards, out of a total 20 nominees. Both films premiered on the PBS series Independent Lens, which continues to serve as a public broadcast home for thought-provoking documentaries, and is presented by ITVS, the leading documentary co-producer and distributor for public media.
In addition, three ITVS-funded films received nominations: Midnight Traveler, The Silence of Others, and Warrior Women. Honoring the “most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media,” the Peabody Awards will announce the winners in the Documentary Category at a later date. The awards ceremony scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 18, 2020 in its new location at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles has been postponed due to the evolving coronavirus outbreak.
Since its inception in 1988, ITVS has funded more than 1,400 films. Of those films, 51 have been nominated for a Peabody Award and 39 have won. Notable wins include How to Survive a Plague by David France; Marco Williams and Whitney Dow’s Two Towns of Jasper; Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter; and The Invisible War by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, each of which “remain as relevant today as when they were initially broadcast and have made an impact that is impossible to measure,” according to the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors.
In 2017, ITVS was the recipient of the 76th Peabody Institutional Award for its “vital contributions to public discourse and knowledge.” The Board of Jurors praised ITVS’ integral place in the evolution of documentaries, saying “if any organization can claim a foundational place in the flourishing of documentary film over the past generation, it is the Independent Television Service (ITVS).”
“In these disturbing times, we’re reminded that the qualities independent documentarians have in spades are the same virtues that will help us through this pandemic: empathy, hard work, innovation, and courage,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “We’re extremely proud that the Peabody organization has again recognized the outstanding work of our storytellers by honoring Hale County This Morning, This Evening directed by RaMell Ross and One Child Nation directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. We’ll continue to fund and co-produce programming that inspires millions of people around the world.”
"We are thrilled that the esteemed Peabody jurors have nominated five ITVS-funded co-productions this year,” said Jim Sommers, senior vice president of ITVS content. “These programs represent the breadth and depth of the diversity of our extraordinary filmmakers and of the stories we are committed to telling. From international stories like Midnight Traveler, The Silence of Others and One Child Nation to national and local stories like Warrior Women and Hale County This Morning, This Evening, these incredible films have touched so many lives through our work in communities all over the country and the world. We are so grateful to our partners at PBS, Independent Lens, POV and the WORLD Channel for helping us to engage audiences and create real impact with our documentaries."
More information on the nominated films follows:
Hale County This Morning, This Evening by RaMell Ross
RaMell Ross's Academy Award-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening, one of the year's most critically-acclaimed films, is a dreamy and intimate journey through the world of Hale County, Alabama, a richly detailed glimpse into life in America’s Black Belt.
One Child Nation by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang
The birth of Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang’s first child was a life changing experience that caused her to become interested in uncovering the untold history of China's one-child policy for the generations of mothers and children whose lives have been forever changed by this haphazard, draconian governmental social experiment.
Midnight Traveler by Hassan Fazili (POV)
Midnight Traveler traces the Fazili family’s years-long, unpredictable journey out of Afghanistan and westward along one of Europe’s most notorious smuggling routes, with stops in refugee camps in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary. Along the way, Hassan, wife Fatima, and their two young daughters document their interactions with other refugees, smugglers, and police, collecting diverse perspectives on the refugee experience.
The Silence of Others by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar (POV)
The Silence of Others captures the first attempt in 77 years to prosecute crimes of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco (1939-1975). In a groundbreaking international court case, victims of re-education camps, child abduction, torture, and extra-judicial killings have come together to break their silence and confront perpetrators who, unbeknownst to much of the world, have enjoyed impunity for decades. Through the compelling contemporary story of the case and the personal journeys of several of its plaintiffs, The Silence of Others explores the shadows the past still casts upon the present in Spain. What happens when a country is forced to reckon with its history after many years of silence? What happens to those who have endured – and then dare to break – such silence? Can justice really be done after so long?
Warrior Women by Christina D. King and Elizabeth Castle (WORLD Channel)
Warrior Women is the untold story of American Indian Movement activists who fought for civil rights in the 1970s, and the children who served as their inspiration and their cohorts. The film is anchored by one of the Red Power Movement’s most outspoken Lakota leaders, Madonna Thunder Hawk, and her daughter Marcy Gilbert. Together, they weathered some of the most turbulent battles for Native sovereignty in the modern era: Thunder Hawk as an activist and mother, Marcy as a teenager growing into a young woman while sharing her mother with a movement that was bigger than either of them.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation: facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens.
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 itvs.org.