Two Independent Lens Films Nominated for Emmys

Two films from Independent Lens — BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY and DADDY & PAPA — have been nominated for News and Documentary Emmy Awards

Contact: Mary Lugo 770/623-8190 

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(San Francisco, CA) — Two films from Independent Lens — Tracy Droz Tragos's BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY and Johnny Symons's DADDY & PAPA — have been nominated by the National Television Academy in the Best Documentary category for News and Documentary Emmy Awards, it was announced today. Independent Lens, currently having just completed its second prime-time season, is broadcast on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS stations nationally. The third season of the acclaimed independent film series will debut on Tuesday, October 26 with THE POLITICAL DR. SEUSS. 

"These two extraordinary films are both personal stories about family which touched the hearts of millions of viewers and it is gratifying to have them now recognized by the industry,” said Independent Lens series producer Lois Vossen. "As a new series, we are honored to have our films receive not one, but two nominations from the Television Academy and will continue to be the premiere television showcase for innovative and entertaining independent programs.” 

BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY is a moving, personal documentary that chronicles Tracy Droz Tragos's struggle to know and grieve for the father she never knew, a soldier who died in Vietnam when she was a baby. Through her journey of discovery, and that of her family and her father's friends, the film sheds light on the more than 20,000 Americans whose fathers were killed in Vietnam — and those young Americans who continue to lose parents in war. Produced by Tracy Droz Tragos; the film is a co-presentation with KCPT/Kansas City. Executive Producers: Chris Donahue, Sally Jo Fifer. Co-Producer: Chris Tragos, Kat Tragos. A CBS News produced feature segment on Tracy Tragos and her story of making BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY aired last fall on 60 Minutes II was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Feature Story in a News Magazine. 

DADDY & PAPA, produced by Johnny Symons, looks at gay fathers who face both routine and revolutionary challenges of becoming parents. As they change the landscape of the American family, these fathers wrestle with complicated issues — from surrogacy to interracial adoption, gay divorce and legal custody. Executive Producer: Sally Jo Fifer. Co-Producer: Lindsay Sablosky. 

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 The New Yorker to write: "Watching Independent 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 July 13, 2004