Two ITVS International Films Take Top IDFA Prizes

ITVS has record number 12 films at international doc fest in Amsterdam

(San Francisco, CA)— The Independent Television Service (ITVS) announced that of its record-breaking 12 films, that were official selections at the recent 20th annual International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA), two garnered top honors at the world-renown documentary festival and market. 

STRANDED: The Andes Plane Crash Survivors, directed by Gonzalo Arijon and produced by Marc Silvera, won the prestigious VPRO Joris Ivens Jury Prize. “The film was the talk of the festival,” said ITVS Vice President of Programming Claire Aguilar. At a lengthy 130 minutes—and in Spanish with English subtitles—STRANDED screened to sold out audiences throughout the festival. The film recounts the story of the survivors of the terrible 1972 plane crash in the Andes told for the first time in their own words. 

END OF THE RAINBOW, directed by Robert Nugent and produced by Mitzi Goldman, Jean-Pierre Gibrat and Michel Zwecker, won the First Appearances prize—reserved for emerging filmmakers whose films premiere at IDFA. The film explores the human dimensions of industrial gold mining in two remote locations: Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo and Guinea, West Africa. 

Other ITVS films at IDFA included six additional ITVS International productions and four ITVS-funded domestic (USA) projects to round out ITVS’s strong IDFA presence. 

In addition to the strong showing by ITVS-funded projects, the organization also hosted an official IDFA event to promote the ITVS International Call (annual funding opportunity for non-U.S. producers) and further establish ITVS as a global production funding resource. 

ITVS International films at IDFA THE DICTATOR HUNTER by Klaartje Quirijns and Pieter van Huystee DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT by Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan END OF THE RAINBOW, directed by Robert Nugent and produced by Mitzi Goldman, Jean-Pierre Gibrat and Michel Zwecker LAKSHMI AND ME by Nishtha Jain and Smriti Nevatia A PROMISE TO THE DEAD by Peter Raymont SHADOW OF THE HOLY BOOK by Arto Halonen and Kevin Frazier STRANDED: The Andes Plane Crash Survivors, directed by Gonzalo Arijon and produced by Marc Silvera YOUNG YAKUZA by Jean-Pierre Limosin and Christian Baute. 

ITVS Domestic films at IDFA IRON LADIES OF LIBERIA by Daniel Junge, Siatta Scott Johnson, Henry Ansbacher and Jonathan Stack MAPPING STEM CELL RESEARCH: Terra Incognita by Maria Finitzo and Justine Nagan OPERATION HOMECOMING: Writing the Wartime Experience by Richard Robbins and Tom Yellin STATE LEGISLATURE by Frederick Wiseman 


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 10:00 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. 


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 U.S.A. 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 about ITVS International is available online at 

Contact: Randall Cole, Senior Publicity Manager, 415-356-8383, ext 254 —or— Dennis Palmieri, Director of Communications, 415-356-8383, ext 256

Posted on December 12, 2007