Two ITVS International Films to Screen at Prestigious 60th Cannes Film Festival 2007

Screenings of THE MOSQUITO PROBLEM AND OTHER STORIES and YOUNG YAKUZA will mark a first-time presence for ITVS International at festival

(San Francisco, California, USA)—The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has announced that two projects from the first-ever ITVS International Call have been selected for the 60th Cannes Film Festival. Only in its second year, these screenings represent a first for the ITVS International Call and its funded productions to be screened at the world-renowned film event. 

“It is remarkable that two of the nine projects which were awarded funding from the first-ever ITVS International Call have been named official selections at Cannes,” said Claire Aguilar, ITVS vice president of programming. “I think this truly speaks to the quality of projects which have come through our new initiative. We look forward to presenting them to the U.S. public through their eventual television broadcast.” 

THE MOSQUITO PROBLEM AND OTHER STORIES (Bulgaria) Director: Andrey Paounov Producer: Martichka Bozhilova 

The film tells the epic story of a village turned labor camp, turned city, turned nuclear power plant and its population swamped between regimes, ideologies, mass murder, pop-folk music, guilt, redemption, hope and mosquitoes. 

THE MOSQUITO PROBLEM AND OTHER STORIES will screen twice during the festival as a part of the International Week of the Critic (Semaine internationale de la critique) on Friday, May 18th, 3:00 PM at Espace Miramar, and on Sunday, May 20th, 5:00 PM at Cinéma Le Raimu. 

This film is produced in association with Sundance Channel, which has recently announced that they will present the U.S. broadcast premiere of the film in 2008. 

YOUNG YAKUZA (Japan and France) Director: Jean-Pierre Limosin Producers: Hengameh Panahi and Christian Baute (Celluloid Dreams Productions) 

Juvenile delinquency has increased in Japan dramatically over the past ten years. Twenty-year-old Naoki is caught up in this way of life. His record is dismal: he has failed at school, at work and in his personal life. Not long ago, Naoki decided to try to make a living from crime much to his mother’s despair. On the advice of a friend, she is handing over her son to the Japanese Mafia for one year. Naoki will then have to choose between the light and the darkness. 

YOUNG YAKUZA will have its special screening on May 19th at 10 PM as an official selection in the “Un Certain Regard” category. 

Financed entirely by a new and separate funding stream with support from U.S.-based private foundations, ITVS International allows ITVS for the first time to fund filmmakers from outside the United States to produce programs for broadcast on U.S. television. In addition to production financing, the initiative also provides services to support distribution, promotion and educational outreach to expand the impact of the program beyond its broadcast. The annual International Call is open to any independent filmmaker who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. 

The fund considers projects that are currently in production which focus on any topic that brings international perspectives, ideas, events or people to the U.S. public. Proposals should be for programs that seek to reflect international social, economic, human rights or cultural issues. The deadline for the next ITVS International Call is February 2008. 

THE MOSQUITO PROBLEM AND OTHER STORIES is produced by AGITPROP Ltd. in co-production with the ITVS International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and Filmtank Hamburg GmbH in association with ZDF/ARTE, in association with Sundance Channel, Channel 4, HOS Holland and YLE Teema, with support of the National Film Center of Bulgaria and the MEDIA Plus Programme of the European Community. Executive Producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer. 

YOUNG YAKUZA is a co-production of Celluloid Dreams Production and the ITVS International Media Development Fund (IMDF). Executive Producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer. 

About ITVS International 

ITVS International promotes the exchange of compelling documentary films between the United States and other nations, going beyond stereotypes and headline news to provide television audiences around the world with new insight into the cultures and people that comprise our global community. ITVS International is an initiative of ITVS’s International Media Development Fund which launched in 2005—a project created by ITVS in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

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. More information about ITVS and ITVS International initiatives is available online at 

CONTACT: Randall Cole, Senior Publicity Manager, ITVS Tel. +1.415.356.8383, ext. 254 E-mail: 

Jim Sommers, Vice-President, Broadcast and Communications, ITVS Tel. +1.415.356.8383, ext. 242 E-mail:

Posted on May 7, 2007