Independent Lens Series Producer and ITVS Vice President, Lois Vossen, was on hand Monday night in New York for the 31st Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Earlier today she filed this report for BTB, on an evening that bestowed plenty of laurels on public television. A warm September rain didn't dampen the News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The most respected and recognizable faces in broadcast journalism, along with hundreds of independent documentary filmmakers, producers, and broadcasters gathered at Lincoln Center for this annual showcase to acknowledge the best in television journalism and reporting.
A highlight of this year's ceremony was a Lifetime Achievement Award for Frederick Wiseman. Independent Lens proudly premiered Fred's narrative film The Last Letter on our third season (2005). Additionally, ITVS has worked with Fred and funded three of his films including State Legislature, Boxing Gym (broadcasting this fall on PBS), and his upcoming film on the University of California, Berkeley. In his well-timed remarks, Fred thanked the people inside public television who have supported his work these many years including: Sandy Heberer at PBS, Tammy Robinson in her years at WNET, and Claire Aguilar of ITVS. Not just anyone can graciously accept a lifetime achievement award by effectively telling a morgue joke. Fred can.
The other sustained applause of the evening went to presenter Dan Rather for his impassioned plea to the ideals of journalism in a society obsessed with celebrity and sound bites. "Do we still believe that an independent press is the fierce, beating heart of democracy?" Rather asked, asserting that journalism serves as a "parallel justice system” by exposing wrongdoing. “These ideals are being threatened today. The country needs you and your work now more than ever, not just because it will be what keeps the news media and journalism alive, but more importantly, it is what will keep a healthy democracy and a civil society alive."
It was great to see our colleagues from PBS NewsHour — Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Les Crystal, and Linda Winslow — receive the Chairman's Award for their outstanding work at this 35-year-old venerable news institution.
Big congratulations to Geoffrey Smith and our colleagues at P.O.V.! Geoffrey won an Emmy for his ITVS-funded documentary The English Surgeon. We also congratulate the three Independent Lens films that were nominated: Crips & Bloods: Made in America by Stacy Peralta, No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos by James Chressanthis, and Tulia, Texas by Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen; and the two additional ITVS-funded nominees: The Way We Get By by Aron Gaudet, and Be Like Others by Tanaz Eshaghian. Excellent documentary film and journalism are thriving, and we will continue to respond to Mr. Rather's call to arms.
From our blog
June 21, 2019
Placards are pieces of history. They show us verve. They show us wit. They show us pain and personality. They are floating, gripped, vital statements of resistance, rendering the individual voices of protest visible. The protests and riots of our times are documented and extended through social media, creating long-lasting visual histories that live…
June 12, 2019
In the land of memes, baby photos, and selfies, social media can serve many purposes for users. Social media not only connects friends and families who are wide distances apart but also allows users to author their own stories. The Instagram grid can be an archive of personal growth, while Facebook videos can narrate lived experiences. For many…
June 10, 2019
ITVS is pleased to announce that Keri Archer Brown will join the organization as Director of Content and Initiatives. Keri Archer Brown comes to ITVS with deep production, development, and management experience as both a line producer and an executive. She has worked in both capacities at ITV America/Sirens Media as well as at Discovery Studios for…