PBS’s Independent Lens at the 2010 Television Critics Association Press Tour

Posted on January 14, 2010

Greetings from the Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour in Los Angeles. Held twice a year, TCA gives television critics and other journalists a chance to preview upcoming programs from major broadcast and cable networks. We're here with the filmmakers of Dirt! The Movie, narrator/actor/author Jamie Lee Curtis, and Andy Lipkis, the founder and president of TreePeople. We presented a panel on Dirt! to about 200 television writers, journalists, and bloggers from across the country. We kicked off our presentation with a trailer for Independent Lens’s Garbage Dreams, Mai Iskander's award winning documentary that is on the short list for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary (airing on Independent Lens on April 27). 

We followed it with a trailer for Dirt! and got down to the "dirty" business of answering questions. Jamie Lee jumped in immediately to talk about why she loves this documentary saying that she believes the humor and animation make it extremely affective for all viewers, including young people. Noting that the older generation has "f*#+@'d it up" and the next generation now has to find ways to fix the environmental problems we face. Andy Lipkis was asked what prompted him to start TreePeople (40 years ago) at the age of 15. 

Filmmakers Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow talked about the discoveries they made while making the film and the simple yet profound understanding that dirt -- that seemingly simple matter under our feet -- is actually more alive than we are. It will heal itself and us if we allow it to. Check out the trailer of Dirt! The Movie


Dirt! The Movie will broadcast at 10:00 PM on April 20 on Independent Lens as part of PBS's 40th Anniversary Earth Day programs (check local listings).

After the panel, Jamie Lee (the proud driver of one of only five hydrogen fueled cars in L.A.), Andy and Bill and Gene did on-camera interviews that will appear in the weeks leading up to broadcast. I've seen dozens and dozens and dozens of films about the environment. Most leave me wanting to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head (or worse). What I love about Dirt! The Movie is that it leaves everyone who sees it feeling rejuvenated and wanting to do something to change how they interact with their environment. That's the power of a really well-made, smart and entertaining documentary. -Lois Vossen Independent Lens Series Producer 

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