This April, Bitter Seeds Comes to Public Television

Airing on public television throughout April, Bitter Seeds is an examination of the debate surrounding biotechnology and the future of farming.

Biotechnology is changing the way farming is done all over the world. Advocates believe the “New Green Revolution” is the only way to provide sufficient food for the world’s growing population while opponents raise environmental concerns and fear that GMOs drive small-scale farmers off the land. Bitter Seeds explores the controversy — from a village in India that uses genetically modified seeds to U.S. government agencies that promote them.

Directed by Micha Peled, the filmmaker behind China Blue and Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to TownBitter Seeds premieres on public television this month (check local listings).

ITVS Docs Hold Their Own at the 2012 IDA Awards

Well, it looks like some holiday cheer came early for two ITVS films! Both The Island President and Bitter Seeds won awards at the 2012 IDA Documentary Awards.

The IDA Documentary Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in documentary filmmaking and on Friday night in Los Angeles, two ITVS films received special recognition at the 28th annual IDA Awards Gala. The Island President picked up the Pare Lorentz Award, while Bitter Seeds was awarded the Humanitas Documentary Award.

Pare Lorentz Award
The Island President by Jon Shenk

Humanitas Documentary Award
Bitter Seeds by Micha Peled

Please join us in congratulating the filmmakers!

That’s a Wrap!

By Kaleigh Gaynor

Thursday marks the end of the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, which featured three ITVS funded documentary films, including Bitter Seeds, The Invisible War, and The Waiting Room.

Still from Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey (credit: Ninfa Z. Bito)

The 55th San Francisco International Film Festival is closing tonight on a high note, celebrating their festival journey with…. well, Journey! After a rousing screening of Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey at the Castro Theatre, including what is bound to be a fascinating Q&A with director Ramona S. Diaz (director of the ITVS funded documentaries Imelda and The Learning) and all five members of the band Journey, closing night attendees will head on over to SLOANE SQUARE[D], for a night of entertainment, dancing, food, and drinks.

The past 15 days have gone by so fast that it is hard to believe that another festival has come and gone. With more than 200 films screened and more than 45 countries represented, the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival proved once again to be an extraordinary showcase of innovation and cinematic discovery.

One particular highlight for ITVS was that The Waiting Room director Peter Nicks was featured on the festival’s Scoop du Jour website, a daily video feed presenting coverage of the happenings at the festival. In the interview, Nicks discusses his documentary The Waiting Room, an intimate and intense day-in-the-life documentary portrait of the patients, doctors, nurses, and social workers at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Check out the clip after the jump: Continue reading

Vive le SFIFF!

Thursday marks the start of the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival, and ITVS is proud to have three documentary films honored in the festival lineup, including Bitter SeedsThe Invisible War, and The Waiting Room

The San Francisco Film Society is encouraging opening night attendees to go French glam for tonight’s Farewell, My Queen screening by filmmaker Benoît Jacquot. Join the convivial throng at the Castro Theatre for a special screening then head to a lavish party at the elegant contemporary art gallery Terra in SOMA to enjoy hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants, sophisticated cocktails and, of course, dancing.

Unable to join in on the opening night festivities? Not to worry, Bay Area film fanatics have 15 full days of the best in world cinema to soak up before the festival closes on May 3, 2012. With more than 200 films in the lineup and more than 45 countries represented, the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival is an extraordinary showcase of innovation and cinematic discovery. Continue reading