Lois Vossen on Emmy Honors for the Fourth Estate

Lois Vossen, Vice President of ITVS & Series Producer of Independent Lens

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.

Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman — longtime friend of ITVS — was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award

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. Continue reading

And the Emmy Goes to…

The English Surgeon picked up an Emmy Monday night for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming

The English Surgeon! Congratulations to director/producer Geoffrey Smith and co-producer Rachel Wexler on picking up an Emmy for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming. The film aired last year on P.O.V. and received funding from ITVS International.

The documentary follows a British neurosurgeon as he confronts the dilemmas of the doctor-patient relationship on his latest mission to Ukraine. Check out this clip below from the Emmy Award-winning film, The English Surgeon.

Check back in with BTB tomorrow for a conversation with filmmaker Geoffrey Smith. Click here for a complete list of Emmy winners from last night’s awards.

ITVS Up for Five News & Documentary Emmys Monday

Five ITVS programs stand to win an Emmy tonight at the Lincoln Center in New York for the 31st Annual News and Documentary Awards.

Among the nominees are three Independent Lens programs — Tulia, Texas; No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos; and Crips and Bloods: Made in America. Two Emmy nominations also went to the ITVS programs The Way We Get By and The English Surgeon, both of which aired last year on P.O.V.

The Way We Get By received funding from LINCS, while The English Surgeon was supported by ITVS’s International Call (the next deadline for which has been pushed up to December 10, 2010 — don’t forget!).

Independent Lens Series Producer and ITVS Vice President Lois Vossen will be on hand at the ceremony tonight in New York.

Good luck to all!

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

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ITVS Programs Nominated for Six Emmy Awards

The nominees for the 31st Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards were announced today and ITVS programs received an impressive six nominations.

Among the nominees are three Independent Lens programs — Tulia, Texas; No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos; and Crips and Bloods: Made in America.

Tulia, Texas — by filmmakers Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen — received a nomination in the Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story, Long Form category. The film tells the story of a small town’s search for justice and the price Americans pay for the nation’s war on drugs.

No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos — by director James Chressanthis — received a nomination in the Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming category. The documentary profiles legendary cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond and how they reinvented Hollywood moviemaking for an entire generation.

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It’s a Wrap! A Look Back at Independent Lens Season 2009/10

There you have it folks, another gem-filled season of the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens is done and dusted. What a ride! We thought we’d take you back to some of the highlights, and point you to where you can catch up on any of the films you missed.

The season premiered with a fan favorite, Herb & Dorothy, about the unassuming Vogels of New York City who amassed a remarkable modern art collection on his salary as a postal clerk and hers as a librarian.

Between the Folds, Vanessa Gould’s visionary film about artists and scientists who are using origami to articulate concepts from quantum physics to the meaning of creativity, aired this winter. We heard from many viewers who found the film mind-bending and impossible to tear themselves away from. The film garnered Gould a Peabody Award this spring.

No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos had something of a cult following in our offices. James Chressanthis’s appreciation of Hungarian cinematographers and lifelong friends Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond (winner of the inaugural Independent Lens Vanguard Award) introduced us to industry legends who — from behind the camera on films such as The Deer Hunter and Easy Rider — literally shaped the look of American cinema in the 1960s and 1970s.

Young@Heart was another viewer favorite, chronicling a season of performances with the eponymous senior citizens chorus. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen octogenarians rocking out punk classics from The Clash.

Garbage Dreams — a beautiful film about trash — aired this spring around Earth Day. It was shortlisted for the Oscar in documentary features, and came equipped with one of our coolest interactive games to date.

We rounded out the year with the grand finale — our only fiction film of the season: Goodbye Solo. This award-winning film from Ramin Bahrani (who Roger Ebert has called “the director of the decade”) told of a Senegalese cab driver who tries to talk his fare out of a one-way ride to his death.

You can go to the Independent Lens website on PBS to revisit your favorites of the year, and vote in the Audience Award finals (beginning June 14). And super good news for you, our viewers — if you missed any shows this year, some of them are available to watch in their entirety on the PBS video player right now! And lucky for you, a number of other films from this season and from seasons past are available on iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Snagfilms and YouTube. So go out there and watch something mind-expanding.

ITVS Programs Nominated for Six Emmy Awards

The nominees for the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards were announced today and ITVS programs received an impressive six nominations.

Among the nominees are two Independent Lens programs––CHICAGO 10 and HARD ROAD HOME.

CHICAGO 10, directed by Brett Morgen, received a nomination in the Outstanding Individual Achievement In A Craft: Graphic Design & Art Direction category. Mixing animation with archival footage, the film explores the buildup to and unraveling of the protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the ensuing 1969 Conspiracy Trial. CHICAGO 10 premiered on Independent Lens on PBS, October 22, 2008.

HARD ROAD HOME, directed by Macky Alston, received a nomination in the Outstanding Informational Programming Long Form category. The film follows two former felons in different stages of life “on the outside.” HARD ROAD HOME premiered on Independent Lens on PBS, February 26, 2008.

Two Emmy nominations also went to DOPING FOR GOLD and BELARUSIAN WALTZ––both ITVS International productions.

DOPING FOR GOLD, directed and produced by Alison Rooper, is nominated in the Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming category. Set in Cold War-era East Germany, DOPING FOR GOLD reveals how young female athletes were injected with male hormones and anabolic steroids–all in the name of “international prestige through success in sports.” The film is a Firefly Production for Thirteen/WNET New York and ITVS International in association with Five, Channel Four International and History Channel (UK). DOPING FOR GOLD premiered on Secrets of the Dead series on PBS, May 7, 2008.

BELARUSIAN WALTZ, directed by Andrzej Fidyk and produced by Torstein Grude, received a nomination in the Outstanding Historical Programming-Long Form category. BELARUSIAN WALTZ is the story of Alexander Pushkin, a performance artist who used his “patriotic” art to protest against his country’s dictatorship. The film is a co-production of Piraya Film, ITVS International, MG Productions and Arte and premiered on P.O.V. on PBS, August 12, 2008.

Additional nominations went to ITVS-funded programs IN THE FAMILY, produced by Joanna Rudnick and Gordon Quinn, and THE JUDGE AND THE GENERAL, produced by Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco. Both premiered on the P.O.V. series in 2008.

The News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented on September 21 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Interested in seeing the full list of nominees?

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