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!

‘The Island President’ to Receive IDA Pare Lorentz Award

Originally posted on Documentary.org.

This year, the esteemed Pare Lorentz Award will go to The Island President, directed by John Shenk. Each year, the International Documentary Association gives this award to a film that demonstrates concern for the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all and the illumination of pressing social problems. Previous winners of the Pare Lorentz Awards include The Last MountainWasteland, and An Inconvenient Truth.

IDA’s Pare Lorentz Award recipient The Island President, directed by Jon Shenk, is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives. Nasheed brings democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, but faces an even greater challenge: rising sea levels threatening to submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable.

The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. When hope fades for a written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech, which salvages an agreement. Despite the modest size of his country, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change. The Island President is produced by Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge, and Executive Produced by Jon Else.

Jon Shenk is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and founder of Actual Films who has spent his career telling socially-relevant stories with a human touch. He was the Director of Photography for the Academy Award-winning Smile Pinki (2009). He was awarded an Emmy for Blame Somebody Else (2007), a feature story about human trafficking which he wrote, produced and photographed for PBS. Continue reading

Announcing the Seventh Season of Community Cinema

Drum roll, please…. ITVS is excited to announce the seventh season of Community Cinema, which offers free screenings for communities nationwide!

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide kick starts the seventh season of Community Cinema

Join Community Cinema this season as they kick-off the screening series with Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Maro Chermayeff. This landmark documentary miniseries (based on the bestselling book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) follows six actress-advocates — America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde — as they travel to Africa and Asia and meet inspiring, courageous individuals who are confronting oppression and developing real, meaningful solutions.

Community Cinema takes on diverse issues from current news headlines, such as As Goes Janesville, Brad Lichtenstein’s three-year chronicle about the debate over the future of America’s middle class, a debate that has become a pitched battle over unions in the normally tranquil state of Wisconsin; Macky Alston’s Love Free or Die, a portrait of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay elected bishop in the high church traditions of Christendom, whose 2003 elevation in the New Hampshire diocese ignited a worldwide firestorm in the Anglican Communion; and Soul Food Junkies, Byron Hurt’s personal look at the black community’s love affair with soul food, its significance, and its health consequences. Continue reading

Advanced Screening of The Island President in D.C.

U.S. Climate Action Network, 350.org, and ecoAmerica invite you and a guest to advance screenings of the The Island President on April 15th and 16th in Washington, DC. The documentary will premiere on PBS next season on Independent Lens.

These two advanced screenings of The Island President are part of the Washington, DC International Film Festival (FilmfestDC) lineup. While both screenings are open to climate community leaders and the rest of the public, the Monday evening screening will be immediately followed by a special Q&A discussion. Continue reading

The Island President Hits Theaters

The Island President may not be coming to Independent Lens until next season, but audiences don’t have to wait to see the story of former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed.

In February, former President Mohamed Nasheed made headlines when he was forced to step down after the Maldivian police and army turned against him. Prior to the coup, President Nasheed was known for his impassioned stance on climate change and was rewarded by being pushed out of office earlier this year, after the documentary concluded filming. The Island President follows Nasheed as he worked tirelessly to motivate the world to take action before the rising sea levels wiped out the Maldives, giving a human face to an issue that continues to threaten his country.

The Island President opened in theaters in New York on Wednesday, March 28th and will be coming to San Francisco (March 30), Los Angeles (April 6), Washington DC (April 20), San Diego (April 20), Minneapolis (April 27), and Detroit (April 27) throughout the next month. Additional cities will be added soon and will be posted to film’s website. Watch the film’s trailer after the jump. Continue reading

Ousted Maldives President Speaks Out on NPR

Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed appeared on Morning Edition this week. Nasheed was forced to resign earlier this month in what he referred to as a coup, a claim his successor denies. He is featured in the documentary The Island President, which will air next season on Independent Lens.

The Island President will air next season on Independent Lens

Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition interview after the jump:
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Filmmakers of The Island President Respond to Turmoil in the Maldives

Director Jon Shenk and producers Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge offered a response to the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives and this week’s unexpected resignation of former President Mohamed Nasheed. Their documentary The Island President will air next season on Independent Lens.

The Island President will air next season on Independent Lens

Yesterday morning we woke up to the shocking news that President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives had resigned his office under duress. According to news reports and local sources, Nasheed faced the choice of using the military to quell a violent demonstration or stepping down to avoid bloodshed. In line with his long history of peaceful activism, he chose the latter.
Continue reading

The Island President Heads to TIFF

The ITVS-funded film by Jon Shenk will screen Saturday, September 10 at the Toronto International Film Festival at 6:30PM in the TIFF Bell Lightbox 2.

The Island President follows the globetrotting journey of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, who, after bringing democracy to his country, takes up the fight to keep it from disappearing under the sea.