ITVS

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ITVS (Independent Television Service)
Private non-profit
https://itvs.org/about
Industry Television, Film
Founded September 22, 1989; 29 years ago (1989-09-22)
Headquarters San Francisco, U.S.
Area served
United States
Key people
Sally Jo Fifer, President and CEO
Services Funding diverse storytelling & filmmakers
Number of employees
65
Website itvs.org

ITVS (Independent Television Service) is a service in the United States which funds and presents documentaries on public television through distribution by PBS and American Public Television, new media projects on the Internet, and the weekly series Independent Lens[1] on PBS. Aside from Independent Lens, ITVS funded and produced films for more than 40 television hours per year on the PBS series POV, Frontline, American Masters and American Experience. Some ITVS programs are produced along with organizations like Latino Public Broadcasting and KQED.

History[edit]

ITVS was established through legislation by the United States Congress in 1988,[2][3] “to expand the diversity and innovativeness of programming available to public broadcasting,”[4] and began funding new programming via production licensing agreements[5] in 1990. From 2005-2010, it expanded its reach through the creation of the Global Perspectives Project, which facilitated the international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and is based in San Francisco. In 2017, ITVS was named the recipient of a Peabody Institutional Award for its contributions to storytelling in television; the Peabody board of jurors cited "an accomplished range of work as rich as any broadcaster or funder,"[6] and in the same year the organization learned it was to receive the 2017 Emmy Governors Award chosen by the Television Academy Board of Governors, awarded during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 9, 2017.[7]

ITVS-supported programs are free and accessible to all via public television broadcasts, digital streaming, and on-the ground screenings and events with local partners in 75 U.S. cities.

ITVS has funded more than 1,400 films, with an eye on diversity and underrepresented audiences and filmmakers. The organization champions inclusion on the screen and behind the camera: Nearly 70% of ITVS funds go to diverse producers, 50% to women.[8] The ITVS staff supports producers from project inception through distribution, reviewing proposals and cuts, offering funding, and providing production management, multi-platform distribution, and strategic audience development campaigns.

ITVS has discovered and nurtured prominent filmmakers, including one of the first films by Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins, who made a film[9] for ITVS’s “FutureStates,” a digital series that for 3 seasons funded and featured the work of emerging filmmakers as they imagined our future. After getting their start from ITVS, many alumni have gone on to make ground-breaking television for other TV outlets including Jessica Yu, whose films Men of Re-enactment (1993) and In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) were funded by ITVS. Yu is now an award-winning commercial TV director on 13 Reasons Why, American Crime, Scandal, Parenthood, and Grey’s Anatomy. Other TV directors who received their earliest funding and support from ITVS include Shukree Tilghman (More Than a Month for ITVS, then The Vampire Diaries, Satisfaction, Dog the Bounty Hunter for commercial television), Carlos Avila (Foto-Novelas for ITVS, then Grime, Cold Case, and Chicago Hope for commercial television), and Nelson George (A Ballerina’s Tale for ITVS and Hip-Hop Evolution and The Getdown for Netflix).

Notable works[edit]

Among the prominent films funded by ITVS:

In 2015, ITVS created a new digital journalism initiative [13] in response to growing concerns about fake news. These journalism video shorts are published by news outlets such as the Washington Post, PBS Newshour, The Atlantic, people.com, Salon.com, USA Today, The Nation, and by local news outlets across the country including The Tennessean, Texas Tribune, Los Angeles Magazine, etc. "We Are All Newtown" is one of 96 journalism video shorts that ITVS and Independent Lens produced.

Independent Lens[edit]

Since 1999, ITVS has produced Independent Lens, a weekly television series airing on PBS presenting documentary films made by independent filmmakers. For the first three seasons Independent Lens aired 10 episodes each fall season. In 2002, PBS announced that in 2003 the series would relaunch and expand to 29 primetime episodes a year.

In 2017, ITVS announced Indie Lens Storycast, a free subscription-based docuseries channel on YouTube, co-produced with PBS Digital Studios. Storycast launched in September of that year with docuseries Iron Maidens and The F Word.[14]

In addition, ITVS produces Indie Lens Pop-Up, formerly Community Cinema, an in-person series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations, featuring documentaries seen on Independent Lens.[15]

Awards[edit]

32 ITVS films have won Peabody Awards,[16] including How to Survive a Plague by David France; Marco Williams and Whitney Dow’s Two Towns of Jasper; Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter; and The Invisible War by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.

ITVS-Supported Peabody Winners

ITVS-Supported News & Documentary Emmy Winners

ITVS-Supported Primetime Emmy Winners [30]

  • Have You Heard From Johannesburg
  • A Lion In The House

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Independent Lens' Refocuses: Anthology Series Now Curated by ITVS and PBS (Documentary magazine)" (web). Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  2. ^ "100th Congress House Bill" (web). Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  3. ^ "Congressional Record 134" (pdf). 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  4. ^ "Current News: Independent Television Service, Inc. Articles of Incorporation, 1989" (web). Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  5. ^ "ITVS Funding" (web). Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  6. ^ "Institutional Award: Independent Television Service (ITVS)" (web). Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  7. ^ "Television Academy Grants 2017 Governors Award to ITVS" (web). Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  8. ^ "ITVS to receive 2017 Governors Award". RealScreen. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "'Remigration' Imagines a City With No Workers". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "'Newtown' screens at Global Peace Film Festival". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sundance Film Review: 'The Force'". Variety. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "PBS Acquires Sundance Doc "Dolores"". PBS blog. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "Washington Post to Feature ITVS Documentary Films". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  14. ^ "PBS, Independent Lens launch doc-driven web channel". RealScreen. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "Independent Lens Launches Indie Lens Pop-Up in Pittsburgh and 75 Cities Across the U.S." (PDF). WQED (Independent Lens press release). Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Lear, ITVS named Individual, Institutional Winners" (web). Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  17. ^ "Chicago Tribune coverage of Peabody Awards" (web). Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  18. ^ "Independent Lens: Bhutto (PBS)". Peabody Awards. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  19. ^ "'Scandal,' 'House of Cards,' 'The Bridge,' 'Orphan Black' Among Peabody Winners". Variety. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "'Scandal,' 'House of Cards,' 'The Bridge,' 'Orphan Black' Among Peabody Winners". Variety. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "'Justified,' 'The Good Wife,' 'Men of a Certain Age' honored with Peabody Awards". Current. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  22. ^ "ITVS Wins Five News & Documentary Emmys". Broadway World. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "PBS Dominates News and Documentary Emmys with 14 Awards" (web). Retrieved 2002-09-10.
  24. ^ "ITVS Garners Four Wins at the 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards". MarketWired. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  25. ^ ""Invisible War," "Crash Reel" among doc Emmy winners". RealScreen. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  26. ^ "News and Documentary Emmys, 2011". Current. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  27. ^ "PBS, CBS Are Big Winners at News and Documentary Emmy Awards". The Wrap. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  28. ^ "3 Emmy Nominations for The Trials of Muhammad Ali". Kartemquin Films. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  29. ^ "19th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards" (PDF). Emmy Online. September 9, 1998.
  30. ^ "Independent Lens Spends $2.5 Million on Docs: The Mission, Filters, Budgets, Rights & Submission Process". Documentary Business. Retrieved February 1, 2015.

External links[edit]