Six PBS Projects - Five Films and One Web Original - Selected for 2005 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by PBS Publicity on



(Alexandria, VA) - Under the leadership of President and CEO Pat Mitchell, PBS returns to Park City with a diverse group of five films and web original participating in the 2005 Sundance Festival. "We are proud of these six extraordinary projects selected by the premier independent film festival in the world. These films reflect both the excellence and the enormous diversity of our programming," said Mitchell. Mitchell will be at Sundance along with programming executives John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President, Programming; and Gustavo Sagastume, Vice President, Programming.

Following is a list of PBS films at Sundance:


THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX, by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt, follows Texas teenager Shelby Knox as she joins a youth group on a campaign for better sex education in Lubbock high schools. As Shelby is swept into the fight, she begins to question her deeply conservative Southern Baptist upbringing. When the campaign broadens to include a fight for a gay-straight alliance, Shelby must finally confront her family and a local youth pastor in this coming of age story. THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX is slated to air in an upcoming season of the acclaimed PBS series P.O.V. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with P.O.V./American Documentary, Inc.

FROZEN ANGELS, by Eric Black and Frauke Sandig, follows a cast of characters through the wonder-world of assisted human reproduction while, at the same time, portraying Los Angeles, a city better known for elevating the superficial into an art, for Hollywood, Disneyland, freeways, silicone-implants, film sets of epic proportions, and perfect bodies at Muscle Beach. But in the Mecca of the Body Perfect, one in six couples is now infertile and Angelinos lead the world in number of fertility clinics per capita. All of their customers are wealthy, 99% are white.

FROZEN ANGELS, a highly visual film blurring the line between fiction and documentary, makes the connection to people and the society that would seek to design its children. An ITVS Production.

SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS, by Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller, follows an all-male Shakespeare company working behind bars at Kentucky's Luther Luckett Correctional Complex. For one year a cast comprised of murderers, rapists and thieves rehearse and perform a full production of Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest, a play fittingly about forgiveness. In the film, the parallels between actor and inmate, text and life are striking. On the surface level in the film, the men rehearse their lines alone, with each other and in rehearsal. They experiment with different ways to deliver a line, to make a gesture or how to change the meaning of a scene-with one subtle stroke. On a deeper level, this constant searching within a character mirrors the constant search within the men themselves to find meaning in their past actions and present lives. The film shows men who are, in some ways, stuck in time, constantly replaying the text and gestures of their own crimes, wondering what subtle stroke would have changed their fate. And in this process, these men test the power of truth, change and forgiveness. An ITVS production.

TRUDELL: THE LIVES AND WORDS OF JOHN TRUDELL Documentary Competition. World Premiere
Directed by Heather Rae.
A chronicle of legendary Native American poet/activist John Trudell's travels, spoken word performances and politics. A co-presentation of Native American Telecommunications (NAPT).
Presented on Independent Lens.


Directed by Frederick Wiseman.
Madison Square Garden is America's best known center for popular, live entertainment. The public goes there to see basketball, hockey, the dog show, the cat show, boxing, concerts, wrestling, tennis, theatre, the circus, trade shows for a wide variety of products and to eat in its many restaurants. The film, THE GARDEN, shows many of the events that take place at the Garden and the nature of the behind the scenes work required to efficiently and professionally present these different and complex events. Presented on PBS by Thirteen/WNET New York.


BEYOND THE FIRE: Teen Experiences of War, an Electric Shadows online project presented by ITVS, created and produced by Sesh Kannan and developed by Free Range Graphics, at www.beyondthefire.net, engages and educates American teens through the real life stories of their peers from seven war torn countries, including Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq, who have made their way to the U.S. in search of a better life. Now more than ever, teens and their teachers and parents are in need of accessible, engaging and informative sources to shed light on world issues, to help American teens become more enlightened citizens of the world. In a media environment dominated by the perspectives and voices of adults, there is a great need for teens to hear from their peers if lessons in world issues, politics and geography are to be relevant. BEYOND THE FIRE sparks teen dialogue on issues of war, geography, history and human rights.

About PBS
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. Hosted by Susan Sarandon, the acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin to write in The New Yorker: "Watching Independent Lens... is like going into an independent bookstore-you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted." Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at www.pbs.org/independentlens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About ITVS
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People.

About P.O.V.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and entering its 18th season on PBS, P.O.V. is the first and most-awarded series on television to feature the work of America's best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers. Airing Tuesdays 10 P.M. during the summer, and with prime time specials during the year, P.O.V. has brought over 220 award-winning documentaries to millions nationwide, and now has a Webby-Award winning online series, P.O.V.'s Borders. Since 1988, P.O.V. has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent non-fiction media to build new communities in conversation about today's most pressing social issues. More information about P.O.V is available online at pbs.org/pov.



Cara White, 843.881.1480; carapub@aol.com
At Sundance: 843.224.1442; Park City Marriott, Room 107
Stephanie Aaronson, PBS at Sundance: 703.338.6986