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  • 6/24/09

    Kartemquin Films’ Landmark Seven-Hour Documentary Miniseries The New Americans to Air on PBS WORLD’s Global Voices Series

    Documentary follows a diverse group of immigrants and refugees through dramatic first years in the United States

    Episodes available for download on iTunes

    Visit the companion website >>

    (San Francisco, CA)—Global Voices, airing on the PBS WORLD Channel, presents an encore presentation of Kartemquin Films’ THE NEW AMERICANS, the seven-hour, critically acclaimed documentary miniseries that follows four years in the lives of a diverse group of immigrants and refugees as they make the age-old journey from around the globe to start new lives in America. THE NEW AMERICANS will air on PBS WORLD’s Global Voices in one-hour installments from July 5 -August 16, 2009 (check local listings). The miniseries is available for download on iTunes for $1.99 as part of iTunes’ Independence Day promotion. Other select documentaries from Global Voices series will be available on iTunes this summer on the PBS Indies Channel.

    In the style of the Kartemquin classic Hoop Dreams, THE NEW AMERICANS intimately connects viewers to its subjects. It begins in a refugee camp or homeland, long before the film’s subjects wear that defining label of “immigrant,” then the film follows them from their emotional departures abroad through their first pivotal years in America. The immigrants featured are a family of Ogoni refugees from Nigeria; two young Dominican baseball prospects in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization; a young Palestinian woman who marries a first-generation Palestinian American from Chicago; a Mexican immigrant working as a meatpacker in rural Kansas in order to support his wife and six children who remained in Mexico; and a computer programmer from Bangalore who migrates to the San Francisco Bay Area. For complete information, including updates on all the film’s subjects, visit http://www.pbs.org/newamericans.

    The series was executive-produced by Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, STEVIE) and Gordon Quinn, with Gita Saedi serving as series producer. The five stories were directed by award-winning filmmakers Renee Tajima-Pena (Mexican), Indu Krishnan (Indian), Steve James (Nigerian), Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn (Palestinian), and Susana Aikin and Carlos Aparicio (Dominican Republic).

    THE NEW AMERICANS DVD is available at http://www.kartemquin.com/and contains additional scenes, a Spanish secondary audio track and character updates.For the complete lineup and schedule, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices/. For more information about ITVS International, visit http://www.itvs.org/international/.

    About Global Voices Global Voices is produced by ITVS International to air on the PBS WORLD digital channel beginning Sunday, April 26, 2009, at 10 PM (check local listings). The 26-week series brings to a national audience internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers. This season, the series will feature the U.S. premieres of seven documentaries funded by ITVS International as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. For more information about Global Voices, visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices. Encore presentations include the highly acclaimed THE NEW AMERICANS; 2005 Emmy Award nominee AFGHANISTAN UNVEILED; the 2007 duPont Award winner, SEOUL TRAIN; winner of the 2002 Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, SEÑORITA EXTRAVIADA; and the award-winning DEVIL’S MINER.

    About ITVS International ITVS International is a division of Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. True Stories: Life in the USA promotes a series of American independent films to audiences around the world. ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. More information about ITVS International is available online at itvs.org/international.

    About PBS WORLD PBS WORLD features documentary, public affairs and news programming from a number of public television’s award-winning signature series and acclaimed independent filmmakers. Produced and distributed by PBS, WGBH Boston and Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with American Public Television and the National Education Telecommunications Association, PBS WORLD launched on 55 stations across the country, representing 24 licensees and reaching more than 27 percent of U.S. households. In most markets, PBS WORLD programming is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Programming on PBS WORLD includes such popular and critically acclaimed series as American Experience, Frontline, History Detectives, Nature, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nova, Scientific American Frontiers and The Tavis Smiley Show.

    CONTACT Mary Lugo
    770-623-8190
    lugo@negia.net

    Cara White
    843-881-1480
    cara.white@mac.com

    Erica Minehan, ITVS
    415-356-8383 x 254
    erica_minehan@itvs.org

  • 3/01/04

    The New Americans

    Documentary Accompanies Newcomers from Five Areas of the World - Before Leaving Their Countries of Origin through Dramatic First Years in the United States - Putting a Human Face on the Phenomenon of Globalization

    From the Producers of HOOP DREAMS, New Ground-breaking Seven-hour Documentary Miniseries to Premiere as a Special Broadcast of PBS's Acclaimed "Independent Lens” Series on March 29-31, 2004 at 9 P.M. (check local listings)

    CONTACT: Mary Lugo at 770-623-8190 lugo@negia.net Randall Cole, ITVS, at 415-356-8383, ext. 254 randall_cole@itvs.org

    (San Francisco, CA)—America has seen many waves of immigration since the country's founding–some came to escape political or religious persecution, others to seek their riches in a new land, some came as privileged merchants, and countless others with little more than the clothes on their backs. Their stories are as diverse and varied as the countries which they left behind. Yet despite the fact that most Americans have personal or family stories of immigration to the United States, the country is currently experiencing a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment—feelings that have ebbed and flowed throughout our nation's history.

    The Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents Kartemquin Films' THE NEW AMERICANS, a seven-hour, three-part documentary miniseries that follows four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they make the age-old journey from around the globe to start new lives in America. The series premieres as a part of the critically acclaimed Independent Lens series on PBS stations nationwide beginning Monday, March 29, 2004 at 9 P.M ET/PT (check local listings), and was executive produced by Steve James (director of HOOP DREAMS and the recent critical hit STEVIE) and long-time award-winning filmmaker Gordon Quinn, with Gita Saedi serving as series producer. The five stories were directed by award-winning filmmakers Renee Tajima-Pena (Mexican), Indu Krishnan (Indian), Steve James (Nigerian), Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn (Palestinian), and Susana Aikin and Carlos Aparicio(Dominican Republic).

    In the style of Kartemquin's classic HOOP DREAMS, this series intimately connects viewers to its subjects starting in a refugee camp or homeland, long before they wear that defining label of "immigrant,” then following them from their emotional departures abroad, through their first pivotal years in America. The immigrants featured are:

    – Ogoni refugees from Nigeria are English-speaking and well-educated, yet they work as maids, janitors and kitchen help, struggling to make ends meet in Chicago. Barine is the mother of four and the proud sister of slain Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, whose execution by the Nigerian government led to the Ogoni's refugee plight. Another refugee, Israel, was trained as a chemical engineer but was arrested and tortured when he became an environmental activist back home. Though they did not willingly choose to leave their homeland, Israel and his wife Ngozi, are determined to succeed and provide for their children despite the obstacles they face here in America.

    – Dominicans Ricardo and José are highly prized baseball prospects in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. The series follows them from the Dodgers training camp in the Dominican Republic to spring training in Florida and through their first years in America, as they chase their baseball dream, in such unlikely places as Great Falls, Montana, and Albany, Georgia. Will they become the next Pedro Martinez or Sammy Sosa, or be forced to return to the barrios of Santo Domingo?

    – Naima is a young Palestinian woman who falls in love with and marries Hatem, a first-generation Palestinian-American from Chicago. With one brother dead and another imprisoned during the first Intifada, Naima is determined to leave the West Bank and start anew, far from the war-torn region. As she begins her new life in Chicago, viewers see her cope with homesickness, the demands of a new husband and career, as well as the profound affects of the second Intifada and the aftermath of September 11th.

    – Pedro Flores is a Mexican immigrant who works as a meatpacker in rural Kansas in order to support his wife and six children back in Guanajuato, Mexico. This story dramatizes one of the profound changes afoot in the nation's heartland— the huge influx of poor immigrants from developing countries into the South and Midwest, drawn by work in some of the United States' most debilitating industries. The Flores story is also one of a strong family's tireless and tumultuous efforts to legally end their long separation and live together as a family in the "promised land.”

    – Anjan is a computer programmer from Bangalore (the Silicon Valley of India) who marries Harshini and migrates to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue an Internet fortune and "explore the world beyond India.” Through Anjan, viewers meet some of the more than 60,000 other Indian immigrants who have come to chase this high-tech version of the "American Dream.” He and his wife arrive during the dot.com boom, but soon find themselves coping with a dot.com bust that inordinately impacts the lives of many high tech immigrants.

    The broadcast of THE NEW AMERICANS series could not be more timely. In February 2002, The New York Times reported that the United States was home to 56 million foreign-born residents and children of immigrants in 2000, compared to 34 million just three decades earlier. Yet today, as throughout its history, many Americans feel ambivalence—or worse—toward immigrants. With a slowdown in the nation's economy, and suspicion of newcomers remaining high in the wake of 9/11, THE NEW AMERICANS offers a dramatic look at who is coming to the United States, why they are leaving their homelands, and gives us the opportunity to see immigrants and refugees not as strangers in our midst, but as people who share the same dreams and hopes as native born Americans. And perhaps just as importantly, the series lets Americans see America anew, through the eyes of contemporary immigrants.

    In conjunction with the national PBS public television broadcast of THE NEW AMERICANS, ITVS's Community Connections Project has joined forces with several prominent national organizations, including Active Voice, the National Issues Forums Institute and Outreach Extensions, and in partnership with organizations such as American Association of Community Colleges and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, to carry out extensive educational and community engagement campaigns nationwide. The goal is to create dialogue and build bridges between U.S.-born and long-term residents, and more-recent arrivals. More specific information about resource materials and planned activities can be found on the ITVS Web site's outreach area at www.itvs.org/outreach/newamericans. Visitors to the website can also use an interactive map to find out what activities are planned for their area, or to submit information about activities and events they may be involved in planning.

    THE NEW AMERICANS's dynamic companion Web site at www.pbs.org/newamericans will invite users to learn more about the series and the featured characters, and dig deeper into the subjects of immigration and globalization. The site will celebrate and explore the cultural riches each family brings to their new country in an interactive format. Visitors will be invited to share recipes and other items from cultures with which they associate and to contribute their own immigration stories, whether newly arrived or 5th-generation American. The "Where Are They Now” section will give users the most up-to-date information on each family. Background on the making of the film and how the subjects were chosen and interviews with the filmmakers will also be available. Extensive lesson plans for educators and guides for discussion group facilitators will also be included. The "Talkback” area of the site will invite comments and feedback, and the "Learn More” section will provide links to resources and more in-depth information about the issues from across the Web.

    A companion book to the series will be published by The New Press in spring 2004, written by Rubén Mart'nez with photographs by Joseph Rodr'guez. The home video series will be available for purchase through Home Vision Entertainment, and orders can be placed by calling 1-888-572-8918.

    THE NEW AMERICANS is produced by Kartemquin Films in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional major funding was provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and PBS. THE NEW AMERICANS is a presentation of ITVS in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Asian Women United/National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA).

    PRODUCTION CREDITS

    EPISODE ONE Executive Producers: Steve James, Gordon Quinn
    Series Producer: Gita Saedi
    Story Directors: Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, Jerry Blumenthal, Steve James, Gordon Quinn Editors: David E. Simpson, Steve James Post Production Supervisor: Leslie Simmer Production Manager: Karen Larson Music Composed By: Norman Arnold

    EPISODE TWO Executive Producers: Steve James, Gordon Quinn
    Series Producer: Gita Saedi
    Story Directors: Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, Jerry Blumenthal, Steve James, Gordon Quinn, Renee Tajima-Pena Editors: David E. Simpson, Steve James Post Production Supervisor: Leslie Simmer Production Manager: Karen Larson Music Composed By: Norman Arnold

    EPISODE THREE Executive Producers: Steve James, Gordon Quinn
    Series Producer: Gita Saedi
    Story Directors: Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, Jerry Blumenthal, Steve James, Indu Krishnan, Gordon Quinn, Renee Tajima-Pena Editors: David E. Simpson, Steve James
    Post Production Supervisor: Leslie Simmer Production Manager: Karen Larson Music Composed By: Norman Arnold

    About Kartemquin Films

    Kartemquin's best known film, HOOP DREAMS, won every major critics prize and journalism award in 1995, including a Peabody, the Independent Spirit Award, the National, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago Film Critics Awards, and was also named to over 150 "Ten Best” lists. After garnering the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, HOOP DREAMS was released theatrically by Fine Line Features to unprecedented critical acclaim and was one of the highest grossing documentaries up to that time, and one of highest-rated documentaries broadcast on PBS.

    Based in Chicago, Kartemquin has been home to a wide range of independent filmmakers, making important social issue documentaries. Kartemquin's first film, HOME FOR LIFE (1966), is a powerful chronicle of two elderly people entering a home for the aged. This film, which Roger Ebert called "an extraordinarily moving documentary,” established the direction Kartemquin would take for the next three decades—making films that examine contemporary society by chronicling the stories of real people. Over the years Kartemquin's films have premiered and won prizes at festivals throughout the world and have been broadcast nationally to critical acclaim here at home. Among their many notable works are THE LAST PULLMAN CAR (1983), which aired nationally on PBS; GOLUB (1989), about American artist Leon Golub, which premiered at the New York Film Festival in 1990; VIETNAM, LONG TIME COMING (1997), which was broadcast on NBC and won a National Emmy and the Best Documentary award from the Director's Guild of America; and 5 GIRLS (2001), which followed two years in the lives of five resilient teenage girls who figure out how to triumph over adversity and aired on PBS. Most recently, Kartemquin produced REFRIGERATOR MOTHERS (2002), which explored the untold stories of an entire generation of women who were falsely blamed for their children's autism. The film premiered nationally on PBS and won numerous festival awards.

    About Independent Lens

    Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. 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 in The New Yorker to write "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/independent lens. 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 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 www.itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People

    About PBS

    PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

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  • 2/25/04

    The New Americans

    De los productores de HOOP DREAMS, una revolucionaria miniserie documental de siete horas a estrenarse como una emisión especial de la aclamada serie 'Independent Lens' de PBS, del 29 al 31 de marzo de 2004 a las 9:00 pm

    CONTACTO:

    Mary Lugo., +1-770-623-8190, o lugo@negia.net; o Randall Cole de ITVS, +1-415-356-8383 ext. 254, o randall_cole@itvs.org

    Sitio web: http://www.pbs.org/newamericans

    SAN FRANCISCO, 24 de febrero -- Independent Television Service (ITVS) presenta THE NEW AMERICANS de Kartemquin Films, una importante mini-serie documental de siete horas, dividida en tres entregas, que sigue durante cuatro años la vida de un grupo variado de inmigrantes y refugiados contemporáneos, mientras realizan el secular viaje alrededor del planeta para empezar una nueva vida en América. 'ntima y épica, llena de humor y de pasión, la serie se estrena como parte de las series de Independent Lens que fueran aclamadas por la cr'tica, en los canales de PBS en todo el pa's, a partir del lunes 29 de marzo de 2004, a las 9:00 pm ET/PT (confirme con su programación local). El productor ejecutivo de THE NEW AMERICANS fue Steve James (director de HOOP DREAMS) y el viejo y galardonado cineasta, Gordon Quinn. Gita Saedi fue la productora de la serie.

    Siguiendo el estilo de HOOP DREAMS, THE NEW AMERICANS conecta a los espectadores 'ntimamente con sus personajes, que comienzan en un campo de refugiados o en la tierra natal, mucho antes de llevar la etiqueta de "inmigrantes". Luego los sigue en sus emotivas despedidas en el extranjero y a través de sus primeros años fundamentales en América.

    La serie presenta las historias de inmigrantes de cinco regiones: Nigeria, Cisjordania, República Dominicana, México e India. Entre los latinos que actúan en la serie, encontramos a Ricardo Rodr'guez y a José Garc'a, premiad'simas promesas del baseball en el equipo de Los Angeles Dodgers. El programa los acompaña desde el campo de entrenamiento de los Dodgers en República Dominicana hasta el entrenamiento de primavera en la Florida y a lo largo de sus primeros años en América, mientras van en pos de su sueño deportivo. Ricardo Rodr'guez juega actualmente en los Texas Rangers.

    También actúa Pedro Flores, quien trabaja como empaquetador de carne en una Kansas rural, para mantener a su esposa y a seis hijos que viven en Guanajuato, México. Esta historia dramatiza uno de los profundos cambios que se estaban gestando en el corazón de la nación - la enorme llegada de inmigrantes pobres al sur y al medio oeste, atra'dos por el trabajo en algunas de las industrias más debilitadas de los Estados Unidos. La historia de los Flores también es la historia de los infatigables y tremendos esfuerzos de una familia fuerte que lucha, legalmente, para poner un fin a su larga separación y lograr as', vivir juntos como una familia en la "tierra prometida”.

    La emisión de la serie THE NEW AMERICANS no pod'a haber sido más oportuna. En febrero de 2002, The New York Times informó que los Estados Unidos era el hogar de 56 millones de residentes nacidos en el extranjero y de los hijos de inmigrantes en el año 2000, en comparación con los 34 millones que hab'a tres décadas antes. La serie ofrece a los espectadores la oportunidad de ver a los inmigrantes y a los refugiados no como extraños, sino como gente que comparte los mismos sueños y esperanzas que los nacidos en América. Para obtener más información sobre la serie, mire en http://www.pbs.org/newamericans.

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