The Independent Television Service, To Offer Wide Range Of Programming Devoted To September 11th

August 6, 2002

Although almost a year has elapsed since the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the shadow cast by those events continues to grow, affecting lives in ways that we have yet to comprehend. In an effort to promote understanding and compassion in communities around the country, ITVS will present special programming exploring the aftermath of the events of September 11th, 2001. These

programs – an hour-long documentary, a new media project, and a series of short films – offer unique viewpoints that help us re-examine how we look at ourselves and at others in our global community.

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE and FACE TO FACE explore the experiences of Arab Americans, who, prior to September 11th, belonged to an immigrant group making its way like any other. But when planes hijacked by Islamic extremists crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the lives of Arab immigrants changed forever.

Launching on August 29, FACE TO FACE( is an interactive Web-based program that reaches across boundaries of time and culture to connect the experiences of Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during WWII with those of Arab Americans after the recent terrorist attacks. December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2002. . . two days that changed the world forever. Sixty years separate these two events and their aftermath, but how much have things really changed? A human chronicle of anger, fear, hatred, confusion, loyalty and trust unfolds as FACE TO FACE explores what it means to be an American with the face of the enemy. Produced by filmmaker Rob Mikuriya, FACE TO FACE calls us to consider our own responses to the events, to lead us to an understanding of others and perhaps even ourselves.

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE( set to broadcast on PBS on September 4 at 10 p.m., interweaves the tales of three Arab American New Yorkers – a Lutheran minister trying to nurture his Brooklyn congregation and his family in Palestine; a cop who escaped injustice in Yemen only to confront it on his beat; and a high-level diplomatic correspondent championing the Arab perspective even as she’s harassed by the Lebanese government – whose burdens are multiplied tenfold by 9/11 and its aftermath.

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE puts viewers in the shoes of these individuals, each of whom – because of their job and/or place in the community – has had a particularly tricky road to navigate in recent months. Produced and directed by David Van Taylor and Brad Lichtenstein.

How has your life changed since September 11, 2001? ITVS invited nine independent producers from across the country to explore answers to

this complex question by creating one-minute long interstitial spots. Their creations form 9.11 moments – 34 diverse reflections on war, peace and identity which re-define the way Americans look at themselves locally and globally. From an Arab American scoutmaster and his scouts in Michigan, to an 11-year-old Navajo girl in New Mexico, to political columnist Molly Ivins in Texas, 9.11 moments are a window into the hearts and minds of America’s people. The nine producers who created the spots are: Dan Bergin, MN; Lena Carr, NM; Hector Galan, TX; Joan Mandell, MI; Louis Massiah/Scribe Video Center, PA; Sam Pollard, NY; Ellen Spiro/Karen Bernstein, TX; Kyung Sun Yu, CA; and Termite TV Collective, PA. 9.11 moments will be fed to all PBS stations in September 2002 and streamed on

About ITVS

Unique in American public broadcasting, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents award-winning documentaries, dramas and series on public television, and innovative new media projects on the web. ITVS was established by Congress to fund and present programs that “involve creative risks and address the needs of underserved audiences,” while granting artistic control to independent producers.

In 2003, ITVS will present Independent Lens, a 29-week non-fiction series airing on Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. on PBS. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have transformed and revitalized the relationship between the public and public television. From ground-breaking series like THE FARMER’S WIFE and FOTO-NOVELAS to specials including Academy Award nominated PROMISES, Sundance Award winner DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, Emmy Award winners BLINK; SING FASTER: THE STAGEHANDS’ RING CYCLE and NOBODY’S BUSINESS, and Peabody Award winners STILL LIFE WITH ANIMATED DOGS, TRAVIS and THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE, ITVS productions bring TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. Contact ITVS at 501 York Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, e-mail: or visit for companion websites and more information.