POV heads to Sundance with Patti Smith, Nerakhoon films, new blog on contemporary docs

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Two films selected for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival will have their national broadcast premieres on the P.O.V. (“Point of View”) documentary series on PBS, it was announced by Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, American Documentary | P.O.V. Patti Smith: Dream of Life and Nerakhoon (The Betrayal), both in the Sundance Documentary Competition, will air on P.O.V. in 2008/2009. Sundance takes place Jan. 17-27, 2008 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

P.O.V. is also unveiling the P.O.V. Blog, the latest addition to P.O.V.’s award-winning Web site. The P.O.V. Blog (www.pbs.org/pov/blog ) provides many points-of-view on the world of contemporary documentaries, and will be a gathering place for documentary fans to discuss and debate their favorite films. It features exclusive interviews with filmmakers, journalists and experts; columns by filmmakers, guest bloggers and P.O.V. staffers; sneak peaks of films-in-progress; recommendations for documentary/video diary offerings in theaters, on DVD and on YouTube, MySpace and other user-generated video sites; and documentary news.

During the Sundance Film Festival, the P.O.V. Blog will report from the festival, featuring exclusive interviews, video and images of the filmmakers and fans converging on Park City. The Blog will also provide roundups of the best Sundance coverage around the Web.

Honored with a 2007 Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, P.O.V. is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series. P.O.V. is broadcast Tuesdays on PBS from June through September, with primetime specials during the year. P.O.V. broadcasts are accompanied by companion Web sites, community screenings, panel discussions and other outreach activities, enabling audiences to dig deeper and engage with one another about the issues the films present.

Film Descriptions

Patti Smith: Dream of Life (Director: Steven Sebring) is an intimate portrait of legendary rocker Patti Smith that mirrors the fortitude and essence of the artist herself. Shot over an 11-year period by renowned fashion photographer Steven Sebring, the film looks at her various works, the artists who have inspired her, and her friendships with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Mapplethorpe, Michael Stipe and others that create a bridge between the Beats, the punk movement and musicians of today. Smith narrates her story of surviving tragedy, raising children and the journey of finding herself through poetry, art and music.

Smith and her band will perform live at Sundance’s Music Café, produced by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and at A Celebration of Music in Film, which highlights the connection between music and film with performances by musicians and composers.

Nerakhoon (The Betrayal) (Director: Ellen Kuras; Co-Director: Thavisouk Phrasavath; Writers: Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath) is the epic story of a family forced to emigrate from Laos after the chaos of the secret air war waged by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Kuras has spent the last 23 years chronicling the family's extraordinary journey in this deeply personal, poetic and emotional film. The film is a Diverse Voices Project co-production, made possible through major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and is funded in part by the Center for Asian American Media.

2008 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS AND EVENTS

Patti Smith: Dream of Life

Attending Sundance: Patti Smith and her band, Director/Producer Steven Sebring, Thirteen/ WNET New York Producer Margaret Smilow. American Documentary | P.O.V.: Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, Vice President Cynthia Lopez

Screening Times

Sunday, Jan. 20, 6:15 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City
Monday, Jan. 21, 3:15 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City
Monday, Jan. 21, 10:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema I (Press & Industry)
Tuesday, Jan. 22, Noon, Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Friday, Jan. 25, 11:30 p.m., Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
Friday, Jan. 25, 9:00 p.m., Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City
Saturday, Jan. 26, 9:15 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City

A Celebration of Music in Film Concert

· Sunday, January 20, 8:00 p.m., Sundance House at The Kimball Art Center
This year's lineup features Patti Smith, The Everyothers (The Guitar), Michel Gondry and Jean-Michel Bernard (Be Kind Rewind).

Music Café

· Monday, Jan. 21, 6:00 p.m., The Star Bar

Nerakhoon (The Betrayal)

Attending Sundance: Director Ellen Kuras, Co-Director Thavisouk Phrasavath, Producer Flora Fernandez-Marengo. American Documentary | P.O.V.: Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, Vice President Cynthia Lopez.

Screening Times

Monday, Jan. 21, 2:30 p.m., Library Center Theatre, Park City
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 5:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City
Wednesday, Jan. 23, Noon, Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 10:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema I (Press & Industry)
Thursday, Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema IV, Park City
Friday, Jan. 25, 9:15 a.m., Holiday Village Cinema III, Park City

About P.O.V.

Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and celebrating its 21st season on PBS in 2008, the award-winning P.O.V. series is the longest-running showcase on television to feature the work of America's best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers. P.O.V. has brought more than 250 documentaries to millions nationwide, and 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 nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today's most pressing social issues. More information about P.O.V is available at www.pbs.org/pov .

Major funding for P.O.V. is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, PBS and public television viewers. Funding for P.O.V.’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with additional support from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the official sponsor of P.O.V.'s 20th Anniversary Campaign. P.O.V. is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KCET Los Angeles, WGBH Boston, and Thirteen/WNET New York.

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