The Independent Television Service (ITVS), CPB and PBS announced today (May 9) the Women and Girls Lead initiative, a multi-year engagement campaign to focus independent documentaries on the leadership development of women and girls. CPB alone is investing $2.7 million in the project, in film financing and outreach work, according to the New York Times.
More than 50 related docs are scheduled to air on PBS over the next three years. ITVS also will soon announce a deal to bring Half The Sky, the bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn, to PBS in fall 2012 as a four-hour prime-time special on Independent Lens. CPB President Pat Harrison will chair the project's advisory board with members including Kristof, Harvard economics professor and Nobel winner Amartya Sen, actresses Geena Davis and America Ferrera, Jordan's Queen Noor, PBS President Paula Kerger and designer Eileen Fisher. Partner organizations include CARE, World Vision and the Girl Scouts of America.
"We are living in a brand new age where citizens exchange media and ideas on a continuous basis," said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS president. "Public media has a responsibility to lead our audiences to content that has the potential to lift us up and move us forward as a society."