ITVS Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives

Posted on June 4, 2020

ITVS stands in solidarity with people expressing their First Amendment right to assemble in protest of the inhumane acts of police and the murders of Black people. 

Independent documentary filmmakers who bear witness to racial injustice in our communities, who ensure that silenced voices are heard, must have safety and economic security. Their work unfolds beyond the headlines and tweets, taking years to evolve into a story that reflects our fullest humanity. They reveal truths unseen.

BIPOC filmmakers face greater physical and emotional risks to pursue their art and livelihood in the months and years ahead. Few filmmakers have succeeded in getting relief funds through the CARES Act despite our attempts to light the path through webinars that reached thousands. This is unacceptable. They need financial support now to continue documenting the experiences of the communities which have been disproportionately devastated by the pandemics of police violence and coronavirus.

We are calling on Congress to provide additional funding for public broadcasting—and asking it in turn to support emergency funding for independent filmmakers of color. Without their voices and their stories, we will stand in the past, forever. With them, we will step together toward a more just future for all communities across America.

—Garry Denny
Chair, ITVS Board of Directors
Director of Programming, Wisconsin Public Television

—Sally Jo Fifer
President & CEO, ITVS


Update: July 6, 2020 — ITVS is committing to publish key staff and funded-filmmaker data that we provide each fiscal year to our Board and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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