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POV's "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" Wins Peabody Award

   

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"Pulses with the suspense and momentum of a sleek thriller - a wily caper flick that just happens to revolve around one of the most crucial chapters in recent American history." - Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post


New York, NY — March 31, 2011 — Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which had its national broadcast premiere on the POV (Point of View) series on PBS, has won a George Foster Peabody Award, it was announced today by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for the year 2010, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia campus.

The Most Dangerous Man in America had its national broadcast premiere in October 2010, closing POV's 23rd season. The film will have an encore presentation on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 (check local listings), in advance of POV's 24th season, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers (June 13, 1971).

Nominated for an Academy Award, the film is an account of one man's deeply personal decision and its lingering impact. In 1971, Ellsberg, a leading military planner, concluded that America's role in the war was based on decades of lies. He leaked the Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top-secret documents, to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that led to Watergate, President Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. The Most Dangerous Man in America is a gripping tale told by Ellsberg with a who's who of Vietnam-era figures. It is a co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV.

American Documentary | POV has recently awarded seven grants to PBS stations to support local programming and community activities around the film. These grants represent the second phase of POV's national campaign to engage the public in conversation about the issues the film addresses. Funding for the campaign is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2010, POV produced the companion broadcast/webcast The Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg and The Times, a special New York Times Community Affairs/POV forum held at the TimesCenter in New York.

Filmmakers Ehrlich and Goldsmith were recently selected by the Organization of American Historians to receive the 2011 Erik Barnouw Award. The Most Dangerous Man in America is the winner of a Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, as well as Audience Awards at the Mill Valley, Sydney and Palm Springs Film Festivals, the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Boulder International Film Festival, and the Best in Fest Award at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. In addition, it won the Freedom of Expression Award and was named one of Five Best Documentaries by the National Board of Review.

POV has won a total 13 Peabody Awards, in addition to 24 Emmy Awards (including a Special News & Documentary Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking), four Independent Spirit Awards, three Academy Awards®, the Prix Italia, the Webby, the International Documentary Association IDA Award for Best Continuing Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers' 2011 Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity.

The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the Board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff. 

POV
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 24th season on PBS in 2011, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today's best independent documentary filmmakers. POV, which airs June-September with primetime specials during the year, has brought more than 300 documentaries to millions nationwide. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today's social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Educational Foundation of America, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, FACT and public television viewers. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Funding for POV's Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Project VoiceScape is a partnership of Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

Contacts:
POV Communications: 212-989-7425
Emergency contact: 646-729-4748
Cathy Fisher, cfisher@pov.org
POV online pressroom: www.pbs.org/pov/pressroom

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