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July 27, 1999

Dear Colleague:

This fall, PBS will showcase what may well be the most dynamic and controversial exploration of middle class American family life since the landmark series An American Family cast its unsparing light on the Louds of Santa Barbara, California, nearly 30 years ago.

AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY is a new 10-hour real-life documentary series that uses cinéma vérité footage, frank interviews, a wealth of film and television images, and an original musical score to chronicle the life and love of an interracial couple and their children in Queens, New York. Filmmaker Jennifer Fox, a multi-award winner for her acclaimed documentary Beirut: The Last Home Movie, lived for a year and half with Bill Sims, Karen Wilson and their daughters Cicily and Chaney. For over five years she interviewed them, as well as three generations on both sides of this American family. Her unique portrait promises to challenge America's views on race as well as on family.

This series, hailed as a creative breakthrough when it was shown at the 1999 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, will premiere on PBS as a co-presentation of AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) on Sunday, September 12, 1999 and air consecutive nights through Thursday, September 16 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET (check local listings),

What draws people to one another? What keeps a marriage and a family together, despite the pressures that threaten to tear them apart? For so-called "normal" American families, the struggles are arduous enough - and as disheartening divorce statistics show, are often insurmountable. But Bill Sims, a black blues musician and Karen Wilson, a white corporate manager, have managed to keep their relationship intact for 30 years, as well as raise two well-adjusted and well-educated daughters - despite a history of societal pressures that might easily have destroyed them long ago.

When AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY is broadcast this fall, viewers will have a unique opportunity to become as familiar with this family as they are with their own. Your readers will be eager to know more about them - both before their story becomes a household event and after this series helps to redefine the landscape of television.

How do they do it? And what can their example offer a society that is still mired in racial conflict and family turmoil? In spite of the characteristics that make them appear so unusual, the Wilson-Sims family is everything that the "typical" American middle class family is supposed to be, and most of their problems are the same that any family faces: illness, career and money issues, the difficulties of successful parenting.

Producer/director/cinematographer Jennifer Fox is available for interviews, as are members of the Wilson-Sims family. Enclosed is a full press kit. Preview VHS cassettes of the series are available upon request. We will be happy to work with you to craft the kind of story best suited to your readers. We will contact you shortly to discuss the possibilities.

Sincerely,
Tim Fisher
145 Palidade Street #376, Dobbs Ferry, NY  10522
914 674-6164     fax 914 674-6145
fisherco@aol.com


Additional Press Materials:

PRESS RELEASE

PHOTOGRAPHS

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

A CONVERSATION WITH JENNIFER FOX

WHAT'S RACE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
by Karen Wilson and Bill Sims

BREAKING OUT OF THE BOX
by Cicily Wilson and Chaney Sims

LAWS OF THE LAND
A Brief History of Interracial Marriage and Race Classification in America

LOVE, HOLLYWOOD STYLE





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