Archive for October 2010
This week the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE staff received word that Earth Days had been awarded the Maeda Prize in theJapan Prize awards honoring international educational media. You can visit the awards website here. Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), Japan’s national public broadcaster, hosts the Japan Prize awards, which have been held annually since 1965.
This isn’t our first film in the past year to gain international acclaim. In November, The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer will vie for a Grierson Award for “Best Science Documentary.” The documentary was broadcast in the UK on BBC 4 in 2009, shortly after it aired on PBS. Similarly, other AMERICAN EXPERIENCE programs have enjoyed extensive exposure overseas airing on the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK, RTE in Ireland, Arte in France and Germany, the ARD and Spiegel TV in Germany,Sveriges Television in Sweden, NRK Norway, YLE Finland, DR in Denmark, RAI in Italy, TVE and TV3 in Spain, NHK in Japan,EBS in Korea, SBS and ABC in Australia to name a few. So what explains AMERICAN EXPERIENCE appeal to overseas audiences?
History is infinitely interesting, often depressing, sometimes happy, and at its best, truly inspiring. It was perhaps never more inspiring than in 1961, when 436 Americans boarded buses to test and challenge segregated travel facilities in the Deep South. It was a simple but daring plan, and it changed America forever. The Freedom Riders were black and white, Northern and Southern, secular and religious, old and young. Along their journey, they were beat up, arrested, and generally treated in unspeakable ways-- ways that no human being should be treated. Most have names that you’ve never heard before, but they were and are American heroes. Read more...
Veteran of the Stonewall Riots and interviewee in the upcoming AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film Stonewall Uprising, Raymond Castro passed away last weekend in Madeira Beach, Florida at the age of 68. He is survived by his husband of 31 years, Frank Sturniolo. Mr. Castro, who was one of the first people arrested during the 1969 riots, is credited as one of the people who sparked the uprising with his resistance to the police officers raiding the Stonewall Inn.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE mourns the loss of a talented colleague with the passing last week of Gail Dolgin. She produced two films for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, the award-winning and Oscar-nominated Daughter from Danang, broadcast in 2002, and Summer of Love, broadcast in 2007.
In the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film Earth Days, environmental pioneer Hunter Lovins states “we lost thirty years,” as the film cuts from footage President Ronald Reagan dismantling the solar water heaters on the White House roof. President Jimmy Carter had installed the solar water heaters in the hopes of leading by example in a country devastated by oil dependence and the OPEC oil embargo. Yesterday, President Obama announced his intentions to install new solar panels on top of the White House. Inside AMERICAN EXPERIENCE takes a quick look at the similarities and differences between the Obama solar White House and the Carter solar White House and highlights one Presidential solar pioneer you may have missed.
This morning the Nobel committee announced Robert Edwards as recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Edwards is featured prominently in the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE film Test Tube Babies, which recounts how his pioneering work in in vitro fertilization led to the birth of the world's first "test-tube baby" in 1978.