Reel Life Stories: Documentary Film and Video Collections
in the UC Berkeley Library's Media Resources Center

Independent Television Service (ITVS)

The ITVS (based in San Francisco) was born from a decade-long struggle by independent media artists and community activists to ensure that independent, diverse voices be championed by and aired on public television. In the mid-1970ís, cancellation of independently produced newscasts and series sparked a movement to advocate for the return of local and independent production as a cornerstone of public television programming. The struggle, led by viewers, community activists, and independent producers continued for 12 years. In late 1988, Congress passed legislation directing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to negotiate with a national coalition of independent producer groups to establish ITVS, which formally began funding programs in 1991.

Selected Recent Videos in the MRC collection underwritten by ITVS:

Alcatraz is Not an Island
Directed by James M. Fortier and produced by Jon Plutte, 2001

In November 1969, a small group of Native American students and urban Indians began the occupation of Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. Eventually jointed by thousands of Native Americans, they reclaimed "Indian land" for the first time since 1880, forever changing the way Native Americans viewed themselves, their culture, and their sovereign rights. Media Resources Center: Video/C 9394

Scout's Honor
A film by Tom Shepard, 2001.

In June of 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America can exclude gays from their membership. This documentary examines the Boy Scouts' policy against gays in the organization, focusing on Steve Cozza, boy scout and activist against the policy. It also relates the stories of others removed from the Boy Scout organization for being gay or for working to have the policy eliminated. Media Resources Center: Video/C 5254

Good War and Those Who Refused To Fight It : The Story Of World War II Conscientious Objectors.
Directed by Rick Tejada-Flores, Judith Ehrlich, 2000

Millions of Americans fought for the liberation of Europe from Hitler's grip during World War II. Yet 40,000 Americans refused to shoulder weapons because their conscience would not allow them to kill another human being. Media Resources Center: Video/C 5254

An American Love Story
Producer/director/camera, Jennifer Fox, 1999

Documentary condensed from 1000 hours of filming the bi-racial Wilson Sims family: Karen Wilson, a white woman, Bill Sims, a black man, and their two daughters. Media Resources Center: Video/C 6503

Forgotten Fires
Written and directed by Michael Chandler, 1999

A documentary about the burning of two Afro-American churches near Manning, South Carolina in June, 1995 by Ku Klux Klan members. Frank interviews with the victims, the perpetrators, their families, and people who live in the community transforms the event into a complex account of racism, poverty, denial, repentance and forgiveness. Media Resources Center: Video/C 6503

From Swastika to Jim Crow
Directed by Lori Cheatle, Martin D. Toub, 1999

Before and during the Second World War Jewish scholars who escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the U.S. faced anti-Semitism at major universities and a public distrust of foreigners, so a significant number secured teaching positions at historically Black colleges in the South. In many cases they formed lasting relationships with their students and had an important impact on the communities in which they lived. Media Resources Center: Video/C 7866

The Farmerís Wife
Written, produced, directed and edited by David Sutherland, 1998

This film follows Juanita and Darrel Buschkoetter, a remarkable young Nebraska farm couple, to tell a compelling love story. Gleaned from more than 200 hours of film shot on location over three years, 'The farmer's wife' follows Juanita and Darrel as they face seemingly insurmountable economic hardship, only to confront an even greater challenge: repairing their damaged marriage. Media Resources Center: Video/C 6503

Girls Like Us
A film by Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio, 1997

This documentary explores female teenage experiences of sexuality and pregnancy. An ethnically diverse group of four working class girls strut, flirt and testify about their lives. Filmed in South Philadelphia over a period of four years and following its protaganists from age 14 to 18, it brings into sharp relief the conflicts of growing up female, exposing the impact of class, sexism and violence on the dreams and expectations of teenage girls. Media Resources Center: Video/C 5254

Nobodyís Business
Produced, directed, photographed and edited by Alan Berliner, 1996

Oscar A. Berliner, father of director Alan Berliner, is the reluctant subject of this study of family history and memory. Family members add their comments to this portrait of a retired Jewish sportswear manufacturer and salesman who describes himself as "just an ordinary guy."Media Resources Center: Video/C 6038

A Healthy Baby Girl
Producer and director, Judith Helfand, 1996

Presents the filmmaker's experience of coping with her own hysterectomy at twenty five for cancer caused by her mother's use of D.E.S., a synthetic hormone administered to prevent miscarriage. Media Resources Center: Video/C 5254

Copyright (C) 1996-2003 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Media Resources Center
Last updated 5/5/03.