Reel 13 & Rooftop Films: Online Shorts Outdoors

July 22nd, 2009

The animated short film, “Juxtaposed” by Alex Wager, opens with this dedication:

“For those I’ve lost,
for those I’ve found,
and for those I hope to rediscover.”

As the general public, we don’t get exposed to short films from our typical media consumption sources…TV, movie theaters, Hulu, Netflix, DVDs…If you want to watch a short you have to seek it out – at a festival or online. This dedication from Alex reminds me of that search. I often find myself browsing the web looking for sites I know I’ve seen but can’t remember, those I’ve found by accident and those I hope will inspire me.

Reel13 online is one destination you can browse for short films that will inspire you, whether it’s the extraordinary talent of a gifted animator or the way a story can ring so true to your own life.

This week we’re kicking off a partnership with Rooftop Films – one of New York’s most popular and venerable summer event series. For four weeks, Rooftop will curate Reel13’s online shorts competition. The shorts will screen at a Rooftop live event and then stream online at Reel13.org where you can vote for the winner. And as always, each winner will be broadcast on THIRTEEN on Saturday night and win a cash prize. (more…)

Video: Interview with culinary mastermind Jacques Pepin

July 21st, 2009

Laura Savini, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at sister station WLIW21, taped a conversation with renowned chef Jacques Pepin about what he’s cooking this summer, hanging out with chocolatier Jacques Torres and other famous chefs. Click here to watch the video.

You can see more of Jacques Pepin on THIRTEEN and WLIW21 every Sunday in “Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home” and on THIRTEEN every Saturday in “Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way.”

 

Henry Louis Gates Jr. jailed for disorderly conduct in Cambridge, MA

July 21st, 2009

UPDATE 12:36 PM 7/21/09 — According to the Associated Press, Cambridge prosecutors have dropped the disorderly conduct charge against Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Noted Harvard professor and frequent THIRTEEN host and editor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. was arrested by Cambridge, Massachusetts police at his home on Thursday, July 16 on charges of disorderly conduct. According to the police report, a woman called police to the house after seeing a man “wedging his shoulder in the front door [of Gates' house] as to pry the door open.” Gates had just returned from filming in China for the upcoming THIRTEEN / PBS documentary, “Faces of America.” Gates allegedly confronted the officers at the scene, accusing them of racism and “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to the police report. Professor Gates was subsequently arrested, held at Cambridge police headquarters and released four hours later on his own recognizance. Neither Gates nor the Cambridge police have commented on the incident at this time.

Gates has been the host and editor for numerous productions at THIRTEEN, including African American Lives, African American Lives 2 and Looking for Lincoln.

Gates’ lawyer and Harvard colleague Charles Ogletree has released a statement on behalf of his client:
(more…)

In Case You Missed It: shows from July 13-July 19, 2009, streaming online

July 21st, 2009

A roundup of all streaming, full-length videos online from PBS and Thirteen programs that aired last week. See the list below for all full episodes and links.

A scene from Wide Angle's Birth of a Surgeon.

News and Public Affairs: Nightly Programs:
NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: The reports, segmented by story, per day.
Nightly Business Report: The reports stream online.
NJN News: The reports stream online for one week (see archives M-Tu-W-Th-F).
Worldfocus:The nightly news show streams online for 15 days; signature stories are online forever.

Charlie Rose:
July 13: A discussion on the Sotamayor confirmation hearings with National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg and Bloomberg News’ Al Hunt; the Bush administration’s intelligence programs with The New York TimesScott Shane and The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer; more on the Sotamayor hearings with Walter Dellinger of Duke University and Susan Low Bloch of Georgetown University.
July 14: Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran; attorney and blogger Tom Goldstein on the Sotamayor hearings; playwright Lynn Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey from the play “Ruined.”
July 15: Yale University president Richard Levin.
July 16: The Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward; author Bradley Graham.
July 17: An update on Wall St. with The New York TimesFloyd Norris and The Wall Street Journal‘s Dennis Berman; NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous on President Obama’s speech at the organization; Iranian philosopher Mohsen Kadivar.

Tavis Smiley:
July 13: Actor Steve Martin.
July 14: Former baseball star Darryl Strawberry.
July 15: CNN host Larry King.
July 16: TV producer Norman Lear.
July 17: Actress Tracey Ullman.

News and Public Affairs: Weekly Programs:
Washington Week: Sotamayor hearings; heath care bills in Congress; new look at the Bush-era CIA plans to assassinate Al-Qaeda leaders; warnings about Obama’s economic outlook.
NOW on PBS: A look at Israel armed forces and how they cope under the constant threat of war.
Bill Moyers Journal: Environmentalists’ disappointment in Obama’s progress towards climate change; Robert Wright, author of “The Evolution of God”; money and health reform.
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:

  • A report on the U.S. Episcopal Church’s recent decision to allow gays and lesbians are eligible to become bishops or serve in any other ordained ministry of the church.
  • Evidence that meditation and spiritual beliefs have an impact on the brain.

Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack: An appreciation of Peter Bernstein, economic consultant of Peter Bernstein Inc., who died in June.
New York Now: An interview with new State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. Available for one week only.
Foreign Exchange: The former vice president of Costa Rica talks about the recent situation in Honduras; a film about a woman’s business model to solve hunger; Al Arabiya’s Washington bureau chief Hisham Melhem discusses politics in the Middle East

News and Public Affairs:
Wide Angle: Birth of a Surgeon.. This film tells the story of Emilia Cumbane, a mid-wife-in-training in Mozambique and the demands and responsibilities she goes through in her surgical education. Birth of a Surgeon was recently nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award.
In The Life: Civil Disobedience. Part II of In The Life’s Summer of Stonewall series commemorating the Stonewall riots from 40 years ago.
P.O.V.: The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court. A film that takes a look at the ICC, formed in 2002, and its crusade to prosecute those who committed crimes against humanity.

Science and Nature:
NOVA: Secrets of the Parthenon. Explore this ancient Greek architectural wonder as its going through a major restoration.
NOVAscienceNOW: Marathon mouse; dinosaur plague; profile of astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz; space storms.
Time Team America: Topper, South Carolina. The woodlands near the Savannah River may provide clues to America’s first inhabitants.
The Mysterious Human Heart: Endlessly Beating. The story of the heart is told through three patients with heart problems and how they are coping.

History:
Antiques Roadshow: Philadelphia-Hour Two
History Detectives: Slideshow babies; Lubin photos; Navajo rug.
The Ascent of Money: Bonds of War. Economist and historian Niall Ferguson hosts this program focusing on John Law and his Louisiana territory Ponzi scheme; bond markets and warfare in Europe; and globalization through the economic invasion of the Far East.

Arts and Culture:
Masterpiece Mystery!: Miss Marple Series IV: They Do It With Mirrors. Ruth Van Rydock (Joan Collins) confides her suspicion that her sister is in danger to Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie). Available for online viewing through August 2, 2009.

D.I.Y.:
Jacques Pepin:More Fast Food My Way: Pop Over Anytime. Spanish tomato bread and Serrano ham or prosciutto; chorizo, mushroom and cheese pizza; orecchiette with fennel and tuna; popover with apricot jam.

Remembering Walter Cronkite and Frank McCourt

July 21st, 2009

by Neal Shapiro
President & CEO, WNET.ORG

The world said goodbye to two inspiring men this past weekend. Walter Cronkite and Frank McCourt both passed away after long and storied lives full of tremendous accomplishments.

Both of these men made lasting impressions on me.

Walter Cronkite’s evening newscasts were a part of my childhood, and I’m sure they helped fuel my desire to become a journalist. And like most Americans, I was always impressed by his calm and reassuring presence. He never preached and never wanted to be the star of the show. For him, the news the most important thing was the news.

Walter Cronkite’s words brought information and clarity. Frank McCourt’s words had the power to move one to tears. I’ll always remember being so affected by Angela’s Ashes, the literary masterpiece for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The details were so striking and vivid that the images stay with me to this day. Chances are you’ve read the book and know just what I mean.

These two remarkable men had a lot in common. Both were both legends in their fields. Both brought people together with the power of their words. Both connected with popular values and earned the respect of people from all walks of life And, both, I’ll add, were great friends to public television.

Walter was an incredible friend to WNET over the years. He served on the Board of Trustees and was Honorary Chairman of our historic capital campaign back in the 1990s. He produced and host documentaries that we presented to public television viewers nationwide, and, of course, for nearly a quarter of a century, he was the host of our New Year’s Eve concert from Vienna.

For his part, Frank was a true believer in the educational power of public television. In addition to being a great author, he was a lifelong teacher. And we were honored to have him appear as a special guest at our inaugural Celebration of Teaching and Learning back in 2006.

We’ve posted a special tribute to Walter Cronkite here.

And you can watch an interview we did with Frank McCourt here.

We were honored to have these two great men as our friends and colleagues, and we join America in honoring their lives and achievements.

In Memoriam: Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009

July 20th, 2009

The Trustees and staff of WNET.ORG, parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, express their profound sorrow over the loss of Walter Cronkite. A broadcasting legend and a true American icon, Walter was a close friend, enthusiastic partner and avid supporter of WNET for many years. In 1990, he became a member of the Board of Trustees, and in 1992 served as Honorary Chairman of The Campaign for Thirteen, the largest capital campaign in the history of public television. He remained an active member of the Board until 2002, when he became a Life Trustee. Over the years, Walter brought his journalistic skills to a number of acclaimed programs created by WNET, including “City at War: London Calling” and “Legacy of War.” For many years, Walter served as host of an annual tradition, “Great Performances: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration.” Befitting his stature as an American legend, he was also the subject of an “American Masters” profile – “Walter Cronkite: Witness to History” created by THIRTEEN. A man who set the standard for integrity in television journalism, Walter’s commitment to public broadcasting was truly inspirational. We extend our condolences to his family and we join the nation mourning the passing of a man who personified the highest aspirations of American media.

 
James S. Tisch,
Chairman
 
Neal Shapiro,
President and CEO


When Walter Cronkite spoke, America listened. A larger-than-life figure, he united the nation around the institution of television news. When Walter was in the anchor chair, the public felt they were in good hands, that a sense of order prevailed. When he closed each newscast with his trademark, “That’s the way it is,” his audience never had the slightest doubt. Lyndon Johnson said it all when he famously remarked: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.” That’s how important he was. Perhaps no single figure will ever hold such a place of authority in the minds of Americans again. We will always remember him as “the most trusted man in America,” the man who personified broadcast journalism for a generation.

–Neal Shapiro, President & CEO, WNET.ORG

Of all Walter Cronkite’s remarkable qualities, one stands out above all – his humanity. While he was one of the most important and influential figures in the nation, he never lost sight of the true nature of his work – to inform and enlighten the public, and, consequently, to strengthen American democracy. Over the years, I was privileged to witness his compassion and his civic spirit time and again. He did so much to support the cause of public broadcasting, and to promote arts, culture, and history in any way he could. He was a great friend, a role model for all who care about journalism, and an inspiration to countless people.

–Bill Baker, President Emeritus, WNET.ORG

Walter Cronkite loved music and dancing, which is why he jumped at the opportunity to return to Vienna in 1984 — where he had been stationed as a correspondent following World War II — to host the 1985 Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert. For nearly a quarter of a century, he created a tradition on PBS of ushering in the New Year with the festive waltzes, polkas and marches of the Strauss family. All of us at GREAT PERFORMANCES will miss watching Walter and his beloved wife Betsy as they danced to the strains of the Blue Danube when the clock struck midnight.

–David Horn, Executive Producer, GREAT PERFORMANCES

Video: Frank McCourt on New York Voices

July 20th, 2009

Frank McCourt, a former New York City schoolteacher who turned his childhood in Ireland into a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Angela’s Ashes,” died in Manhattan on Sunday, July 19th. He was 78 years old.

In 2006, New York Voices host Rafael Pi Roman sat down for an interview with McCourt, at his old classroom at the original Stuvyestant High School. McCourt also discussed his most recent book, “Teacher Man,” an account of his thirty years as a teacher in the New York public school system.

Wide Angle: Interview with the creators of "The Market Maker"

July 17th, 2009

Hugo Berkeley, Director and Eli Cane, Producer,
The Market Maker

In the film The Market Maker, Wide Angle travels to East Africa to tell the dramatic story of an Ethiopian economist on a mission. Seeking a market-based solution to ending hunger in her famine-plagued country, Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin creates Ethiopia’s first commodities exchange. What she didn’t count on was a world financial crisis getting in the way. In this edition of “Inside Thirteen,” Lauren Feeney, Senior Web Producer at Wide Angle, spoke with The Market Maker’s director, Hugo Berkeley, and the film’s producer, Eli Cane. The Market Maker premieres on Wide Angle on Wednesday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m. (check local listings).

Lauren Feeney, Wide Angle: Can you tell us about your film, The Market Maker?

Eli Cane, Producer, The Market Maker: The film is about an Ethiopian economist, a woman named Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, who has developed a commodities exchange, which she hopes will revolutionize the country’s agricultural markets and bolster the country’s defenses against famine, and improve the livelihoods of the country’s millions of small-scale farmers.

The core of the idea came from the famine in 1984, when, in the north, close to a million people died, as many Westerners know. But what I think a lot of people don’t know is there was also a surplus of food in the southern part of the country the same year. So, she said, we need a market mechanism to get these localized markets talking to each other on a national scale, and if that happens, food will move around the country more efficiently and more smoothly. So the film follows the better part of the first year of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, or ECX.

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Hugo Berkeley, Director, The Market Maker: It’s also a film about, I think, a person who saw a solution to a problem that a lot of people think is endemic, that, really what can you do, you know? It’s a story about someone who saw a problem, thought of a solution, and then has had to overcome incredible obstacles to make that solution work. She’s an Ethiopian woman, so I think also it’s a story about sort of African solutions to African problems, about what a group of people have to go through to enact the change that they see, that they envisage.

Lauren: What was it like working and traveling in Ethiopia?

Hugo: Ethiopia is a beautiful country, really a wonderful place to get to know. I think we both felt really privileged to have the opportunity to travel around. One of the great things is that the work that Eleni and her team are doing isn’t just in the center of the city and the capital, it’s everywhere, it’s out in the fields and out in the countryside, and we were able to go to all these incredible places with them. Ethiopia is a very diverse country – it has like Rift Valley, which is very lush and green and hills, and then you up to the north and it’s desert and it’s arid, and it’s dusty and difficult and very hot, and in the middle you have all the highlands.

It wasn’t without its difficulties. Like, electricity is not very constant, so if you’re dealing with camera equipment and all of that, you have a lot of problems just charging equipment and keeping it clean, because of all of the dirt and dust. But as a country and as a people, everybody was so welcoming and friendly and open, and helpful all the time.

Lauren: Can you talk about how the two of you work together?

Hugo: Eli and I actually met on a project about a Senegalese singer called Youssou N’Dour. This is our first big collaboration of this variety.

Eli: In the field, Hugo was the DP, and I’m on sound, and generally that means we’re attached, literally. So aside from a couple of miscommunications when he’s walking one way and I’m walking the other, I think that we work quite well together.

Hugo: We both have a strong interest in African music, so we heard a lot of music – there’s a lot of great music in Addis. If you go to Gonder, there are these spectacular castles, or in Lalibela, these wonderful churches that are built into the rocks. It wasn’t just work. There was a lot of enjoyment.

Eli: And I think that doing those things and seeing those things and getting a sense of place contributes hugely to the feel of the film.

Hugo: In that sense, maybe the film isn’t just about Eleni, it’s also to get a feel and flavor, and hear and see Ethiopia.

Lauren: What was it like to work with Aaron Brown?

Aaron Brown, host, Wide Angle

Eli: It was great. He is a consummate professional. He showed up after an 18 hour flight, landed in Addis, slept for, I don’t know, six hours or so, then at six in the morning got up, went to the airport, got into a little rickety one prop or two engine plane, and flew a few hours to the countryside. Then got in a car and drove for few hours down a bumpy road, and did his first interview.

We inundated him with details over dinner and other meals, and he was able to take four hours of pent up rambling from Hugo and me and boil it down to its most essential elements, and ask the right questions and draw out what we hoped would be drawn out of characters in his interviews.

Hugo: This is a complicated story, a complicated place, a lot of history, and I think Aaron works as a kind of translator, in a way. He’s able to take all that information and boil it down to something that people can identify with, and in that sense, I think he really brings a great deal to her story.

Watch THIRTEEN's Primetime Emmy®-nominated programs

July 16th, 2009

The nominees for the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards were announced this morning in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Great Performances and American Masters have been nominated for nine Emmy® Awards in seven categories. Winners will be announced this September at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Here’s a list of programs at THIRTEEN that are nominated this year, along with links where you can watch many of them online.

OUTSTANDING VOICE-OVER PERFORMANCE

American Masters
Jerome Robbins: Something To Dance About
Ron Rifkin, Narrator

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC

Great Performances
John Williams, Theme Music By

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOVIE

Great Performances
Cyrano de Bergerac
A Cyrano on Film, LLC Production
with Thirteen/WNET New York in association with Ellen M Krass Productions, Inc. and NHK Enterprises
Kevin Kline as Cyrano de Bergerac

Great Performances
King Lear
A Co-production of The Performance Company, Iambic Productions Limited, Thirteen/WNET New York and Channel 4, in association with NHK
Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS PROGRAMS
Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein
A Production of Carnegie Hall and Thirteen/WNET New York in association with San Francisco Symphony

OUTSTANDING NONFICTION SERIES
American Masters
Susan Lacy, Executive Producer
Prudence Glass, Series Producer
Julie Sacks, Supervising Producer
Judy Kinberg, Producer

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING
American Masters
Jerome Robbins: Something To Dance About
Amanda Vaill, Writer

Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business Of America
When I’m Bad, I’m Better—The Groundbreakers
A co-production of Ghost Light Films and Thirteen/WNET New York in association with Rhino Entertainment and BBC
Michael Kantor, Writer
Laurence Maslon, Writer

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING (SINGLE OR MULTI-CAMERA)
American Masters
Glass: A Portrait Of Philip In Twelve Parts
Stephen R. Smith, Sound Supervisor

A Sneak Peek at the New Angelina Ballerina

July 15th, 2009

Angelina Ballerina™ The Next Steps will twirl onto screens across the country this September! Animated in stunning CGI, the series will feature all new music- and dance-filled adventures starring Angelina Ballerina, the little mouseling with big dreams.

Inspired by the best-selling children’s book series by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig, Angelina Ballerina™ The Next Steps follows the now 8-year-old Angelina as she embarks on the next stage in her life at a new performing arts school, Camembert Academy. Angelina makes new friends and explores all kinds of dance, music, and performance, including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, ballroom, opera, and hip hop, as well as ethnic dances from around the world.

Each episode also includes Camembert’s Shining Stars, a live-action interstitial featuring talented young performers who demonstrate their love of music and dance.

The series introduces kids to the joys of movement, artistic expression, musicality, imagination and coordination. A team of accredited dance instructors and music education specialists helped develop the show’s arts education curriculum. Creative consultants from American Ballet Theatre helped choreograph the dance movements animated on the program, ensuring that they are age-appropriate for the characters.

Angelina Ballerina™ The Next Steps will air daily on THIRTEEN, supported by a local outreach campaign, and weekly via PBS KIDS nationwide starting September 2009. Click here to see a preview of Angelina’s brand new CG animated world!