Awards News

ITVS to Receive the 2017 Governors Award

The Television Academy today announced ITVS – the leading documentary film funder, co-producer and distributor for public media – as the 2017 Governors Award recipient, recognizing the nonprofit organization's focus on diversity and inclusiveness in documentary programming. The prestigious award winner was chosen by the Television Academy Board of Governors and will receive its Emmy statuette during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

The Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, honors an individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is exceptional and universal in nature and goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition. Michael A. Levine is the Chair of the Governors Award Committee and Mark Spatny serves as Vice-Chair.

"ITVS cultivates projects that provide thought-provoking, innovative content from an enormously diverse group of creators," said Levine. "We are proud to present the Governors Award to an organization that supports pioneering television and inclusion both on-screen and behind the scenes."

Best known for the acclaimed programs showcased in the prime-time lineups of PBS's iconic nonfiction series Independent Lens, POV, Frontline, American Masters and American Experience, ITVS has introduced local, national, and international audiences to the works of many creative voices including Marlon Riggs, Lourdes Portillo and Barry Jenkins. ITVS and the programs it funds are winners of many programming and marketing awards including the Emmy, Peabody, DuPont, Telly and ProMax honors.

"We are incredibly honored to be the recipient of the Television Academy's Governors Award," said Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS. "It is our privilege to fuel the courageous work of the talented independent producers who authentically represent the extraordinary lives of communities all over our country. Our board, staff and funders are humbled by this recognition of our contribution to the television landscape."

Founded in San Francisco in 1988, ITVS has incubated, funded, co-produced, and presented more than 1,300 documentaries for television created by independent filmmakers, bringing untold and impactful stories to the public. Promoting more than 20 independent documentary films and more than 40 hours of television per year, the organization encourages programming that takes creative risks, tackles complex issues and expresses distinctive points of views. Nearly 70% of the organization's funds go to producers of color, 50% to women.

Previous recipients of the Governors Award include last year's honoree American Idol, A+E Networks, William S. Paley, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Masterpiece Theater, Comic Relief, the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks for America: A Tribute To Heroes, the "It Gets Better" Project.

About the Television Academy
The Television Academy seeks to expand the horizons of television excellence. It strives to empower storytellers who shape the evolving television space through the programs, publications and events of the academy and its foundation. And it celebrates those who have led excellence by recording their stories and recognizing their achievements through accolades and awards, including television's most coveted prize, the Primetime Emmy Award. For more information and updates on the 69th Emmy Awards, visit and follow @TelevisionAcad on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube.

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Stephanie Goodell
breakwhitelight (for the Television Academy)

For the complete press release, click here.