The Documentary Channel® Picks Up Student Documentary Films in Partnership with University of Texas at Austin Documentary Center

Dec. 2, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — Up-and-coming documentary filmmakers from The University of Texas at Austin will have a national audience for their work, thanks to a partnership between The University of Texas at Austin Documentary Center and The Documentary Channel®.

Through the agreement, three years in the making, The Documentary Channel will have exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to select films from University of Texas at Austin student documentary filmmakers for 18 months. These films will be showcased on The Documentary Channel's "DOC U," a platform for student work, during the first quarter of 2010.

The first four films to be broadcast are: "The Cockroach Project" (Ruth Fertig), "Dreams in All Sizes" (Christina Kim), "Pay Dirt" (Berndt Mader) and "A Casebook on Remote Viewing" (Anthony Penta). All four films were created in Radio-TV-Film classes and selected by a panel of Radio-TV-Film faculty and The Documentary Channel programmers.

"The Documentary Channel staff is extremely impressed with the high level of professionalism and innovation of the University of Texas student documentaries we screened," said Kate Pearson, senior vice president of programming for The Documentary Channel. "We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the UT Documentary Center in selecting outstanding student documentaries for future national broadcasts."

At the end of the spring 2010 semester, additional University of Texas at Austin student documentaries will be selected to be telecast on The Documentary Channel.

"Few people know how much work and energy go into making a documentary. And short documentaries have limited distribution channels" said Ellen Spiro, co-director of the University of Texas at Austin Documentary Center, which is training the next generation of non-fiction filmmakers and photographers. "Having your film seen by an audience of millions lends a certain level of credibility to a filmmaker's work and—most important—brings the films to an audience."

The Documentary Channel is the nation's first 24-hour television network exclusively devoted to documentary films and the independent documentary filmmaker, providing viewers with round-the-clock opportunities to see fascinating, eclectic and award-winning documentary films of all lengths and genres.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071; Caroline Graham, 615-322-9333, ext. 114.