The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television and cable, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens Thursday nights at 10:00 PM on PBS.
In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, ITVS presents an online film festival of documentaries showcasing extraordinary women and girls on the front lines of change around the world. Being showcased tonight is Troop 1500. At Hilltop Prison in Gatesville, Texas, a unique Girl Scout troop — Troop 1500 — unites daughters with mothers who are serving time for serious crimes, giving them a chance to rebuild their broken bonds. Facing long sentences from the courts, the mothers struggle to mend their fractured relationships with their daughters.
Troop 1500 follows five young Girl Scouts — sisters Caitlin and Mikaela, Jasmine, Jessica, and Naomi — whose mothers are serving time. Once inside the prison, the girls of Troop 1500 fall into the arms of the mothers they seldom see — Kenya, Melissa, Ida, and Susan — crying and laughing while pulling out report cards and pictures and passing along hellos from grandparents and absent brothers.
ITVS supports a dynamic field of independent media makers whose programs creatively engage audiences, expand cultural awareness and catalyze civic participation. ITVS embraces technical innovation to advance the production and distribution of independent media worldwide. The independent perspectives embodied in ITVS programs are considered by a broad public to be essential to a civil society.