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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012





Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah

– Explores 1,400 Years of Cultural History Through Islamic Art and Architecture –


ISLAMIC ART: MIRROR OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD transports viewers to nine countries and across 1,400 years of cultural history to explore the astonishing riches of Islamic art and architecture. The program premieres Friday, July 6 from 8-10:30 p.m. on WTVP-HD as part of the PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL, a seven-week event with films that highlight art, artists and performances from around the world.

“Though Islamic art differs from Western art in some respects, like all art it carries the values and perspectives of its creators, as well as those who commissioned it — whether religious or secular,” says Gardner. “The film provides a never-before-seen window into a culture of increasing importance to America, and sheds light on the shared histories between Western culture and Islamic culture, revealing over time much more continuity than division.”

Developed over two years, ISLAMIC ART presents breathtaking high-definition footage of Egypt, Israel, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran, Spain, Mali and India. Showcasing an extraordinary array of architecture, textiles, paintings and metalwork, the scenes in the film illuminate the history of a unique culture and reflect the Islamic world as it is today.

“Audiences will explore exotic vistas that many of us have never seen, gaining access to some of the Islamic world’s most sacred places,” says Kronemer. “In addition to its beauty, the film has real weight, correctly depicting the relationship between Islamic and Western civilizations not as a centuries-long deadlock, but as an often creative conversation between powerful forces.”

The PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL takes viewers on an exploration of nearly 20 cities around the globe, offering an in-depth look at music, theater, art, architecture and cultural history from some of the world’s unique locations. Award-winning television, film and stage star Anna Deavere Smith (“Nurse Jackie,” “The West Wing”) serves as host for the festival, which begins Friday, June 29 at 8:00 p.m.

The full PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL schedule follows:






Funding for the launch of PBS Arts is provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.

Executive producers Michael Wolfe and Alexander Kronemer are co-founders of Unity Productions Foundation and executive producers of internationally released documentaries, including Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think; Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet; Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain; and Prince Among Slaves. Their films have won many prestigious awards, including several Cine Golden Eagle Awards, and a “Best Documentary” nod at the 2007 African American Black Film Festival for Prince Among Slaves. They have received production grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the National Black Programming Consortium and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, among many others. They have also obtained funding for outreach initiatives from the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Proteus.

In a career that spans 40 years, documentary film producer, director and writer Robert Gardner has been nominated for an Academy Award, won three National Emmy Awards, four regional Emmys, a duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in Broadcast Journalism, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award for Television, and a variety of special awards. His production company, Gardner Films, has produced for commercial and public television in the United States and internationally for more than 25 years. He has lectured on documentary filmmaking at Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, The American Film Institute, The American University and Wesleyan University.





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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