The film America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie will be aired onmany local PBS stations. KTWU in Topeka will air the program on SundayApril 1. KPTS in Wichita will air the program on April 2 at 1:00 a.m. and4:00 a.m. and on May 20 at 8:00 p.m. Check with your local publictelevision station for dates and times in your area.Press Release---------------Award-winning film coming to PBS on Sunday, April 1 at 9:00pm CDT America'sLost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie explores America's changing landscapeCEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The ecology, cultural shift and agricultural revolutionthat transformed America's prairies are as complex and intertwined as thetallgrass prairie ecosystem itself. On April 1, PBS will nationally air therich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of naturein human history with a 9 p.m. CDT broadcast of America's Lost Landscape:The Tallgrass Prairie.America's Lost Landscape is a production of New Light Media and was producedin association with the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University ofNorthern Iowa.Daryl Smith, University of Northern Iowa biology professor and director ofthe UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center, was executive producer of thisaward-winning feature-length documentary that traces the prairie'stransformation from natural landscape to farmland. Critically acclaimedactress Annabeth Gish narrated the film. UNI alumnus and owner of SpliceHere, a full-service post-production company in Minneapolis, Clayton Conditedited the film."Before I became involved in this project, I could only find films that toldpart of the tallgrass prairie story," Smith said. "I believe the naturalhistory, ecology, civic history, cultural perspectives, agricultural use andprairie preservation, restoration and reconstruction for the future are allinterrelated. As we worked on the film, I became even more convinced thateveryone should know about this vanishing -- or lost -- landscape."While making the film-festival circuit for America's Lost Landscape: TheTallgrass Prairie, the film's writer, director and co-producer DavidO'Shields of New Light Media found most people, regardless of background orgeographical location, are intrigued by the prairie narrative."The remaining remnants of tallgrass prairie are a national treasure, andare just as important as the tropical rain forests in South America or theredwoods in California," O'Shields said. "The prairie has a uniqueness and astature that's worthy of understanding and appreciation. The reality is thatvery few Americans know what a prairie is. They confuse topography of theplains with the grasses and wildflowers that comprise the tallgrass prairieecosystem. I hope viewers will come to understand that the prairie ecosystemcan be a modelan approach to building and maintaining a sustainable civilization -- thatmay lead of us out of the environmental mess we find ourselves in today.Prairie can be a great teacher. All we have to do is listen and actintelligently."The film's photography and narrative give viewers a glimpse of what was,what is and what can be the tallgrass prairie. Smith hopes after thebroadcast, viewers will consider how the prairie fits into our future."I want people to become aware of this ecosystem and consider the prairie inrelation to their cultural and biological heritage and be aware of howlittle remains," he said. "I take pride in raising the level of prairieconsciousness so more people are interested in protecting and restoring theprairie. Getting more people involved and making prairie conservation andrestoration a higher priority for our society bode well for the future."Clayton Condit of Splice Here, the film's editor and a native of theMidwest, found his involvement in the project to be a consciousness-raisingexperience."To lose the tallgrass prairie is a transformation that happened in anunbelievable short amount of time and that only emphasizes the impact humanshave on this planet," he said. With global warming and other environmentalissues it as important as ever for people to understand our history and thescale of the impact we can have - both positive and negative."Condit enjoyed the challenge of crafting a documentary narrative and thecollaborative approach taken by David O'Shields."David is a great director and producer -- very organized. He has a clearidea of what he wants yet trusted me and everyone at Splice Here to do whatthey do best," Condit said. He would give me very thorough notes andsuggestions and then gave me space and time to experiment and help flesh outhis ideas and take some of them even further. The process of editing adocumentary is very much an evolution and discovery process. What soundbites work together? How can we shuffle the story and images to better tellthe story, etc? David and I worked very well together and came up with agreat piece that we will both be proud of as a major success in ourcareers."Annabeth Gish, who lived in Iowa between the ages of 2 and 18, said she isproud to be a part of this film -- a meditation on the prairie and anopportunity to educate and advocate for the land on which she spent herformative years."I remember my father and me taking our dog for long walks. Sometimes we'dgo along farm fields, but we also would explore the area's prairies likeUNI's restored prairie. But even then I'm not sure I understood thesignificance of the prairie until I worked on this film," Gish said. "Thefilm gives a transcendent and lyrical voice to the prairie, and I hopeanyone who sees it falls in love with the land."America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie premiered at a specialshowing at UNI in April 2004 and made its Des Moines debut that December. InMarch 2005 the film aired on Iowa Public Television during its "Festival2005" fundraising special. Among numerous screenings and awards, the filmreceived the International Documentary Association's Pare Lorentz Award inLos Angeles in 2005 and the CINE Golden Eagle Award in Washington, D.C., inJuly 2006.For more information about the film, and to view the trailer and PBS promo,visit www.lostlandscapefilm.com..
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