“The Iranian Americans” Premieres Tuesday, December 18, 9:30 PM ET/PT on PBS

November 16, 2012, New York, NY- NEW YORK (September 2012) – PBS announced today the premiere of THE IRANIAN AMERICANS, a new documentary by Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Goldberg. The program airs Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 9:30-10:30 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings) on select PBS stations. Filmed around the United States – from Los Angeles to Washington, DC – THE IRANIAN AMERICANS chronicles the underreported history of a group of immigrants finding refuge, overcoming adversity and ultimately creating new lives in the United States. Even though Iran is in the news virtually every day, many Americans have little knowledge of the story of the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who live in the U.S. The special is presented by the network’s flagship station in Greater Los Angeles and Southern California, PBS SoCaL.

As THE IRANIAN AMERICANS shows, the Iranians’ story begins more than two millennia ago in the Middle East, in a land that came to be called Persia. They built an empire that stretched from North Africa to India, from the Caspian to the Red Sea. A people of diverse ethnicities and faiths, they developed rich traditions that endured centuries of migrations and conquests. In the second half of the 20th century, their nation, now known as Iran, was racked by political and religious upheaval, leading ultimately to revolution. In 1979, the revolution thrust Ayatollah Khomeini into power, beginning an era when dissent was not tolerated. Tens of thousands of Iranians left their homeland for the United States, a country they would come to call home.

Iranians had been immigrating to America in small numbers for decades, primarily for education, but 1979 saw massive migration. THE IRANIAN AMERICANS is an emotional account of displacement told by more than 25 Iranians who were uprooted from their home and heritage and built completely new lives in the U.S.

Iranian Americans, also called Persian Americans, who are featured in the documentary come from diverse backgrounds. They are educators, politicians, diplomats, scientists, comedians, bankers and writers, to name a few.

Among the Iranian Americans who provide an emotional and personal perspective on their experience are:

Maz Jobrani –Actor/comedian, who is also part of the “Axis of Evil” comedy group.

Jamshid “Jimmy” Delshad –Politician from California who became mayor of Beverly Hills on March 21, 2007, and again on March 16, 2010. As mayor, he was the highest-ranking elected Iranian-American official.

Firouz Naderi — Director of solar system exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), he managed the Mars exploration program at the time of the landing of heralded twin Mars rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity”.

Goli Ameri –The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and a former delegate to the United Nations. Currently, she is Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Hamid Biglari –A vice-chairman of Citicorp, the main operating arm of Citigroup, a $60 billion revenue business with operations in more than 100 countries.

Click here to view the trailer.

Goldberg, the film’s director and executive producer, is the founder and owner of Two Cats Productions in New York, NY. For nearly 15 years, he has produced and directed news and documentaries for such networks as PBS, ABC and CBS, along with numerous networks internationally. THE IRANIAN AMERICANS was written by Goldberg and producer Sara Goldblatt, narrated by CBS Sunday Morning senior correspondent Martha Teichner and edited by Jane Wagner. The director of photography is Claudia Raschke-Robinson. The presenter, PBS SoCaL, is the flagship station in Greater Los Angeles and Southern California.

Major funding for THE IRANIAN AMERICANS is provided by Hamila and Bahman Atefi; Joseph and Mahnaz Moinian; Y&S Nazarian Foundation; Bita Daryabari; Hamid Moghadam and Christina Gwatkin; Pivotal Foundation/F. Francis and Dionne Najafi; Nasser J. Kazeminy; and Farhang Foundation.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About PBS SoCaL
PBS SoCaL, formerly KOCE-TV, is Southern California’s PBS station dedicated to interactively educating, entertaining and enlightening the greater Los Angeles area. With its three unique broadcast channels, including PBS SoCaL HD, PBS OC and WORLD TV, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, PBS NewsHour, NOVA, Nature, and Masterpiece, as well as local productions Real Orange, SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff and Bookmark with Maria Hall-Brown. Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st -century learning. Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at the revamped website: www.pbssocal.org.

About Andrew Goldberg (Two Cats Productions)
Veteran producer and Emmy award-winning director Andrew Goldberg is the founder and owner of Two Cats Productions. One of his recent films, “Jerusalem: Center of the World,” which aired on PBS in 2009, garnered ratings nearly 40 percent higher than the national average. Praised for its multicultural approach, the two-hour film, hosted by Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour, explored Jerusalem’s history, culture and impact on the world. In 2006, Goldberg’s widely praised PBS documentary “The Armenian Genocide” was screened at the U.S. Congress in an event hosted by three U.S. Representatives, and has been licensed to many broadcast networks around the world. The film, narrated by Julianna Margulies, is the complete story of the first genocide of the 20th century, when more than a million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. His other critically acclaimed films include “Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century” (2007, PBS), “They Came to America” (2003, PBS), Emmy® Award-winning “A Yiddish World Remembered” (2002, PBS) and “Proud to Serve: The Men and Women of the U.S. Army” (2003, American Public Television). In addition to his PBS films, Goldberg has written and produced for ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS News Sunday Morning and National Public Radio. More information is available at the company’s website: www.twocatstv.com.


Dina White, 516-234-0840, dina.white@gmail.com

SWPR Group: Bonnie Winings / Barry Smith, 818-760-7131, bwinings@swprgroup.com, bsmith@swprgroup.com

Source: Public Broadcasting Corporation

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