The Independent Film Channel Announces The Re-Launch Of Errol Morris’ Acclaimed Series ‘Fist Person’

New York, January 24, 2001 – Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment announced today the re-launch on The Independent Film Channel of Errol Morris’ “First Person” series, acclaimed by Time as “one of the ten best television programs of the year.” “First Person” originally premiered in March 2000 on the Bravo Network, a sister network to the Independent Film Channel.

“I have this fascination with how people talk-how they reveal themselves through language,” Morris says. “I have made many feature length, non-fiction films, ‘First Person’ provides me with an opportunity to apply the ideas I’ve used in my longer work in an ongoing series for television.”

“‘First Person’ is ideal programming for the Independent Film Channel,” says IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring. “Errol Morris is a groundbreaking filmmaker who has taken the non-fiction genre to new heights and this show really embodies Errol’s talent and scope. We are proud to have him and his program on our network. Producing his latest feature film, ‘Mr. Death,’ was such a fabulous experience, we are-like many of his fans-looking forward to ‘First Person.'”

“I consider Jonathan Sehring and Caroline Kaplan to be both my benefactors and my friends,” says Morris. “It is a collaboration that has worked very well in the past and I am looking forward to continuing it in the future.”

“First Person” makes use of Morris’ patented interviewing machine-the Megatron. The device is a multi-camera setup which is an expansion of his earlier contraption, the Interrotron, used in his last two feature films, “Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control” and “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.”

Morris will create twelve episodes of “First Person” for IFC which will premiere in the Summer of 2001. The series is a co-production with Michael Williams, David Collins and Dorothy Aufiero of Scout Productions. The deal for the series was brokered by John Sloss of Sloss Law Offices.

There are very few artists who have completely transcended the medium they work in-as Errol Morris has undeniably done with the non-fiction film. “He’s like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini,” says Roger Ebert. Since bursting onto the film scene with such groundbreaking films as “Gates of Heaven” and “The Thin Blue Line,” Errol Morris has presented audiences with the mundane, the bizarre and the
history-making in often breathtaking fashion. “I like the idea of making films about ostensibly nothing,” notes Morris. “That’s what all my movies are about. That and the idea that we’re in a position of certainty, truth, infallible knowledge, when actually we’re just a bunch of apes running around.”

Morris’ first film, “Gates of Heaven” (1978), follows the stories behind two pet cemetaries- one that fails and one that thrives. Roger Ebert called the film “one of the ten best films of all time.” “Vernon, Florida” (1981) is about the eccentric residents of a southern swamp town. Morris’ most controversial film, “The Thin Blue Line” in 1988 was billed as “the first movie mystery to actually solve a murder,” as the film is credited with overturning the murder conviction of Randall Dale Adams. The film was voted Best Documentary of 1988 by the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. In 1992, Morris directed “A Brief History of Time,” about the life and work of Stephen Hawking. The film won the Filmmaker’s Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. “Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control” (1997) links the fascinating, yet seemingly unrelated, stories of a lion tamer, an expert on the African mole-rat, a topiary gardener and an MIT scientist who designs robots. This film won Best Documentary Film Award from the National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, Florida Film Critics Circle, Independent Spirit Award and the Society of Texas Film Critics. In 1997, Morris became the first documentarian in the history of the IFP Gotham Awards to receive the Filmmaker Award. His most recent film, “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.,” features Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., an engineer from Malden, Massachusetts who fancies himself the “Florence Nightingale of Death Row”-a humanitarian whose mission was to
design and repair gas chambers, electric chairs, lethal injection systems and gallows. Hired as an expert witness in a case involving a Holocaust denier, Leuchter is drawn onto the stage of the twentieth century’s keystone atrocity.

This year, the Sundance Film Festival is hosting host a special tribute to Morris.
The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. IFC Entertainment, a division of IFC, consists of IFC Productions, a feature film production company; IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; Next Wave Films, established to provide finishing funds and other vital support to emerging filmmakers; and IFC Originals, which produces cutting-edge original programming for the network. In addition, IFC Productions recently launched InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video for the big screen.

Elektra Gray

(516) 803-4542