SOURCE: ITVS

March 18, 2008 06:00 ET

As the Eyes of the World Turn to China and the Upcoming Summer Olympics, "CIRCUS SCHOOL" Offers Rare Look Into China's Most Prestigious Acrobatic School

Film to Premiere on "Global Voices" Series on PBS WORLD Channel Sunday, March 30, at 10:00 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - The history of Chinese acrobatics dates back centuries. An art form that focuses on challenging physical limitations, many Chinese view acrobatics as the quintessential expression of China's strength and power as a nation. At the Shanghai Circus School, students ranging in age from six to 15 must complete a grueling seven-year program before working as professionals; "CIRCUS SCHOOL," a Chinese film directed by Ke Dingding and Guo Jing, reveals the harsh life of the school's students. As the world's eyes turn to China's hosting of the upcoming Olympic Games, "CIRCUS SCHOOL" will have its U.S. premiere on Sunday, March 30, 2008, at 10:00 PM on "Global Voices," a new series produced by ITVS International airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel (check local listings). Few places in the world offer a more demanding program of acrobatics training than the Shanghai Circus School. To ensure its own survival as well as a bright future for the students, the Shanghai Circus School places strong emphasis on the students winning competitions, both at home and abroad. "CIRCUS SCHOOL" provides an inside look at the intense daily regime of several students and teachers at this lauded institution as they prepare for a national competition. Images of the students' punishing exercises, contrasted with the seamless beauty and precision of their performances, casts a new light on one of China's most ancient traditions.

Filmmaker Background

Guo Jing was born in Shanghai, China. She graduated from the journalism Department of Fudan University and has been working as a director and editor. Ke Dingding was also born in Shanghai. He graduated from the electronic engineering department of the Institute of Chengdu Radio Engineering. He has been working as photographer and director since 1995. "CIRCUS SCHOOL" won the Scam International Award in the Cinema du Reel film festival (2007). The pair's previous documentary, "Fruitful Summer," won the Joris Ivens prize in the Cinema du Reel film festival (2004), the Doclisboa / Adobe award for the best first documentary film screened at Doclisboa 2004, and was screened at the 15th Black Movie Festival (2005).

About "Global Voices"

"Global Voices" is a new series produced by ITVS International to air on the PBS WORLD digital channel beginning Sunday, March 30, 2008, at 10:00 PM (check local listings). The first original series to launch on PBS WORLD, the 26-week series will bring to a national audience internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers. "Global Voices" will feature the U.S. premieres of five documentaries funded by ITVS International as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. Encore presentations include the Academy Award nominee "DAUGHTER FROM DANANG," the Emmy Award winner "A LION'S TRAIL" and the Independent Spirit Award Winner and Emmy Nominee "LOST BOYS OF SUDAN." For more information about "Global Voices," visit www.pbs.org/globalvoices.

More information about PBS WORLD is available at www.pbs.org.

For downloadable images visit: www.itvs.org/pressroom/photos

For more information about the program, visit the companion website: www.pbs.org/globalvoices/circusschool

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