US publictelevision provider The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has launched ascheme that for the first time supports non-US documentary filmmakers whosework will be broadcast on US television.

TheInternational Media Development Fund will offer production financing, as wellas distribution, promotion and educational outreach support.

The aim is tosupport a dialogue between the US and other nations through compellingdocumentaries that eschew stereotypes and offer insights into global cultures.

"In a UScommercial media landscape where most internationally focused televisionconsists of 30-second news clips of natural disaster or images of war, there isa lack of programmes that provide in-depth views of life and people outside ourborders," ITVS president and chief executive officer Sally Jo Fifer said.

"Our hope is that thesedocumentaries by international filmmakers will inspire all of us to seek agreater understanding of our world - and each other."