On the ITVS website the organization explains:
The Independent Television Service funds, presents and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television and cable, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on PBS.
I have applied to ITVS for funds on a few occasions and it has always been a pleasant experience. Some colleagues of mine have worked there. The atmosphere is one of support and encouragement for independent filmmakers, despite the realities of stiff competition and hard-and-fast PBS requirements. In my experience, ITVS is “the friendly face” that the PBS/CPB world turns toward us little indies.
I have had a great relationship with educational distributor Bullfrog Films since 2003. According to its website, “Bullfrog Films is the oldest and largest publisher of videos and films about the environment in the United States. Founded in 1973 it has been honored with a retrospective screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.” Bullfrog specializes in providing films to schools, and publishes an annual catalogue of titles that is highly anticipated each year. They have been the sole educational distributor of my documentary “A Lot in Common,” and have been in business pretty much forever. So co-owner John Hoskyns-Abrahall has a unique perspective.