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Birth of a documentary at WUSF-TV.

Do you enjoy watching PBS documentaries on WUSF-TV, Ch. 16? Most of our viewers do. But what most viewers don't know is that many of those documentaries have been created and produced by WUSF-TV. The most recent example of this is "Search for the U.S.S. Maine," which premiered on WUSF-TV in January. This hour-long documentary about the sinking of this ship and the role it played in the Spanish-American War will be distributed nationally for broadcast on PBS stations across the country.

WUSF-TV RANKS 34TH OUT OF 349 PUBLIC TELEVISION STATIONS NATIONALLY.

RELATED ARTICLE: ONE DOCUMENTARY LEADS TO ANOTHER

During the discovery and exploration of the U.S.S. Maine, another opportunity "surfaced." A Nazi U-boat that was sunk on May 13, 1943, was discovered off the coast of Cuba by the same Canadian deep-research team involved in the U.S.S. Maine project.

"This submarine represents a fascinating piece of history," says WUSF-TV producer Martha Bone. "It was sunk by a joint effort of U.S. and Cuban forces." What the Cuban Coast Guard who helped sink the vessel didn't know was that the submarine was there by invitation. Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista was going to illegally sell American oil to the Germans. "We have visions of including footage of the wrecked submarine, as well as interviews with American, Cuban and German historians to shed light on the mystery surrounding Nazi U-boat 176," says Bone. Information about Ernest Hemingway's involvement with the CIA as a submarine chaser will be included.

WUSF-TV is currently looking for funding to produce this historically engaging documentary. If you or your company are interested in being a part of this exciting project, call Martha Bone toll-free at (800) 654-3703.

BIRTHPLACE OF THE CIGAR LEADS TO TAMPA AREA

"Cuban Seed," a third PBS documentary, is also in the proposal stage at WUSF-TV. This documentary traces the migration of the cigar industry from its roots in Cuba to the shores of Florida.

"With the current renewed popularity of cigars, it's the perfect time to explore the roots of cigar making in our area," says WUSF-TV producer Martha Bone.

"Cuban Seed" explores Cuban communities that were established in Key West and Tampa and how they influenced the development of these two cities. At the height of Ybor City's cigar making days, there were nearly 70 cigar factories and 30,000 Cuban immigrant workers. The effects of this tobacco migration are still having an enormous economic impact on Tampa and Key West.

The production team is currently seeking funding for "Cuban Seed." "We believe it's time to tell the story of this long and colorful history that is shared between Cuba and Florida," Bone says. Those interested in underwriting "Cuban Seed" should contact WUSF-TV.

WUSF-TV RANKS THIRD IN PRIME TIME OUT OF 14 FLORIDA PUBLIC TELEVISION STATIONS.

LOCAL ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH PRESENTS DOCUMENTARY OPPORTUNITY

WUSF-TV's most exciting documentary opportunity may be located just down the road in Sarasota, at the Roskamp Institute. For years, Sarasota residents Robert and Diane Roskamp have funded extensive research about Alzheimer's Disease conducted by institute director Dr. Michael Mullan. That investment seems to be paying off. In recent months, Mullan has been able to cure debilitating dementia in laboratory mice.

"There is a great deal of public interest in Alzheimer's research," says WUSF-TV producer Martha Bone. "We plan to feature the work of Dr. Mullan, as well as the stem cell research being conducted by Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos. These exciting advancements present a terrific opportunity for a documentary."

The documentary is currently in the pre-production phase and is in need of funding. If you or your company are interested in partnering with WUSF-TV, contact Martha Bone at (800) 654-3703.
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Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:617
Previous Article:Donors appreciate "best news". (Public Broadcasting).
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