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November 22, 2006

ULM professor spreads message to the Middle East

John W. Sutherlin, ULM history and government professor, has reached an agreement with Films for Humanities & Sciences for the distribution of his urban environmental film series into the Middle East.

Sutherlin, a political scientist who came to ULM last year from Tulane University, has directed and produced more than 24 documentary films under the name 'Our Urban Environment." The films have been shown on PBS markets throughout the U.S. and public television stations around the world. They were funded in part with grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sutherlin's collaborator for these films is multi-media group Wild Hare Productions.

"When we created the concept of Our Urban Environment we figured that we would be lucky if major markets in the Gulf South carried at least one of the series," remarked Sutherlin. "Now we are in 45 countries around the world and have been seen by more than 16 million viewers."

Films will begin distribution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month. All of the issues, according to Sutherlin, are relevant to the UAE and other states looking to improve public health and the environment.

The series cover issues ranging from solid waste management to brownfields redevelopment to water quality issues. Sutherlin interviewed more than 300 elected officials, government agency personnel, citizens' groups and private business owners.

Sutherlin added, "We wanted to create a series that was broadly based and comprehensive...just like the environment itself."

For more information about the Films for Humanities & Sciences, visit

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