Empowering Media That Matters
Home >> Tags >> Social Documentary

Social Documentary

PBS Finds a Spot for Independent Lens and POV—but Where?

#PBSNeedsIndiesAfter hundreds of independent producers flocked to sign an open letter to PBS by Kartemquin Films, and the Independent Documentary Association endorsed the campaign, the public TV programmer has agreed to find a home on the core schedule for Independent Lens and POV. These are the two series that showcase the work of independent producers who raise issues typically under-reported in the media, reach audiences underserved by commercial media, and who experiment, innovate and take leadership in the digital transformation. Read more...

#PBSNeedsIndies Catches Fire

Kartemquin FilmsHundreds of documentary filmmakers have signed on to the open letter to PBS that Kartemquin Films posted only a week ago.  Among the signatories: Barbara Kopple, Bill Moyers, Alex Gibney, Michael Moore, Joan Churchill, Jennifer Fox, Chuck Workman and other major award-winners. (Signatures still are being accepted.) Filmmakers are, in the technical language that IndieWIRE employed, pissed. Read more...

Pull Focus: Heather Courtney

Heather Courtney is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Austin, Texas. She has produced several films for PBS, including "Letters from the Other Side", which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2006 and screened at the South by Southwest International Film Festival (SXSW), as well as other film festivals. Heather also organized over 20 grassroots screenings with churches, schools, and community centers all over Texas. In Fall 2006, LETTERS was broadcast on over 60 PBS stations across the country.

Her previous film, "Los Trabajadores/The Workers", won the Audience Award at SXSW in 2001 and an International Documentary Association award, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens.

In her most recent film, "Where Soldiers Come From", Heather returned to her hometown in northern Michigan to follow the lives of a group of 20-year-old friends before, during and after their National Guard deployment to Afghanistan. The 2012 Independent Spirit awards recognized "Where Soldiers Come From" with the "Truer than Fiction" honor.

(Photo and Biography adapted from New Day Films)

Read more...

Antiques or Independents? Why it Matters Where PBS Puts Independent Lens and POV

ITVSPBS, the biggest of the programming services for public TV, has reschedPOVuled two programs that showcase independent producers’ work from across the nationIndependent Lens and POV. The results could put the future of those programs at risk, because of declining viewership. Read more...

SXSW 2012: Art as Process

Wonder WomenSeveral docs at SXSW 2012 charmed me for their portrayal of artistic processes. "Wonder Women," at a crisp 62 minutes, was a delicious journey through decades of popular culture. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan interweaves the evolution of women superheroes, from the original Wonder Woman comic through Charlie’s Angels, Buffy, Riot Grrrls and beyond, and the history of modern feminism. Read more...