On Saturday, PBS, ITVS, POV, Independent Lens, and WNET together led the first in a series of events to ignite conversations about the importance of independent documentary films — and the need to provide a prominent platform for indies. More than 225 Bay Area filmmakers, local and national independent film organizations, public media advocates, educators, and community leaders turned out at the San Francisco Public Library to share and hear testimonials and ideas on how to build the visibility, reach, and impact of independent films by and about diverse, underrepresented communities on public broadcasting.
Their audience? PBS programming leaders Beth Hoppe and Marie Nelson, WNET’s Lesley Norman, ITVS’s Sally Jo Fifer, KQED’s Kevin Martin, Independent Lens’ Lois Vossen, POV’s Simon Kilmurry, filmmakers Orlando Bagwell and Tracy Droz Tragos, and community leaders Esta Soler of Futures Without Violence and Kin Folkz of Spectrum Queer Media.
The line to the microphone snaked up the auditorium aisle as attendees stepped up to tell the panel of “listeners” onstage about their experiences in making and using independent documentary to engage citizens of all ages in social issues, from poverty and homelessness to youth and women’s empowerment to LGBQT rights and gender-based violence. Many filmmakers expressed their hope for POV and Independent Lens to maintain a prominent position on the programming schedule amid recent headlines in trade press.
See a few highlights from the event here:
See coverage on Saturday's event in Current: "Filmmakers push for common carriage at first stop in public TV 'listening tour'." PBS launched “Independent Film on PBS: A National Listening Tour” in partnership with ITVS, POV, Independent Lens, and WNET. WNET and POV will organize the next event to be held on February 23, 2015 in New York City, location TBD. The Indie Caucus and Kartemquin Films will host a third stop in Chicago in March, date TBD.
From our blog
May 31, 2021
Julie Ha and Eugene Yi talk about the journey their film "Free Chol Soo Lee" has already made and the road that lies ahead, the importance of this story to Asian American activists, and impart some wisdom to doc makers about the process of applying to and working with ITVS.
May 21, 2021
A series of engagement events led by Independent Lens and Fair and Just Prosecution for Philly D.A. concluded with a survey around the criminal legal system. Read the results from more than 750 participants.
May 13, 2021
Experienced documentarians offer advice gleaned from their own journeys as filmmakers, from how to stick with it when it all seems so overwhelming, to finding your own support network, to how learning all the technical tricks of the trade will make your project stronger.