About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is television’s largest showcase of independent documentary film, airing Monday nights on most PBS member stations. Check your local listings, and don’t miss an episode.

Award-Winning Series

Each week we bring you an original documentary film made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today. Independent Lens films have won 19 Emmy Awards, 16 Peabody Awards, five duPont-Columbia University Awards, and have received nine Academy Award nominations. Independent Lens won the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Continuing Series.


This season, from fall to spring, Independent Lens presents a new group of award-winning films that will thrust viewers into the heart of conversations in the diverse national neighborhoods of America.

“Documentary film is soaring right now because it’s doing the incredible deep work of telling stories about people from across the country, all kinds of people who hold different beliefs,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “People see the news as divisive, and we’re not the news. We’re character-driven stories. PBS and Independent Lens have viewers in every state, from all backgrounds and our exceptional reach — 394 stations across the country —gives us the ability to be both local and national every time we work with a film.” [Read more from Lois in this RealScreen exclusive.]

Independent Lens’ 2018-2019 lineup launches Monday, October 29 with Wildland, a richly personal look at the lives of a western firefighting crew during one challenging season. Also on the fall schedule is Dawnland, which explores the devastating impact of the forced removal of Native American children from their families; The Judge, a look at the first woman appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts; The Cleaners, an eye-opening investigation into how Silicon Valley monitors online content; and Man on Fire, the story of an elderly Texas minister driven to a shocking act of protest.

Link Wray on stage with guitar, from RUMBLE

Highlights of the Winter/Spring 2019 season include Eugene Jarecki’s unique meditation on Elvis and America, The King; RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a celebration of the Native American musicians who transformed blues, jazz and rock; and the critically acclaimed Charm City. Many more titles for Spring 2018 will be announced soon; check back to the Our Films page for more.

Indie Lens Pop-Up

All along the way, Independent Lens will bring these rich stories to even wider, more diverse audiences, engage communities in conversations through Indie Lens Pop-Up, providing an authentic space for many voices.

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