About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is America’s home for 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 10 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 across America.

“At Independent Lens we think a lot about neighborhoods. It begins with our filmmakers, telling stories about their hometowns and from inside communities across the country,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. “They take time to go deeper to make thought-provoking documentaries about the issues that divide us and the ideals and beliefs that bind us together. We are excited to launch our newest season on PBS, America’s Home for Documentaries.”

Surrogate mother Shannon holds a baby, in Made in Boise (her husband Tom looks on)
Made in Boise

Independent Lens’ 2019-2020 lineup launches Monday, October 28 with Made in Boise, an engrossing look at the complex and controversial world of surrogacy told through the stories of four women carrying babies for intended parents in the conservative heartland of Idaho — the unregulated and unofficial “surrogacy capital” of the United States.

Also on the fall schedule is Decade of Fire (Nov. 4), which travels back to the 1970s when the South Bronx was burning, to showcase the dedicated citizens who outlasted the flames and saved their community; The Interpreters (Nov. 11), a moving look at Afghan and Iraqi interpreters who risked their lives aiding American troops and whose lives are now at risk unless they emigrate to the U.S.; Conscience Point (Nov. 18), which unearths the deep clash of values between the Native American Shinnecock of Long Island and their affluent Hamptons neighbors; and Attla (Dec. 16), the rousing story of Alaska Native George Attla, who with one good leg and a determined mindset went on to become a champion dogsled racer.

An African American boy looks up at burned out buildings in the Bronx, circa late 70s
Decade of Fire

Highlights of the Winter/Spring 2019 season include Jackie Olive’s Sundance Special Jury Award-winning Always in Season, the first documentary to spotlight recent grassroots efforts to acknowledge the victims of lynching, repair the damage, and reconcile in four U.S. communities, and Bedlam, a psychiatrist’s chronicle of what it means to be mentally ill in the U.S. today, interwoven with the story of how the system tragically failed his own sister.

Many more titles for Spring 2019 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. Selections this year include Decade of Fire, Always in Season, and Eating Up Easter.

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