The Audience Award

"It was such an honor when Independent Lens chose our film to open the inaugural PBS Indies Showcase last fall. And now — some ten months later — to be awarded this Audience Award truly takes our breath away. It is so humbling to hear from audiences across the country who have been inspired, awed, and reinvigorated by Arnel Pineda’s enduring story."
— Ramona S. Diaz, filmmaker, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey

At film festivals, the award that often matters most to filmmakers and their subjects alike is the Audience Award. They know they’ve struck a chord when the audience applauds their efforts.

The Independent Lens audience has the opportunity to stand up and be counted by rating each film throughout the season. At the end of the season, the highest rated film is honored.

Rate the films as you see them, and help us identify this season’s audience favorite!

  • Independent Lens Fall 2014 Films

    Alex Libby sits on front steps with his parents.

    Highlighting the challenges faced by bullied kids, Bully shows parents and teachers addressing aggressive behaviors beyond “kids will be kids” clichés, and captures a growing movement to change how bullying is handled.

  • Twin sisters Mia and Alexandra are reunited in Norway, sit on dock with sea behind them.

    Two sisters adopted in China as infants by Californian and Norwegian parents grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. Although language is a barrier, their bond grows deeper and they arrange to finally meet.

  • The aftermath of the Amagasaki commuter train crash.

    What led the driver of a Japanese commuter train to accelerate perilously, causing a deadly crash? Piecing together personal accounts of those affected by the tragedy, Brakeless poses a question for a society that equates speed with progress: have what were once national virtues, punctuality and compliance, become dangerous?

  • Outlaw electrician Loha strips the insulation from a wire with his bare teeth

    In Kanpur, India, a city with 15-hour power outages, an outlaw electrician provides Robin Hood-style services to the poor. Meanwhile, the first female chief of the electricity utility company is on a mission to dismantle the illegal connections for good.

  • Pyangki, the boy monk, looks at the lights of the city.

    A 9-year-old monk has never before left his Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas, where the nearest road is a three-day walk. When connected to electricity for the first time, he treks to the nearest city in search of a television, in a story of the bittersweet seduction of technology and progress.