Space Scientists of Color, and the “Afronauts”

By Satu Runa What drives humankind to explore? There are several factors that can embolden a person to “seek out new civilizations” or “boldly go where no one has gone before,” to borrow from Star Trek‘s famous opener. History has taught us that famine, war, strife, and persecution can drive people away from their home … READ MORE

Women of the Space Agency: Once Forbidden, No Longer Hidden

By Heather Archuletta In July of 1999, on Apollo 11’s 30th anniversary, at a Kennedy Space Center press conference, NASA astronaut and first moonwalker Neil Armstrong lamented, “School children used to say, ‘We are reading about you in science class.’ Now they say, ‘We are reading about you in history class.’” 

Which “Tales of the City” Character Are You?

It’s been 41 years since Armistead Maupin‘s first Tales of the City book was published, 26 years since the initial PBS series based on that book aired, and now with a new incarnation premiering on Netflix, we thought it would be fun to return to the core of the books and find out: what Tales … READ MORE

The 2018-19 Independent Lens Audience Award Goes to… (Updated)

Update (6/11): With voting now closed, we’ve tabulated the winners, with a record number of votes for our Audience Award (topping last year’s record). And the prize goes to… Out of State Congrats to filmmaker Ciara Lacy and her team on this honor. And congrats as well to all the films on what was a very competitive … READ MORE

Filmmakers Capture Young Men Wrestling to Succeed and Be Seen

Wrestle may be the feature directing debut of the team of Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer, but after working for industry heavyweights like Martin Scorsese and Michael Moore, they hit the ground running and their award-winning, critically acclaimed film that has already been compared to Hoop Dreams and Friday Night Lights. The story of four … READ MORE

High School Coaches Wear Many Hats to Make an Impact

By Katrina Schwartz Driving kids home from practice, taking them to visit colleges, running and lifting weights with them out of season, answering the phone in the middle of the night when something has gone wrong — these are just a few of the many roles sports coaches take on for their players. The player/coach … READ MORE

Bernardo Ruiz Tells Story of the Central Role Latinos Play in California Wine Industry

Two-time Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz, who was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in Brooklyn, made his directorial feature debut with the PBS film Reportero, about attacks on the press in Mexico, which New York Magazine called “a powerful reminder of how journalism often requires immense amounts of physical and psychological bravery.” He’s followed that up with … READ MORE

Filmmaker Follows Incarcerated Native Hawaiians Discovering Their Indigenous Traditions

Native Hawaiian filmmaker Ciara Lacy has had her work aired on PBS, ABC, TLC, Discovery, Bravo and A&E, and was an inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow for Indigenous Artists. A graduate of Yale and Hawai’i’s Kamehameha Schools, Lacy’s first documentary short, shot for the Guardian Online, chronicled a unique homeless encampment in Hawai’i and yielded over … READ MORE