Indie Lens Wins 4 News & Doc Emmys graphic

It was a big night for Independent Lens. We were thrilled to be honored with four News and Documentary Emmy® Awards at a ceremony held on Tuesday, September 24 in New York City. All told, Independent Lens received a total of 12 nominations, the most of any PBS series. PBS led all networks with a total of 47 News and Documentary Emmy® nominations, and was honored with nine wins

The 40th annual News & Doc Emmy® Awards, as announced by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), were presented at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and honored films distributed in 2018. 

Independent Lens has now won 24 News & Documentary Emmys.  

“We’re exceptionally proud to have funded and supported the filmmakers whose work was honored with News & Documentary Emmy Awards last night,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. “We’re especially pleased that the teams from Dawnland, Wildland and I Am Not Your Negro were recognized for their exceptional storytelling. These films allow people to find unity in divided times by creating empathy and a deeper understanding of complex, urgent social issues. By making these extraordinary films free and accessible to all Americans via public television, Independent Lens continues to build the public trust in PBS as the Home of Documentaries.”

We extend a very hearty congratulations to all the teams behind these award-winning Independent Lens documentaries. [Update: We’ve added video clips of the award speeches below.]

And the Emmys went to…

I Am Not Your Negro, by Raoul Peck: Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary

An Academy Award nominee as well, the film envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dawnland, by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip: Outstanding Research

Dawnland follows the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S., which investigated the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities.

Wildland, by Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski, with two wins:  Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary; Outstanding Editing: Documentary

Wildland follows a firefighting crew as they struggle with fear, loyalty, love and defeat over the course of a single wildfire season in this intimate story of a small group of men – their exterior world, their interior lives, and the fire that lies between.


And we also salute all of the Independent Lens’ News & Documentary Emmy nominations, all much-deserved (if we do say so ourselves):

The Judge, by Erika Cohn

Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary

The Cleaners, by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block 

Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary

Dawnland, by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip

Outstanding Music and Sound

Dolores, by Peter Bratt

Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary

I Am Not Your Negroby Raoul Peck

Best Documentary

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, by Stanley Nelson

Outstanding Historical Documentary

Wildland, by Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski

Outstanding Nature: Documentary

Unrest, by Jennifer Brea 

Outstanding Editing: Documentary


What films could be honored with Emmys next year? Check out our list of films coming this Fall for a preview.