Category Archives: Behind the FIlms

1971 Followup: A Conversation with Laura Poitras and Betty Medsger

Laura Poitras won an Academy Award for CitizenFour, her film about Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to the mainstream media and is now living in exile abroad. Betty Medsger wrote the book The Burglary: The Discovery … Continue reading

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Maro Chermayeff on the Making of A Path Appears




From the creative team behind the acclaimed series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, A Path Appears follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and a group of dedicated actor/advocates to Colombia, Haiti, Kenya, … Continue reading




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From Norway to California: Twin Sisters Filmmaker Captures Sibling Bond




Making its American television premiere on Independent Lens on PBS this Monday, October 20 [check local listings], Twin Sisters tells the story of the remarkable journey of identical twins, adopted by families from opposite ends of the world who discover their daughters are … Continue reading




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From RealScreen: Archive masterclass on making “Let the Fire Burn”




Super piece by Adam Benzine on Let the Fire Burn‘s extensive, exhaustive archival process, with insight from filmmaker Jason Osder: “Archive masterclass: Making Let the Fire Burn‘.”  The film had its television premiere on Independent Lens in May.




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Rest in Peace, Jimmy Scott




Jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott, the subject of the Independent Lens documentary (and 2004 IL Audience Award Winner) Jimmy Scott: If Only You Knew, passed away June 12 at the age of 88.  Scott’s life and career was a real rollercoaster, which started with … Continue reading




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Let the Fire Burn: The MOVE Bombings 29 Years Later




It’s the week of the 29th anniversary of the MOVE bombings, and for those who were in the middle of it and are still with us, the memories of those tragic events still linger all these years later. As the haunting story … Continue reading




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Meet the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble




Enjoy this collection of additional videos and links to check out more from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who are the center of Reuben Atlas‘s new Independent Lens documentary Brothers Hypnotic, premiering tonight April 7 at 10pm on PBS (check local … Continue reading




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Reuben Atlas Gets Down to Brass Tacks with Brothers Hypnotic




New York-based producer, director, and “non-practicing lawyer” Reuben Atlas has filmmaking in the bloodlines and music frequently on his mind, so it’s perhaps no huge surprise that he wanted to combine the two interests when running across the all-in-the-family Hypnotic … Continue reading




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Filmmaker Cristina Ibarra Explores Unique Debutante Ball in Las Marthas




Cristina Ibarra’s critically-acclaimed documentary The Last Conquistador had a national broadcast on PBS’s P.O.V., and now she’s returning to PBS with Las Marthas, which premieres on Independent Lens Monday, February 17 at 10 PM (check local listings). The Texas-raised filmmaker went … Continue reading




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Filmmakers Explore The State of Arizona




Doing a fair-minded film about an issue as contentious as U.S. immigration policy is no easy task, but filmmakers Catherine Tambini and Carlos Sandoval aren’t strangers to dealing with some of the more painful aspects of immigration. Their previous film … Continue reading




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