Camilla Nielsson Gets Unprecedented Access to a Constitution in the Making

Filmmaker Camilla Nielsson is based in Denmark but works all over the globe. Her previous films were set in Afghanistan, Mumbai, and Darfur. Then she turned her attention to Zimbabwe to capture an important and tumultuous period in its political history for her film, Democrats, which won Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca Film Festival and Best Director at One World Human Rights Film Festival, among numerous other … READ MORE

Independent Lens Nominated for Webby Awards

Three projects from Independent Lens have been recognized by the Webby Awards, the leading international awards for excellence on the Internet, which were called “the Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times. The nominees, selected by members of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, include the newly relaunched website for Independent Lens, … READ MORE

“Leith” Filmmakers Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker Capture a Town in a Powderkeg

Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker have produced eye-popping, gritty fare before, including an acclaimed film about street dancing, Flex Is Kings, and the HBO film Hard Times: Lost in Long Island (which Walker edited), but making Welcome to Leith was a different experience altogether. The award-winning directorial duo went from urban New York to remote, rural North Dakota to … READ MORE

Magic in the Modern Age: Do You (Still) Believe in Magic?

Legendary stage magician and escapologist James “The Amazing” Randi broke out of 22 jails during his career, going so far as to break Harry Houdini’s record of time spent inside a coffin submerged in water (104 minutes to Houdini’s 93). As seen in the film An Honest Liar (which premieres on Independent Lens on PBS Monday, … READ MORE

Independent Lens Film “Tower” Wins 2016 SXSW Grand Jury Prize

Austin was an extremely appropriate place to premiere the film Tower, which revisits the 1966 sniper shootings at the University of Texas at Austin, considered the first mass shooting on a college campus in the United States. Many of the survivors and heroes from that devastating day fifty years ago were on hand to witness the … READ MORE

The Unmaking of: Stories of the Greatest Films Never Made

The “making of” documentary has become a lively subgenre of nonfiction filmmaking, thanks in large part to the explosion of home video and the proliferation of cable channels in the past few decades. Once a purely promotional creation to run in theaters or on entertainment TV shows, the mix of behind-the-scene peeks, production footage, and … READ MORE

Documentaries for Movie Geeks: Films About Films

Once you’ve watched a beloved movie two or three times, you start to crave a little more information about the film’s conception, production, and cultural impact, among other things. So you hit the internet to read a few articles or (hey!) check out the DVD audio commentary that you’d totally forgotten about. And then there … READ MORE

Update on Fihi from In Football We Trust

Those who saw the Independent Lens film In Football We Trust will remember one of the four student-athletes featured in the film, “Fihi” Kaufusi, who was trying to fight through a rough upbringing to make it as a football player. We wanted to update you on a awful, dramatic, tragic turn to Fihi’s story, as the former Weber State … READ MORE

June Cross Tells the Story of a Family Fighting HIV in South Carolina

June Cross, who has two national Emmys and two duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards to her credit and is the founder of the Documentary Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, has always been interested in documenting families and issues of public health. Both converge in the most moving of ways for her new film Wilhemina’s … READ MORE

African Americans Hit Hardest by HIV in the South

While HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence to the same extent it was 20 years ago, 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with HIV each year, and the disparities are startling when broken down by race, gender, and region. As reflected in June Cross’s film Wilhemina’s War [premieres February 29; check local listings], which puts a human … READ MORE