Independent Lens Wins Best Curated Series and Other Honors at 2015 IDA Awards

Independent Lens scored at the 2015 IDA Awards, handed out this weekend in Los Angeles. The prestigious awards are selected by the International Documentary Association every year to honor the year’s best in documentary filmmaking. The full list of winners was published on Variety. For the third year in a row, Independent Lens won Best Curated Series, this time … READ MORE

Blood Brother Update from Rocky Braat: Continuing the Story

Since Blood Brother aired on Independent Lens in early 2014, many of the film’s fans continue to ask how Rocky Braat and the kids he works with in India are doing. We posted one update on Rocky awhile back. But from the filmmakers comes this special video update, in time for World AIDS Day (December 1st). From … READ MORE

Sad News about Robin Poor Bear

This weekend we received sad news about the subject of the Independent Lens/FRONTLINE film Kind Hearted Woman. Robin Poor Bear, a.k.a. Charboneau, passed away this Friday at home in North Dakota. We will continue to share updates as they are released. Our hearts here at Independent Lens go out to Robin’s family, especially her two children. It … READ MORE

The Cost of Love: Caring for Adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Did you know that November is National Family Caregiver Month? (Here are some suggested ways of thanking the caregivers in your life.) The care of aging adults is a problem we all face, especially with more and more Americans living longer, but caring for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) makes the aging process all the more … READ MORE

Sophie Sartain Finds Resonance in Her Family’s Caregiving Story

Longtime documentary film writer, editor, and fundraiser Sophie Sartain decided to go personal for her directorial debut. Her film Mimi and Dona, which premieres on Independent Lens on PBS, Monday, November 23 at 10:30 pm [check local listings], enters the world of Sophie’s grandmother and developmentally disabled aunt, who after sixty years together face their inevitable separation. Shot over … READ MORE

Anti-Rape Culture Activism Takes to the Streets and Online

When you watch the harrowing, even jaw-dropping, film India’s Daughter, which premieres Monday on Independent Lens [check local listings], the case of the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh will stay with you long afterwards. Anti-rape activists in the film and those spurred on by similar cases hope to create a lasting impression, inspiring discussion and activism … READ MORE

India’s Daughter Director Leslee Udwin on the Rape Case that Shocked a Nation

It should go without saying that documentary filmmakers put their hearts and souls into their films, but the gender-equality activism at the core of Leslee Udwin’s new film, India’s Daughter, became the central cause in her life, especially when the Indian government banned the film in the country it sought to change. The film, which premieres tonight, Monday … READ MORE

Eight Gripping Documentaries (and Five Feature Films) to Watch on Veterans Day

Established in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, Veterans Day (which is always November 11, to commemorate the date when WWI armistice was signed) has become a tradition to “honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” While we all applaud the services of veterans, not many … READ MORE

“Stray Dog” Updates: Ron Advises Veterans and His Stepsons Check In

Stray Dog filmmaker Debra Granik, on our behalf, checked back in with the subjects of her film, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, and his Mexican-born stepsons, Angel and Jesús, to see how they were faring these days.  Ron wanted to focus specifically on veterans. To follow up on a question I asked Granik about how veterans respond to the film, … READ MORE

Debra Granik Goes Back to Missouri for Stray Dog

Filmmaker Debra Granik helped bring actresses Vera Farmiga and Jennifer Lawrence much-deserved fame with her two acclaimed feature films Down to the Bone and Winter’s Bone, respectively. Winter’s Bone in particular, which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay, made Granik herself a hot name in the film world — a world in need of … READ MORE

Five Seriously Scary Documentaries for Halloween

It’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction, and while that may be accurate in some cases, it’s also true that truth can be a lot scarier than fiction. As creepy as Halloween, The Exorcist, or Psycho may be, the viewer can always take a bit of solace from the fact that, well, it’s all … READ MORE

Independent Lens and POV Are the Most Diverse Documentary Series on TV

Last week, the Center for Media & Social Impact released the results of its audit on diversity in commercial and public documentary television, and ranked Independent Lens and our sister series POV at the top. CMSI reviewed 165 docs that aired over the last two years in the U.S., comparing socially-conscious films presented by HBO, CNN, and on PBS programs.