Hollywood Multitasker Tamra Davis Remembers Her Friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Director Tamra Davis is hardly an “outsider artist.” She is a well-known Hollywood director of music videos (with Sonic Youth, Hanson, Depeche Mode, Cher, and many more), feature films (including Billy Madison, Half Baked, and Crossroads with Britney Spears), and television series (My Name is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris, and Ugly Betty, among others). She … READ MORE

Artists Month Delivers Films, Interactive Features to Independent Lens

Thank you to all who stuck with us through pledge and helped support public broadcasting and independent programming! Spring is upon us, and the Independent Lens team has grown a crop of great arts films and challenging online extras to celebrate. (More about that after the jump!) Meanwhile, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger is … READ MORE

Unearthing the Miraculous in a Far Away Land

Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev discovered a book at a flea market in Moscow about Russian avant-garde art that miraculously survived Soviet censorship. That chance encounter led to many years traveling back and forth between Los Angeles, Moscow, and Uzbekistan, piecing together the history of the most remarkable trove of modern art you’ve probably never … READ MORE

Which Woman Has Inspired You Most? A Contest

It’s contest time again! First, tune in tonight (March 29, 2011 at 10 PM – check local listings) for the broadcast premiere of Pushing the Elephant. It is the story of Rose Mapendo, who has managed to overcome astounding odds to survive genocide in the Congo, resettle as a refugee in the United States, reunite … READ MORE

Immeasurable Pain, Unlimited Hope: The Making of Pushing the Elephant

Beth Davenport (left) and Elizabeth Mandel are the filmmakers behind Pushing the Elephant, a film about faith, family, and forgiveness in the most extreme circumstances imaginable. The film premieres on Independent Lens on Tuesday, March 29 at 10 PM (check your local listings). We sat down with the directors to talk about telling such an … READ MORE

Desert of Forbidden Art Museum Threatened in Uzbekistan

On April 5, we’ll be premiering the film The Desert of Forbidden Art on Independent Lens (check local listings). As the film opens theatrically in a few select cities in the United States, its subject — the remarkable collection of suppressed Soviet-era art that was hidden away in Uzbekistan far from the eyes of communist … READ MORE

Live Chat with NewsHour: The Congo and Beyond

To honor the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, we’re co-hosting a live online discussion with ITVS and PBS News Hour about violence against women in the Congo and beyond. Our chat, hosted by NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan, centers on the upcoming Independent Lens documentary Pushing the Elephant, and will explore the effects of … READ MORE

Seth Thomas, Featured in Knocking, Dies

Sad news from Joel Engardio, director of the 2007 audience favorite Knocking. Seth Thomas, the young man in the film who received a transfusion-free liver transplant to remain true to his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness, passed away on February 14. He was 30 years old.

Me Facing Life: Seeking Redemption in Cyntoia’s Story

Dan Birman spent six years capturing the evolution and nuances of a case that is both depressingly common and refreshingly multifaceted. He met 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown after she murdered a man. Instead of a lost cause, he found a very bright young woman trapped in a juvenile justice system that leaves no room for redemption. … READ MORE

Director Leyser and Subject Burroughs Shared a Disdain for Convention

Yony Leyser’s first feature documentary William S. Burroughs: A Man Within is screening at film festivals all over Europe right now and coming back to the United States for more dates this spring. The film makes its broadcast debut on Independent Lens this Tuesday, February 22, 2011. We sat down with Yony, the two-time film … READ MORE

The Ultimate William S. Burroughs Quiz

William S. Burroughs was one eccentric dude. His active war on conventional wisdom and propriety helped America loosen up considerably. As one of the iconic American authors of the 20th century, he will be known for the novel Naked Lunch for centuries to come — not so much for what it is about (come to … READ MORE

Egyptian Revolution is a Teachable Moment

The Independent Television Service (which produces Independent Lens) and PBS NewsHour have partnered to help provide Egypt & Democracy, an amazing range of resources for educators to help frame events in Egypt for students in a historical and global context. Included is a live online event on Tuesday, February 15, at 11 AM PST. Entitled … READ MORE