Women and Girls Lead: A New Public Media Initiative

It has been a pretty exciting week around here. On Monday, President and CEO of the Independent Television Service Sally Jo Fifer announced the launch of an ambitious multiyear, multiplatform campaign to bring the powerful storytelling power of independent media to bear on issues surround women and girls worldwide. On Tuesday, we premiered Bhutto, the … READ MORE

Meet Sophia Nahli Allison, Our Winning Viewer Artist!

Aspiring filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison won our Artists Month contest for her striking self-portrait, entitled “Unrequited Love.” We asked her about her art and her life, her guilty pleasures and inspirations, and why Independent Lens matters to her. Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My mother was … READ MORE

The Danger and Pathos of Shooting the BHUTTO Doc

The day after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, political consultant and film producer and director Duane Baughman was on the phone with his colleague Mark Siegel, who had been a close personal friend and confidante of Bhutto’s. In their grief, the two hatched a plan to shoot a film about the Pakistani politician, … READ MORE

Behind Independent Lens: Fighting for Diverse Public Media

We get the questions often enough here at Independent Lens about PBS, the federal budget, and the idea of publicly funded media in general. Many of our viewers probably aren’t aware that PBS is not a network in the same sense that CBS or even CNN are. Also true is that Independent Lens is produced … READ MORE

Ever Have a Teacher Who Changed Your Life?

Teachers — often overworked, frequently underappreciated, sometimes demonized, usually meagerly compensated. But all of us have had teachers who helped us grow up and make sense of the world, and to find our place in it. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (but really all year long) we want educators to get the props (and … READ MORE

Viewer Tracy Chiles McGhee is One Inspired Woman

During Women’s History Month, we aired a number of documentaries featuring incredibly smart, brave, and talented women including Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai (Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai) and Rose Mapendo (Pushing the Elephant). That got us to thinking about all of the amazing women in the world and how each of … READ MORE

And the Artists Month Viewer Contest Winners Are ….

Honestly, we are humbled and amazed by all of the artists who submitted their work to us for our Are You a Visionary? art contest in honor of our Artists Month slate of documentaries for April. Never in the history of our user contests have we had a response nearing it. Thank you artists and … READ MORE

Marwencol Director Reflects on a Man, His Dolls, and the Touch of Genius

Jeff Malmberg, director of Marwencol, took on much more than just a film project when he decided to shoot a documentary about Mark Hogancamp. Intrigued by a magazine article about Mark and his imaginary backyard universe, Jeff had to earn the trust of a man who had been misunderstood and brutalized by the outside world … READ MORE

Vote for Your Favorite Independent Lens Viewer Artist!

OK, so we asked you to enter our “Are You a Visionary?” art contest, and boy, did you ever wow us with your talent. We never want Artists Month to end! In fact, we had originally planned to have only 10 finalists, but it was so hard to choose only 10 (and some of us … READ MORE

We’re Livestreaming Garbage Dreams Thursday for Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day, we’re hosting an exclusive live online screening of the highly acclaimed documentary, Garbage Dreams by Mai Iskander on Thursday, April 21, 9PM EDT 6PM PDT on our Facebook page and the Independent Lens Livestream channel. Filmed over four years, the documentary goes inside the world of Egypt’s Zaballeen (Arabic for … READ MORE

Are You a Visionary? Enter Our Artists Month Contest

In celebration of Artists Month, we’re putting out a call for entries for you — our creative audience — to create and submit a piece of artwork that best reflects you. We’re looking for expressions of identity and creativity here: Perhaps it’s a self-portrait, or a photograph of a beloved object, a diorama scene, or … READ MORE

For Your Tuesday: Basquiat, and a Live Chat with Our Artists Month Filmmakers

In celebration of Artists Month, we are hosting a live chat today in collaboration with PBS NewsHour’s Art Beat and ITVS. Join us RIGHT HERE for a discussion about creativity, transformation, outsider art, and the love of great storytelling with the filmmakers behind this month’s slate of amazing docs. Join us right here at 7 … READ MORE