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

Live Chat with Best Doc Oscar Nominee Lucy Walker

Filmmaker Lucy Walker joined us for a live chat on Wednesday, February 9 to talk about her film Waste Land. The documentary, which airs April 19 on Independent Lens has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film follows Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, who travels to his native Rio de Janiero … READ MORE

Congo Survivor Weighs in on Tucson Shootings

Rose Mapendo — the subject of the upcoming Independent Lens film Pushing the Elephant — lost her husband and home to the ethnic violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1990s, and emigrated to Phoenix in 2000 as a refugee. Yet she emerged from the suffering advocating for forgiveness and reconciliation, … READ MORE

When I Rise Filmmakers Talk Civil Rights, Opera, and Tacos

Part of our slate for African American History Month, When I Rise premieres on Independent Lens Tuesday, February 8 on PBS (check local listings). As we do with all of our premieres, we asked the filmmakers to sit down and answer a few probing questions about making the film and about filmmaking in general. Director … READ MORE

For Once in My Life Director Finds Inspiration at Band Practice

Filmmaker Jim Bigham sat down with Independent Lens to talk about making For Once in My Life, and how his subjects inspired him to make a film about people with mental and physical challenges that wasn’t condescending but rather expansively joyful. For Once in My Life premieres tonight at 10 PM on PBS (check local … READ MORE

Waste Land Gets Oscar Nod

The nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards are in, and included on the list for best documentary feature is Lucy Walker’s Waste Land. Premiering this April on Independent Lens, the doc follows Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, as he embarks on a project inspired by the trash pickers at the largest landfill on earth. Congratulations … READ MORE

Find and Use the Secret Word to Win Our Basquiat Poster

Yeah, we’re doing another contest because we really like giving stuff away. First, did you know that select Independent Lens films are screened in more than 95 communities nationwide — at schools, libraries, veteran’s halls, etc. — every month? It’s all part of our Community Cinema initiative designed to bring our films directly to you … READ MORE

PBS Arts Features Eric Joisel, Between the Folds

We’re excited to unveil a multimedia project we developed with filmmaker Vanessa Gould for the new PBS Arts website. It is called Between the Folds: Eric Joisel 1956-2010, and it honors one of the biggest characters in Gould’s film Between the Folds, Eric Joisel. Joisel sadly passed away in October, and we are pleased to … READ MORE

Watch TV, Answer a Question, Win a Prize

We’re celebrating the new spring season by launching a new contest for our Independent Lens fans on Facebook! We’re calling it Watch to Win, and we want you to be ready for it before next Tuesday night Jan. 18, when we’re rebroadcasting the Peabody Award-winning film Between the Folds (check your local listings for the … READ MORE