The Offspring of Birth of a Nation

D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation is inarguably one of the landmarks of American cinema. The distillation of the storytelling techniques, editing ideas, framing and visual composition, and nuanced approaches to performance that Griffith spent years exploring and experimenting with in short subjects and mid-length films, it was the longest and most ambitious American … READ MORE

Independent Lens Film “I Am Not Your Negro” Nominated for 2017 Academy Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the nominations for the 89th Oscars and Independent Lens was thrilled to learn that I Am Not Your Negro [official site] received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary. Raoul Peck‘s film, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and which was called “one of the best movies you are likely … READ MORE

Filmmaker James Solomon Peels Back the Mythology of the Kitty Genovese Story

The Witness  may be James Solomon’s first film as director, but his vast experience as a storyteller made him the perfect fit for reopening this case. The Witness, which made the Oscar shortlist, took 11 years to make, patiently following Kitty Genovese’s brother Bill’s dogged search for the truth about her harrowing murder in 1964, as … READ MORE

Philbert McLeod: Never Conquered (and Rest in Peace)

In this piece created for Independent Lens by filmmaker Mat Hames, we get to know more about Eastern Shoshone tribal elder Philbert McLeod, one of the stars of Hames’ Independent Lens documentary What Was Ours. Philbert had an incredible breadth of knowledge about his tribe’s history, and fought for America in Vietnam, for which he … READ MORE

Native American Artifacts Tell a Story of Loss, Betrayal and Survival

Editor’s note: Author Jordan Dresser is featured in the Independent Lens film What Was Ours. He is a journalist, holds a Master’s in Museum Studies, and is passionate about Native American history and culture.  By Jordan Dresser If you listen closely, an item will tell you its story. It can be a story about its maker’s … READ MORE

Filmmaker Mat Hames Goes to Wind River to Amplify Native Voices

Award-winning filmmaker Mat Hames’s feature documentary, When I Rise, about African American mezzo-soprano and civil rights icon Barbara Conrad, was featured on Independent Lens and nominated for an IDA Documentary Award. One of Mat’s other films, Last Best Hope, about the Belgian Resistance during WWII, eventually led to him being knighted by the King of … READ MORE

Containment Filmmakers Go into the Future to Read the Warning Signs

Harvard professors and filmmakers Peter Galison and Robb Moss have been collaborating for a decade: first, in co-teaching a course, bringing student filmmakers into scientific laboratories to think about the way the real work of technology, medicine, and science could be put on film. Then, they co-directed Secrecy, a 2008 feature documentary about the moral, … READ MORE

For Filmmakers Geeta and Ravi Patel, Love Is a Family Affair

It was a long and winding road for sibling filmmakers Geeta Patel and her brother Ravi in the making of their film Meet the Patels — including not just the initial family trip to India, but many air miles racked up to attend matrimonial conventions and basically looking for love in all the wrong places while … READ MORE

Garrett Zevgetis Hacks Normal for a Best and Most Beautiful Film

While Boston-based filmmaker Garrett Zevgetis has made several short films and worked for PBS’s FRONTLINE, Best and Most Beautiful Things is his feature-length debut. Yet he’s already been named one of “10 Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent magazine: “Best and Most Beautiful Things is a portrait of a young woman’s journey to assert her identity and find … READ MORE

Meet the Patels on PBS Presents a Love Quiz!

Keeping with the “looking for love” theme of Meet the Patels, which makes its television debut on Independent Lens Monday, December 26, 2017 at 9 pm, we present you with a fun quiz that will tell you where you will most likely find true love! Even if you’re already “taken” we think you’ll still enjoy taking … READ MORE