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Welcome Our New Host, Stanley Tucci

It’s official! Our 11th season will be hosted by the acclaimed actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci! From The Hunger Games to Independent Lens … a logical progression, wouldn’t you say? (We can’t help it, some of us around the office have started referring to him as “The Tooch.”) Tucci has appeared in more than 50 … READ MORE

Herb & Dorothy Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki on the Death of Herb Vogel

You might remember the inspirational couple Herb and Dorothy Vogel from Independent Lens‘s 2009 film Herb & Dorothy. The pair assembled one of the most important post-1960 art collections in history on their modest civil-service salaries. Sadly, Herb Vogel passed away this July just before his 90th birthday. Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki had grown close to … READ MORE

A Documentarian Reflects on the Sikh Shootings

Filmmaker Sharat Raju is no stranger to the misperceptions that haunt the Sikh community. In 2003, he wrote and directed the Independent Lens short fiction film American Made about a Sikh family stranded in the desert. After the family’s car breaks down, passersby are reluctant to give them a ride because of the father’s turban. … READ MORE

Independent Lens Snags Five Emmy Nominations!

We arrived in the office this morning to fantastic news! Four Independent Lens films have been nominated for a total of five Emmy Awards! We are thrilled that these remarkable filmmakers are receiving such a well-deserved honor. Congratulations to all of you! And the nominees are … OUTSTANDING CONTINUING COVERAGE OF A NEWS STORY – … READ MORE

The History of the Quest for the Elusive God Particle

Back in 2008, we premiered the film The Atom Smashers, about Fermilab and the search for the Higgs-boson particle, which physicists Wednesday confirmed probably does exist. In light of the news, we’re making the film available in its entirety online (for a limited time) for people curious about the political, scientific, and philosophical history of … READ MORE

Ai Weiwei Bail Lifted — but Threats of New Charges Loom

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and dissident at the heart of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (coming to Independent Lens next season), reports that his bail was lifted after a hearing today, and he has left his compound for the first time in a year without having to alert the police of his plans. However, his … READ MORE

Whatever Happened to … the Garbage Pickers from Waste Land?

What could be more embarrassing than hosting the UN Conference on Sustainable Development with the world’s largest dump festering in your backyard? That’s why the Rio +20 conference (June 20-22) prompted Rio de Janeiro to close its Jardim Gramacho landfill, which had been oozing toxic waste into sensitive marshland for 34 years. While it is … READ MORE

Chinese Delegation Pulls Out of Doc/Fest over Ai Weiwei Film

realscreen reports today that “[a] delegation of 10 Chinese commissioning editors has pulled out of attending Sheffield Doc/Fest at the last minute, after the UK festival refused demands from the Chinese Embassy in London to drop Alison Klayman’s doc Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry from its program.” realscreen reports: “Two ‘meet the commissioners’ conference sessions were … READ MORE

Explainer: How Can You Be Half-American and Still Not a Citizen?

Born abroad? You might not be welcomed aboard. To gain U.S. citizenship, applicants might need more than an American parent. This explainer walks you through the laws that surround this week’s show, Left by the Ship (airing May 24 on Independent Lens — check local listings). If you know anyone who’s applied for U.S. citizenship, you’ve … READ MORE