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Test Your Documentary Know-How!

It’s summer, and we’re basking in a plethora of great docs in theaters, on PBS, and online. We need to keep ourselves sharp, so we test each other on our documentary prowess now and again. This time, we’re inviting you to join in. Help us test our new quiz tool by taking this quick quiz … READ MORE

Independent Lens Nominated for Five Emmys

We are extremely proud to report that five Independent Lens films scored Emmy Award nominations this week! Mostly, we are thrilled for the amazing and creative independent filmmakers who toil to tell these stories, and who deserve all of the praise an laurels we can heap upon them. Huzzah and hooray to one and all! … READ MORE

Judy Shepard: Children, Hate Crimes, and a Community of Grief and Progress

Judy Shepard lost her son Matthew in 1998 in a horrific hate crime. She is now the president and co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. She sent us this blog post in anticipation of Tuesday’s broadcast of Two Spirits. The film premieres at 10 PM on June 14 on most PBS stations (check local listings). … READ MORE

Women and Girls Lead Featured at PBS Annual Meeting

We kicked it off with Bhutto two weeks ago, and last week the PBS family assembled in Orlando, Florida and discussed the ITVS initiative Women and Girls Lead. Check out this panel moderated by Pat Harrison, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and featuring actor Geena Davis, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger, Pulitzer … READ MORE

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is Coming to Independent Lens!

Based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the series Half the Sky:¬†Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide¬†will premiere as a special presentation on Independent Lens in Fall 2012. The project is a cornerstone of the recently announced Women and Girls Lead campaign. ITVS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced … 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

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

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

Crisis in Haiti Especially Dire for Children

Children of Haiti premieres on Independent Lens tonight at 10 PM (check local listings). As tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake approaches, the media is alight with stories of rebuilding efforts, humanitarian missions, the still-desperate conditions inside the tent camps which sprung up around Port-au-Prince after the disaster left millions homeless. But what often … READ MORE

Ask Not Director Johnny Symons Attends DADT Repeal Signing

Johnny Symons, director of the films Ask Not (Independent Lens, 2009) and Daddy & Papa (Independent Lens, 2002), was invited to attend the ceremony for President Obama’s signing of the repeal of the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which forced gay military personnel to serve in secrecy or be discharged. Emotional as he left … READ MORE

The Resurgence of the Documentary

Kenneth Turan, the Los Angeles Times film critic, devoted his year-end column to documentary films, which he says enjoyed “remarkable resurgence” in 2010: “It’s also hardly a secret that the major studios have, with periodic exceptions, all but given up on making films with the adult audience specifically in mind. So where are moviegoers going … READ MORE

Five Independent Lens Films Win IDA Awards

Wow, what a weekend. The International Documentary Awards bestowed high honors on several films that will make their broadcast premiere on Independent Lens in coming months. We want to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the filmmakers and give you our viewers a look at the trailers for these exceptional films. The winners, announced last week … READ MORE