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The 2011 Independent Lens Audience Award Winner is … Two Spirits!

At film festivals, the award that often matters most to filmmakers and their subjects alike is the Audience Award. They know they’ve struck a chord when the audience applauds their efforts. The race for the most coveted award of the year for Independent Lens came down to the last 30 minutes of voting. Our top … 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

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

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

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

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

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

Mikey Welsh Trades Rock ‘n’ Roll Stardom for Outsider Art

Mikey Welsh is a painter living in Burlington, Vermont. He worked in collage and watercolors until the age of 19, when he began his music career. By the age of 30, he had achieved international fame as the bassist for the alt-rock band Weezer. The touring and drugs and stress of the rock ‘n’ roll … READ MORE

Hollywood Multitasker Tamra Davis Remembers Her Friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Director Tamra Davis is hardly an “outsider artist.” She is a well-known Hollywood director of music videos (with Sonic Youth, Hanson, Depeche Mode, Cher, and many more), feature films (including Billy Madison, Half Baked, and Crossroads with Britney Spears), and television series (My Name is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris, and Ugly Betty, among others). She … 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

The Spring Season is Chock Full of Indie Goodness

OK, so maybe we’re not super excellent at keeping secrets, but we’re excitable. Finally we can tell everyone about our whole spring schedule for Independent Lens! Check out some of the amazing new films we’ve got coming at you in 2011 (and a few viewer favorites coming back for encores). We’ve got films that have … READ MORE