Director Finds Real Life Superheroes with “Conviction”

Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer, also the program director of the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University, has made acclaimed films about a wide collection of topics, from song-poems to Nollywood (Nigerian) film to FBI informants, but each tells a very human and compelling story. And his new film, the Tribeca Special Jury Award-winning True … READ MORE

True Conviction – “Get Me Out of Prison, Man” – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film True Conviction, Christopher Scott, exonerated former prisoner-turned-investigator, talks with a distraught Isaiah Hill whom Scott feels is wrongly imprisoned. Isaiah takes him through the day of a failed robbery he was eventually arrested for, and how a racist DA ended up getting him life in prison. Scott … READ MORE

Winnie

One of the more misunderstood and intriguing contemporary female political figures, Winnie Mandela’s rise and seeming fall from grace bear the hallmarks of epic tragedy. Winnie explores her life and contribution to the struggle to bring down apartheid in South Africa from the inside, with intimate insight from Winnie herself, those closest to her and … READ MORE

Dolores

With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt’s Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.

Peter Bratt Feels the Calling to Tell Dolores Huerta’s Story

Filmmaker Peter Bratt‘s first feature Follow Me Home, a San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award winner, was produced with his brother Benjamin Bratt, which they followed with the heartfelt indie film La Mission, shot on location in their hometown of San Francisco,  “an honest attempt to portray the destructiveness of violence in the Latino community” (Hollywood Reporter). … READ MORE

Rat Film

In his critically-acclaimed directorial debut, Theo Anthony uses the rat to burrow into the dark, complicated history of Baltimore. A unique blend of history, science and sci-fi, poetry and portraiture, Rat Film explores how racial segregation, discriminatory lending practices known as “redlining,” and environmental racism built the Baltimore that exists today.

Filmmaker Theo Anthony’s Ratty Exploration of Urban Segregation

In the New York Times critics’ pick review of Theo Anthony’s Rat Film, Jeannette Catsoulis wrote: “Equal parts disturbing and humorous, informative and bizarre, Rat Film is a brilliantly imaginative and formally experimental essay on how Baltimore has dealt with its rat problem and manipulated its black population.” She continues, “Anthony shines as much light on racist urban … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising

The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, the latest documentary … READ MORE

Dolores – Young Dolores Huerta Takes on Sacramento – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film Dolores, we see how activist Dolores Huerta, when she was just starting out as a community organizer in her mid-20s in 1959, quickly made a name for herself as a lobbyist and fierce advocate for Latinos, immigration rights, and labor justice. Her dedication helped get key legislation passed … READ MORE

HBCU Grads Share Their Stories of Campus Life

Graduates of Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are proud alums, and in connection with the Independent Lens film Tell Them We Are Rising, which tells the 170 years—and rising—history of HBCUs, we found a few who were happy to tell their own stories of life on an HBCU campus. These are just a sampling of … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising – Separate But Unequal – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Tell Them We Are Rising, future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, not a great student when an undergrad at Lincoln University but who became a brilliant legal mind at Howard University Law School, takes a road trip in 1934 with Howard Law dean Charles Hamilton Houston to … READ MORE