Today, we’re excited to share with you the lineup from POV’s summer season, which starts June 22. POV is American television’s longest running independent documentary series and we’re getting ready for our 28th season on PBS of acclaimed, provocative films unlike anything else on television. Highlights from the season include the Oscar-nominated Cutie and the Boxer, an unprecedented look behind the Syrian insurgency in Return to Homs, and Point and Shoot, a film that will mark the 10th anniversary of filmmaker Marshall Curry’s first film (of many) on POV, the Oscar-nominated Street Fight.
View the lineup and help us spread the news about the films you’re looking forward to seeing most!
Out in the Night by blair dorosh-walther
June 22, 2015
In 2006, under the neon lights of a gay-friendly neighborhood in New York City, a group of African-American lesbians were violently threatened by a man on the street. The women fought back and were later charged with gang assault and attempted murder. The tabloids quickly dubbed them a gang of “Killer Lesbians” and a “Wolf Pack.” Three pleaded guilty to avoid a trial, but the remaining four — Renata, Patreese, Venice and Terrain — maintained their innocence. The award-winning Out in the Night examines the sensational case and the women’s uphill battle, revealing the role that race, gender identity and sexuality play in our criminal justice system.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/outinthenight
The Overnighters by Jesse Moss
June 29, 2015
Chasing the American dream, thousands of workers flock to a North Dakota town where the oil business is booming. But instead of well-paying jobs, many find slim work prospects and a severe housing shortage. Pastor Jay Reinke converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, allowing hundreds of men, some with checkered pasts, to stay despite the congregation’s objections and neighbors’ fears. When opposition to the “overnighters” reaches a boiling point, Pastor Jay makes a decision with shattering consequences. A modern-day Grapes of Wrath, The Overnighters tells an electrifying story about the promise of redemption and the limits of compassion.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/theovernighters
Tough Love by Stephanie Wang-Breal
July 6, 2015
What makes a good parent? How do you prove you are responsible after you’ve been deemed unfit? Having lost custody of their children to Child Protective Services, two parents — one in New York City and one in Seattle — fight to win back the trust of the courts and reunite their families in Stephanie Wang-Breal’s moving film. Acknowledging their past parenting mistakes due to poverty, poor choices and addiction, both Hannah and Patrick contend with a complex bureaucracy to prove they deserve a second chance.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/toughlove
Web Junkie by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia
July 13, 2015
Internet addiction has been declared a national health crisis in China, the first country in the world to classify this evolving diagnosis. Web Junkie follows the treatment of three Chinese teenagers, obsessive gamers whose preference for the virtual world over the real one is summed up in one jarring statement: “Reality is too fake.” Israeli filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia gained extraordinary access to a three-month military-style rehab program in Beijing, illuminating a process that, while stern, may help set a standard as the wider world comes to grips with the devastating consequences of excessive Internet use.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/webjunkie
Return to Homs by Talal Derki
July 20, 2015
War changes people, including 19-year-old Basset Saroot, who went from star goalkeeper for the Syrian national soccer team to peaceful advocate for Arab Spring reforms to armed insurgent. Return to Homs, which focuses on Basset and his ragtag group’s transformation and struggles, is a heart-stopping, often wrenching study of the brutal war President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has waged against the Syrian people—a war fought mostly out of camera range that has produced epic heroism and tragedy. Winner of Sundance’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, this is an unprecedented view inside a conflict that many accuse the world of overlooking.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/returntohoms
Tea Time by Maite Alberdi
July 27, 2015
Ritual is often associated with powerful and impersonal institutions, but for five Chilean women, ritual centers on a monthly gathering that has sustained them through 60 years of personal and societal change. Tea Time is a charming and poignant look at how a seemingly mundane routine of tea and pastries has helped the well-heeled participants commemorate life’s joys and cope with infidelity, illness and death. A celebration of the small things that help us endure, Tea Time, filmed over five years, illuminates a beautiful paradox: As familiar worlds slip away, friendships grow ever stronger and more profound.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/teatime
Beats of the Antonov by hajooj kuka
August 3, 2015
Sudan has been in an almost constant state of civil war since it achieved independence in 1956, and it split into a pair of sovereign states in 2011. On the border between the two, Russian-made Antonov planes indiscriminately drop bombs on settlements in the Nuba Mountains below. Yet, incredibly, the people of the Blue Nile respond to adversity with music, singing and dancing to celebrate their survival. Beats of the Antonov explores how music binds a community together, offering hope and a common identity for refugees engaged in a fierce battle to protect cultural traditions and heritage from those trying to obliterate them.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/beatsoftheantonov
Neuland by Anna Thommen
August 17, 2015
Meet the young students in Mr. Zingg’s integration class, who came to Switzerland by planes, trains and automobiles—and even by rubber boats. Separated from their families and in many cases traumatized by events in their home countries, these migrants from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Serbia and Venezuela already have long and arduous journeys behind them. Neuland (“New Territory”) follows the adolescents over two years as they struggle to learn a new language, prepare themselves for employment and reveal their innermost hopes and dreams. But as the end of school draws near, each student must face the same difficult question: Is there a place for me in this country?
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/neuland
Point and Shoot by Marshall Curry
August 24, 2015
Two-time Oscar® nominee Marshall Curry celebrates his 10th anniversary with POV with the amazing tale of Matt VanDyke. A timid 26-year-old with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matt left home in Baltimore in 2006 for what he called a “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and set off to film himself on a multi-year, 35,000-mile odyssey through North Africa and the Middle East. When revolution broke out in Libya, he joined the rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi, but was captured, sending his adventure in a frightening new direction. Point and Shoot joins Matt’s wild ride, exploring how in the age of the selfie we use cameras not just to capture our stories, but to craft them.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/pointandshoot
The Storm Makers by Guillaume Suon
August 31, 2015
More than half a million Cambodians work abroad, and a staggering number of those become slaves. Many are young women, held prisoner and forced to work in horrific conditions, sometimes as prostitutes. A chilling exposé of Cambodia’s human trafficking underworld, The Storm Makers weaves the story of Aya, a young peasant sold into slavery at age 16, with that of two powerful traffickers (known as “storm makers” for the havoc they wreak) who use deception to funnel a stream of poor and illiterate people across the country’s borders. French-Cambodian filmmaker Guillaume Suon presents an eye-opening look at the cycle of poverty, despair and greed that fuels this brutal modern slave trade.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/thestormmakers
Cutie and the Boxer by Zachary Heinzerling
Friday, September 18, 2015
The Academy Award®-nominated Cutie and the Boxer is a moving account of the chaotic and unconventional 40-year love affair and creative partnership between action painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko, also an artist. Ushio, who punches canvases with paint-laden gloves, is famous in Japan and in Manhattan’s art circles, yet wider recognition has eluded him. Noriko, 21 years his junior, put her artistic ambitions on hold to be a wife and mother — and an assistant to her demanding husband. Now, Noriko’s acclaimed “Cutie” series of drawings, depicting the relationship between the title character and a volatile figure named Bullie, is turning their world upside down. Winner,Directing Award: U.S. Documentary, 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/cutieandtheboxer
Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) by Mikaela Shwer
September 21, 2015
Since the age of 4, Angy Rivera has lived in the United States with a secret that threatens to upend her life: She is undocumented. Now 24 and facing an uncertain future, Rivera becomes an activist for undocumented youth with a popular advice blog and a YouTube channel boasting more than 27,000 views. She steps out of the shadows a second time to share her story of sexual abuse, an experience all too common among undocumented women. Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie”) follows Rivera’s remarkable journey from poverty in rural Colombia to the front page of The New York Times.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/donttellanyone
Art and Craft directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman; co-directed by Mark Becker
September 25, 2015
Mark Landis is one of the most prolific art forgers of the modern era –and he isn’t in it for the money. In the last 30 years he’s copied hundreds of pieces, from 15th-century icons to works by Picasso and even Dr. Seuss, then donated them to museums across the country. When a tenacious registrar discovers the ruse, Landis must confront his legacy and a chorus of duped professionals intent on stopping him. But Landis is a diagnosed schizophrenic, driven since his teens to escape “the life of a mental patient,” and ending the con isn’t so simple. A cat-and-mouse caper told with humor and compassion, Art and Craft uncovers the universal in one man’s search for connection and respect.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/artandcraft
Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen
October 2, 2015
Ai Weiwei has a serious problem with authority: The Chinese government not only kidnapped and imprisoned the world-renowned artist in a secret location for protesting its repressive policies, but after his release it conducted a show trial on baseless charges of tax evasion and pornography. Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, a stunning and stirring documentary by Andreas Johnsen, dissects the persecution and shows how the government’s attempts to silence Ai Weiwei have turned him into China’s most powerful artist and an irrepressible voice for free speech and human rights around the globe.
Visit the POV site: pbs.org/pov/aiweiwei