This is the second in a four-part series highlighting case studies of PBS station engagement with independent documentaries from this year’s PBS Annual Meeting. Check back next Thursday for our third installment.

PBS Annual Meeting Discussion Highlight:

KTTZ at Texas Tech University

The next installment in our blog series “Making Independent Film Work for Your Station” puts into focus the work of Paul Hunton, General Manager at KTTZ at Texas Tech University. Hunton and his team have produced world-class stories about their community in Lubbock, Texas that not only resonate with local citizens, but have been recognized by the industry as well, garnering the station several Emmy Awards. However, the impact of KTTZ extends well beyond the broadcast — their vision includes thoughtful, partnership-based initiatives and powerful film screening engagements that feature documentaries curated by POV and Independent Lens.

Paul’s engagement model includes a highly successful, three-pronged strategy that is reciprocal and produces measurable results. The plan consists of the following elements:

  • Connect: who is the audience is for the event?
  • Engage: where do we engage with our target demographic?
  • Invest: how do we invest in them and they in us?

One example includes the acclaimed film TRAPPED by award-winning director, Dawn Porter (watch the trailer here). The film addressed the controversial reproductive health battle surrounding TRAP laws and the closing of women’s health clinics in southern states. The collaboration on the film began at a previous PBS Annual Meeting where Paul and Dawn met in person. What followed was a collaboration that included key partnership that advocated for community concerns, embraced online engagement, and more.

What does all mean? How did film engagement advance the KTTZ mission and serve their Texas community? Well, not only did their viewership increase, parts of Texas HB2 bill were repealed by the Supreme Court, and the station acquired new registered voters. Take a look at Paul’s case study here for more information on how an independent film screening in your community can create similar, meaningful impact.

Next week takes us to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as we see how WQED has been using indie film engagement to creatively break new ground in their community!

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.