Downloads: Media Alert

Three-Year Grant Will Support Award-winning PBS Documentary Series POV,
Its Acclaimed Website and Pioneering Community Outreach

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has renewed its support of American Documentary | POV with a grant of $1.5 million over the next three years. The funds will support the POV (Point of View) nonfiction film series on PBS and its related online and educational activities through 2013.

American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, POV is the winner of a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking and an International Documentary Association Award for Best Continuing Series. POV premieres 14-16 films by today’s best directors every year on PBS and builds additional platforms to explore the films and the issues through its innovative community and online outreach activities.

Beginning its 24th season in June 2011, POV has broadcast more than 300 documentaries by established and emerging filmmakers from Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven) and Ross McElwee (Bright Leaves) to Academy Award-nominees Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.), Marshall Curry (Street Fight) and Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country and The Oath) to first-time filmmaker Katrina Brown (Traces of the Trade). POV films have been honored with 23 Emmy Awards, 12 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards and the Prix Italia.

“We are extremely grateful for the support that the MacArthur Foundation has given POV since our beginnings in 1988,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director, American Documentary | POV. “This grant will allow us to support and present quality feature-length and short documentaries on television and online, and to continue the conversation with the public in local schools and communities and on the Web.”

“At MacArthur, we view documentaries as a form of journalism, supplementing the news media in helping audiences make sense of their community and world,” said Kathy Im, director of Media, Culture, and Special Initiatives at MacArthur. “The MacArthur Foundation is proud of its long-time association with POV. Each year, the series presents timely and thought-provoking films that raise important and under-reported issues.”

POV works with public-television stations, educators and community organizations to offer free discussion guides, lesson plans, screenings and special events. POV’s Interactive department produces special in-depth features, podcasts and streaming video for the series’ films, along with the Webby Award-winning interactive showcase POV’s Borders and the POV Blog, a gathering place for documentary fans and filmmakers.

POV mentors new talent and brings international perspectives to American viewers through its Diverse Voices Project (DVP), which has supported such films as the Emmy Award winners The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath and Made in L.A. by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar and the recent POV Adoption Stories films Off and Running by Nicole Opper and Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy by Stephanie Wang-Breal. DVP is currently in its fourth round of co-productions.

POV’s 2011 season will look at globalization, environmentalism and wars present (Afghanistan) and past (Cambodia), among other topics, with Lixin Fan’s Last Train Home, Marshall Curry’s If a Tree Falls (Official Selection, Sundance 2011), Heather Courtney’s Where Soldiers Come From and Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath’s Enemies of the People, (Academy Awards shortlist, 2011). POV will also present the second season of animated shorts from StoryCorps, the acclaimed oral-history project that captures American experiences, one conversation at a time.


The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at

Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 24th season on PBS in 2011, the award-winning POV series is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. Airing June through September with primetime specials during the year, POV has brought more than 300 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. More information is available at

American Documentary, Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

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POV Pressroom
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.