Art and Life Intersect in New Season of POV, Beginning Monday, June 23 on PBS
From ‘When I Walk’ to ‘American Revolutionary,’ POV Documentaries Show How Art Can Both Heal and Surprise, Uncover Hidden Histories and Jog a Nation’s Conscience
New York, NY, March 11, 2014 – Marking its 27th season on PBS, the award-winning documentary series POV (Point of View) today announced films to be broadcast from June 23 to Aug. 18, 2014. Additional documentaries, which will be featured later in the regular season and as POV specials, will be announced shortly.
It’s often been said that art imitates life. This season on POV, art becomes a major player that imitates, intimidates, heals and transforms the lives of individuals and communities.
The 27th season of POV begins on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS and continues with regular broadcasts through September 2014. The season concludes with special presentations in winter 2014 and spring 2015. The POV slate features films from around the globe that are a feast for the eyes as well as the mind.
In When I Walk, a young up-and-coming filmmaker discovers he has multiple sclerosis. To cope, he decides to use the art of filmmaking to look at his new reality. And in Dance for Me, a 15-year-old Russian dancer leaves everyone and everything he knows to perfect his craft in Denmark.
The art of politics is also on display, in American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, about a fiery activist who urges today’s movers and shakers to think in entirely new ways; and in Getting Back to Abnormal, in which a New Orleans politician prone to putting her foot in her mouth gets an education in street smarts and the city’s wildly divergent cultures.
POV recently announced a collaboration with The New York Times to premiere new documentaries on the organizations’ websites. The first film, The Men of Atalissa by Dan Barry and Kassie Bracken, produced by The New York Times, can be seen on www.pbs.org/pov and www.nytimes.com. In addition, POV will renew its media partnership with New York flagship public radio station WNYC.
“Documentaries no longer exist on the cultural margins; they have become an essential tool in how we explore and experience the world,” said POV Executive Producer Simon Kilmurry. “The work produced by these filmmakers is remarkable and important, engaging, daring and entertaining. And, it’s exciting to see how audiences celebrate and embrace these stories.”
“POV programs take you on a journey, whether traveling alongside a politician, a person grappling with a debilitating illness or an individual in love for the first time,” said POV Co-Executive Producer Cynthia López. “As always, POV films deliver a emotional punch with superbly crafted storytelling. This season promises to be a powerful rollercoaster ride.”
POV 2014 Schedule, June 23-August 18, 2014
(Additional regularly scheduled programs and specials to be announced. Programs air Mondays
at 10 p.m.; check local listings):
June 23 – When I Walk by Jason DaSilva
Jason DaSilva was 25 years old and a rising independent filmmaker when a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed everything–and inspired him to make another film. When I Walk is a candid and brave chronicle of one young man’s struggle to adapt to the harsh realities of M.S. while holding on to his personal and creative life. With his body growing weaker, DaSilva’s spirits, and his film, get a boost from his mother’s tough love and the support of Alice Cook, who becomes his wife and filmmaking partner. The result is a life-affirming documentary filled with unexpected moments of joy and humor. Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
June 30 – American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs by Grace Lee
Grace Lee Boggs, 98, is a Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature, 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
July 7 – My Way to Olympia by Niko von Glasow
Who better to cover the Paralympics, the international sporting event for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, than Niko von Glasow, the world’s best-known disabled filmmaker? Unfortunately–or fortunately for anyone seeking an insightful and funny documentary–this filmmaker frankly hates sports and thinks the games are “a stupid idea.” Born with severely shortened arms, von Glasow serves as an endearing guide to London’s Paralympics competition in My Way to Olympia. As he meets a one-handed Norwegian table tennis player, the Rwandan sitting volleyball team, an American archer without arms and a Greek paraplegic boccia player, his own stereotypes about disability and sports get delightfully punctured. Official Selection of the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
July 14 – Getting Back to Abnormal by Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian and Paul Stekler
What happens when America’s most joyous, dysfunctional city rebuilds itself after a disaster? New Orleans is the setting for Getting Back to Abnormal, a film that serves up a provocative mix of race, corruption and politics to tell the story of the re-election campaign of Stacy Head, a white woman in a city council seat traditionally held by a black representative. Supported by her irrepressible African-American aide Barbara Lacen-Keller, Head polarizes the city as her candidacy threatens to diminish the power and influence of its black citizens. Featuring a cast of characters as colorful as the city itself, the film presents a New Orleans that outsiders rarely see. Official Selection of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS.
July 21 – Dance for Me by Katrine Philp
Professional ballroom dancing is very big in little Denmark. Since success in this intensely competitive art depends on finding the right partner, aspiring Danish dancers often look beyond their borders to find their matches. In Dance for Me, 15-year-old Russian performer Egor leaves home and family to team up with 14-year-old Mie, one of Denmark’s most promising young dancers. Strikingly different, Egor and Mie bond over their passion for Latin dance–and for winning. As they head to the championships, so much is at stake: emotional bonds, career and the future. Dance for Me is a poetic coming-of-age story, with a global twist and thrilling dance moves.
July 28 – Fallen City by Qi Zhao
In today’s go-go China, an old city completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake can be rebuilt–boasting new and improved civic amenities–in an astoundingly quick two years. But, as Fallen City reveals, the journey from the ruined old city of Beichuan to the new Beichuan nearby is long and heartbreaking for the survivors. Three families struggle with loss–most strikingly the loss of children and grandchildren–and feelings of loneliness, fear and dislocation that no amount of propaganda can disguise. First-time director Qi Zhao offers an intimate look at a country torn between tradition and modernity. Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS International. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
August 4 – 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story by Nadine Pequeneza
Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve our society well? The United States is the only country in the world that routinely condemns children to die in prison. This is the story of one of those children, now a young man, seeking a second chance in Florida. At age 15, Kenneth Young received four consecutive life sentences for a series of armed robberies. Imprisoned for more than a decade, he believed he would die behind bars. Now a U.S. Supreme Court decision could set him free. 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story follows Young’s struggle for redemption, revealing a justice system with thousands of young people serving sentences intended for society’s most dangerous criminals.
August 11 – Encore presentation: Neurotypical by Adam Larsen
Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world–the world of the non-autistic–revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.
August 18 – A World Not Ours by Mahdi Fleifel
A World Not Ours is a passionate, bittersweet account of one family’s multi-generational experience living as permanent refugees. Now a Danish resident, director Mahdi Fleifel grew up in the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, established in 1948 as a temporary refuge for exiled Palestinians. Today, the camp houses 70,000 people and is the hometown of generations of Palestinians. The filmmaker’s childhood memories are surprisingly warm and humorous, a testament to the resilience of the community. Yet his yearly visits reveal the increasing desperation of family and friends who remain trapped in psychological as well as political limbo. Official Selection of the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
Media Partner: WNYC
WNYC is the most listened-to public radio station in the United States, reaching more than one million New York City-area terrestrial radio listeners a week, and almost 2 million online listeners each month. WNYC produces award-winning local programs including The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show, and nationally distributed shows including Radiolab, On the Media and Freakonomics Radio. WNYC also provides New Yorkers with the best programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media and the BBC. For more information, visit www.wnyc.org.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 27th season on PBS in 2014, POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. Its films have won 32 Emmys,
15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. 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. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
POV Community Engagement and Education(www.pbs.org/pov/outreach)
POV’s Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 650 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.
POV Digital (www.pbs.org/pov)
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. @povdocs on Twitter.
American Documentary, Inc.(www.amdoc.org)
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.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Wyncote Foundation, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, The Educational Foundation of America and public television viewers. Special support provided by The Fledgling Fund. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.