Announcement made at 2018 PBS Annual Meeting in New Orleans
New Orleans, La. — May 10, 2018 — Earlier this week at the 2018 PBS Annual Meeting, POV announced the launch of POV Shorts, a brand new broadcast initiative aimed at making POV and public broadcasting a premiere destination for short-form nonfiction storytelling.
POV aims to acquire 8–10 films this year with four-year contract terms for broadcast and streaming. For select films, POV Engage will also produce its industry-leading suite of educational materials that educators and community groups can use for free. Audiences can expect a highly-curated slate of fresh and relevant character-driven films covering a wide range of subject matter. The first show from POV Shorts will feature Earthrise, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and shows the Apollo 8 astronauts recounting their memories of capturing the first image of Earth from space in 1968.
“When choosing the slate for the inaugural season of POV Shorts, we wanted to acquire short documentaries that share the same spirit as our features: challenging audiences with bold content and showcasing poignant aspects of human life,” said Chloe Gbai, POV shorts and streaming producer. “The short-form nonfiction landscape is so dynamic and under-appreciated, and through POV Shorts we can bring these high quality films straight to the public.”
The initiative is the first major project spearheaded by Gbai, who was hired earlier this year. POV Shorts will source films through a variety of channels, including through its open call for entries page (cfe.pov.org), individual pitches from filmmakers as well as films at festivals and from other distributors. As it has done in the past, POV will continue to work with other major short form digital distributors, including The New York Times Op-Docs, Field of Vision and Conde Nast.
“POV Shorts offers short form filmmakers a new avenue to show off their work,” said Justine Nagan, executive producer/executive director of POV/American Documentary. “We love finding innovative ways to introduce audiences to powerful nonfiction storytelling, and to introduce filmmakers to PBS viewers . This initiative not only provides station programmers more high-quality content that fits their community interests and scheduling needs, but it also builds on POV’s streaming inventory to meet people where they are. What’s more, POV Shorts brings additional opportunities to highlight new and emerging filmmakers. Special thanks to the Logan and Bertha Foundations for believing in us and supporting this pilot”
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.
POV Engage (www.pbs.org/pov/engage/)
POV Engage 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. Follow @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.