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'Behind the Lens' Project Delves Deep Into the POV Archives to Present In-depth Interviews with the Most Influential Documentary Filmmakers of Our Time

   

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and National Endowment for the Arts Provide Funding For Unique Online Project, Named Official Honoree in Webby Awards

New York, NY — April 12, 2011 — Thanks to the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts, American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) has embarked on a mammoth effort to delve deep into the archives of its acclaimed PBS documentary series, POV (Point of View). Drawing on POV's rich collection of over 300 filmmaker interviews from the past 24 years, the online-only project Behind the Lens has been selected as an Official Honoree for the Documentary: Series category in The 15th Annual Webby Awards. The distinction is awarded to the top 10 percent of all work entered.

Since premiering on PBS in 1988, POV has remained committed to presenting a mix of artistic styles, voices and formats by a diverse range of filmmakers who push the boundaries of the documentary genre. POV has traditionally featured on-camera interviews with the filmmakers in conjunction with the broadcast of their films. As a result, POV has amassed an extensive archive of interviews with some of the most influential documentary filmmakers of our time, from Frederick Wiseman to Alan Berliner to Marlon Riggs and Freida Lee Mock. Until now, interviews from the period prior to 1998 have been largely inaccessible to audiences; roughly 130 filmmaker interviews remained in the POV archives or were available only in short excerpts.

Behind the Lens features these in-depth archived interviews as well as new conversations with some of the filmmakers. The videos offer insight into the documentary form as the directors reflect on their artistic choices, their influences and the role of documentary film in public life.

The project also features a high school lesson plan written by nationally recognized media educator Dr. Faith Rogow and a mini curriculum for college written by the Center for Social Media's Patricia Aufderheide, which use the work and comments of filmmakers showcased in Behind the Lens to introduce students to social-issue documentaries. In addition, AmDoc has re-licensed POV films for online streaming; currently playing are POV's inaugural broadcast from July 5, 1988, American Tongues by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, and Rose Rosenblatt and Marion Lipschutz's The Education of Shelby Knox (POV 2005).

More than 150 interviews are now available online, including: Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker (American Tongues; Louisiana Boys: Raised on Politics); Alan Berliner (The Family Album; Intimate Stranger; Nobody's Business; The Sweetest Sound); Tina DiFeliciantonio and Jane C. Wagner (Living With AIDS; Girls Like Us; 2 or 3 Things But Nothing For Sure); Freida Lee Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision; Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner); Lourdes Portillo (Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo; Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena; Señorita Extraviada); Marlon Riggs (Tongues Untied; Color Adjustment); and Frederick Wiseman (High School).

Viewers may sign up for the POV Newsletter or follow POV on Twitter for updates on new videos as POV launches them.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards — in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.

POV
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 24th season on PBS in 2011, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today's best independent documentary filmmakers. POV, which airs June-September with primetime specials during the year, has brought more than 300 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 social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Educational Foundation of America, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, FACT and public television viewers. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Funding for POV's Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Project VoiceScape is a partnership of Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

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 develops 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. Visit www.amdoc.org.

Contact:
Cathy Fisher, cfisher@pov.org, Cynthia Lopez, clopez@pov.org, 212-989-7425
POV Pressroom: www.pbs.org/pov/pressroom

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