FAQ

When will a documentary be broadcast again?

Each PBS station decides how to program its schedule and when to rebroadcast Independent Lens documentaries.

Your best bet is to check your local listings for the Independent Lens schedule for your area or download the PBS Video App where most Independent Lens documentaries also stream for 30 days post-premiere. Please note that Independent Lens typically airs during the fall, winter, and spring months. During the summer, be sure to check out POV, our sister series for independent documentary on PBS.

We recommend that you contact your local station directly to let them know if you are interested in seeing an Independent Lens documentary rebroadcast, or to inquire about any future plans to show the program.

Where can I purchase a copy of an Independent Lens documentary?

Visit Our Documentaries page to find the film you are interested in purchasing. Click on the documentary title or image and it will take you to the film page. On each documentary page there is a “Buy at Shop-PBS” navigation link. Click on this link to get info on purchasing a videotape or DVD. Please note that not all documentaries are available for purchase, as video distribution is at the discretion of the producer, and the costs for clearance rights are often too high for independent filmmakers’ budgets.

My station never carries Independent Lens at the time I see advertised, Mondays at 10 P.M. What’s the deal?

PBS is not a network (like NBC or HBO). Each local PBS station has autonomy over its schedule and may air programs whenever it chooses. So while Independent Lens is on the PBS national schedule for Monday nights at 10 P.M., local stations make their own decisions about when to air Independent Lens documentaries. Feel free to contact your local station if you have any questions or comments about their scheduling of Independent Lens.

How can I find out if or when a documentary is airing on my public television station?

Sign up for the Independent Lens newsletter, which will arrive in your inbox weekly during the broadcast season (fall through spring). The newsletter will remind you about upcoming Independent Lens documentaries and update you about online exclusives available on our website. You might also want to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

What happens with social issue documentaries beyond the Independent Lens premiere?

Civic engagement is at the forefront of the Independent Lens community, extending impact by cultivating new audiences, advancing civic dialogue, and transforming independent films into tools for education and action. Visit Indie Lens Pop-Up to find out more.

How does Independent Lens curate its slate of documentaries?

Independent Lens is an acquisition series and does not accept submissions. Read more about our selection process.

I submitted a comment, but I don’t see it posted. Why?

We review all comments before posting to make sure that they meet our guidelines. Once we’ve done that (it can take as long as two business days), we post selected comments. We welcome all points of view and thank you for your submission. Read the comment guidelines to find out what will not be posted.