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TOPIC: Youth & Family

Young Musicians Play Ancient Instrument in the “Olympics of the Pipe Organ”

The Montreal-based filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum‘s joyful film The Art of the Shine, which aired on PBS, took the director all over the world, from New York to Toronto, Paris to La Paz, Bolivia, to look at the forgotten profession of shoe shining. Now with her film Pipe Dreams, she brings the world to her hometown, … READ MORE

Sasha Joseph Neulinger Confronts Family Trauma Head-On

It’s been a pretty impressive run for what was someone’s very first feature documentary. But then again, Rewind is no ordinary first film. After Sasha Joseph Neulinger finished film school at Montana State University, he discovered the raw materials that would propel him to tell the extraordinary story of his life. A very candid autobiographical … READ MORE

This Couple Finds Answers for Adopted Daughters From China

Brian and Long Lan Stuy are a Utah couple who have adopted three daughters from China: Meikina from DianBai, Meigon from Guangzhou, and Meilan from Luoyang. After discovering that documentation for one of their adopted children was fake, Brian and his wife created their home-based company Research-China, with the mission of reuniting adopted children with … READ MORE

Nanfu Wang’s Riveting Personal Story Probes Impact of One-Child Policy

Taking risks is nothing new for Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang. Her previous documentary I Am Another You, which was a SXSW Jury Award-winner and aired on Independent Lens, involved her having to live on the streets with the homeless subject of her film, and prior to that she became a target of the Chinese government … READ MORE

“Is Attraction Different in the Absence of Sight?”

By  Kemberlie Spivey Australian-born independent filmmaker Patricia Zagarella has been creating documentaries for over ten years and co-produced the Emmy-award winning documentary Baring It All. That film followed fashion photographer David Jay into the worlds of four young breast cancer survivors, exploring their journeys as they were photographed for the SCAR Project. Patricia made her … READ MORE

Filmmaker Explores First Steps Toward Justice and Reconciliation

Independent filmmaker Jacqueline Olive, who has worked in non-fiction filmmaking for years and co-directed and co-produced the award-winning hour-long documentary, Black to Our Roots (PBS WORLD), makes her feature documentary directing debut with the searing Always in Season, which was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Moral Urgency at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.    A … READ MORE

Filmmaker Accepts the Call to Tell Story of a Father and Son Divided

Filmmaker Eunice Lau, who is originally from Singapore (and boy does she have a story to tell you here about the experience of showing her film back home), was once a journalist at Al Jazeera Network. She has a penchant for telling stories concerning social justice, from dowry-killing in Bangladesh to uncovering corruption in Sarawak … READ MORE

Telling the Incredible True Story of a Dogsledding Legend

Filmmaker Catharine Axley seeks stories of empowerment through subjects that defy expectations, and the lesser-known but remarkable story of George Attla certainly qualifies. Axley’s film ATTLA, which won Best Feature Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival, looks at the charismatic Alaska Native dogsled racer who, with one good leg and fierce determination, became a legendary sports hero … READ MORE

Decade of Fire Filmmakers Change the Narrative About the South Bronx

The three-headed team as it were, of co-directors Vivian Vázquez Irizarry and Gretchen Hildebran, and producer Julia Steele Allen, each brought something different and special to the table in the making of the film Decade of Fire, which tells the shocking but untold piece of American urban history, when the South Bronx was on fire … READ MORE

“A Scene I’ll Never Forget.” Filmmaker Intimately Captures Surrogacy Journey in Boise

Emmy and Peabody-winning producer/director Beth Aala has gone from a Pool Party (her first film as director) filled with amazing music, the story of how a swimming pool became the center of a music scene in Brooklyn, to co-directing (with actor Mike Myers) Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, a portrayal of a legendary talent agent, to tracking an … READ MORE

Surrogacy Facts and Myths: How Much Do You Know?

By Lennlee Keep In 2018, over 100 children were born in Boise, Idaho, through surrogacy. The story behind this unique baby boom is explored in the Independent Lens documentary Made in Boise, an intimate look at how surrogates and parents are coming together to create new bonds and unique families. Surrogacy is widely misunderstood and … READ MORE

Game On: Why We Are Playing Board Games More Than Ever

By Lennlee Keep It was the summer of 1979 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Everyone in my family gets a sunburn when we even think about a beach, so we are very indoorsy. My 11-year-old brother Rob had a new game: Dungeons & Dragons. He studied the dragon-decorated guide books and painted teeny metal elves with paint … READ MORE