“Your Vote Is Your Voice”: Best Films About Voting Rights

The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights in a Democracy, and yet who has been allowed to vote in America has been a battle that’s been bitterly waged for decades.  Two new documentaries; John Lewis: Good Trouble, about the legendary Civil Rights activist and Congressman; and American Experience’s two-part series The … READ MORE

And the Winner of the 2019-2020 Audience Award is… (UPDATED)

Update (7/9): With voting now closed and a total of 13,331 votes, we are thrilled to announce the winner of the Independent Lens Audience Award: Decade of Fire Congrats to filmmakers Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran and Julia Steele Allen, and producer Neyda Martinez, on their win. And kudos to all of the films that … READ MORE

Six Unusual Instruments and How They Work

By Ade D. Adeniji Stacy Tenenbaum’s film Pipe Dreams features four young organ players competing in the prestigious Canadian International Organ Competition, held every few years in Montreal. What’s striking is that each musician has a completely different approach to playing the quirky instrument; Nick Capozzoli is all about playing obscure modern music, whereas Alcee … READ MORE

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

Do You Live in a News Bubble?

By Brooke Shelby Biggs Whether you think of her as a visionary or a kook, Marion Stokes was far ahead of her time in addressing a problem in American media that continues to this day: a lack of diversity among the gatekeepers of traditional media. When she confronted white male panelists on the Philadelphia local … READ MORE

Hale County This Morning, This Evening Wins Peabody Award

The Peabody Awards announced that the Independent Lens film Hale County This Morning, This Evening was honored with a Peabody in the Documentary category.  We extend our heartiest congratulations to filmmaker RaMell Ross on this achievement. Hale County This Morning, This Evening is the 23rd Independent Lens film to be honored with a Peabody.

Filmmakers Show the World the Real Easter Island, a Wakeup Call with Hope

Sergio Mata’u Rapu has spent the last 15 years shooting and producing documentaries that have aired on History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic, and NOVA. Based in Minnesota, a very long way from the remote southeastern Pacific, he’s also likely the only native of Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) producing documentaries in an English-speaking country. … 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