Larry Krasner looks over a ton of file boxes from way back, in Philly D.A.
Beyond the Films

April 20, 2021

Before Krasner: The Wild and Wooly Saga of Philadelphia District Attorneys

Independent Lens in Behind the Films

By Sharon Pruitt-Young It was a world-changing moment for the city of Philadelphia: Larry Krasner, a former criminal defense attorney and a highly polarizing figure in local politics, was elected…...

Philly D.A. team, Ted Passon, Nicole Salazar, Yoni Brook (l-r)
Behind the Films

April 19, 2021

How the Team Behind “Philly D.A.” Captured History for Epic Docuseries

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Philadelphia-based filmmakers Ted Passon and Yoni Brook, and producer Nicole Salazar, had to work as a well-oiled machine team to make an epic docuseries like Philly D.A. happen. Each one…...

Larry Krasner and his team celebrates their victory on election night in Philadelphia
Beyond the Films

April 09, 2021

Philadelphia Has a Long History of Fights Over Criminal Justice Reform

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Kristal Sotomayor In order to understand the rich history of criminal reform work, up through the vivid stories of crime and punishment presented in the docuseries Philly D.A., it…...

Filmmaker Ursula Liang with camera on location in New York

April 07, 2021

“Nobody Was Listening”: Finding Light in a Dark Stairwell

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Filmmaker Ursula Liang's previous documentary 9-Man was about the fascinating titular sport that originated among Chinese immigrant communities in the United States and Canada, and was set in mostly Boston,…...

A person scanning their face on smartphone on city street, in a Still from Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya
Beyond the Films

April 05, 2021

Coded Bias” Asks: Are Our Faces Being Used Against Us?

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Christina Sturdivant Sani Coded Bias begins with MIT researcher Joy Boulamwini’s quest to find out why facial recognition technology inaccurately viewed her beautifully-hued brown face. After viewing the documentary with…...

MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini in Coded Bias

April 03, 2021

“Coded Bias” Explores Blurring of Real and Imagined Artificial Intelligence

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Shalini Kantayya has directed visually eye-catching and memorable work for both National Geographic TV with Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future) and the documentary Catching the Sun,…...

The back of Larry Krasner in Philly D.A. as he meets with his team
Behind the Films

April 02, 2021

The District Attorney’s Office, Explained: From Prosecutors to Deputy D.A.’s, Who Does What

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

NOTE: This post is being edited for clarity and will be updated soon.  ...

side profile of man with glasses

February 22, 2021

Who Was Mr. SOUL?

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

If you're of a certain generation and familiar at all with the late '60s and early '70s groundbreaking public TV show SOUL!, you may recognize the name Ellis Haizlip, but…...

Ellis Haizlip on the set of SOUL! withEllis Haizlip on the set of SOUL! with the band Mandrill the band Mandrill; Photo by Alex Harsley
Beyond the Films

February 17, 2021

Listen Up: How Music Was the Heart of SOUL!

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

by Nick Dedina Today we take it for granted that Black culture is mainstream American culture. But, before the age of hip-hop, cable TV, the internet, streaming, and mobile phones,…...

On the set of SOUL! with Ellis Haizlip interviewing Melvin Van Peebles [Credit: Chester Higgins]
Beyond the Films

February 09, 2021

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis…...

Sgt. Alice White training cadets in procedural justice

February 05, 2021

Telling the Story of Gender, Politics, and Violence in America Through the Eyes of Women Police Officers

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

In addition to her documentaries Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65, and Suicide On Campus, a web documentary produced in conjunction with The New York Times…...


February 03, 2021

Enter to Win “A Day in the Life of America” T-Shirt

Independent Lens in Contests

Join us for a good old-fashioned giveaway. Enter by February 9 at 8:59pm PT for a chance to win a limited edition A Day in the Life of America T-shirt!…...