Announcing our 10th Season of Remarkable Independents!

September 06, 2011 by Brooke Shelby Biggs in

Screen shot 2011-09-06 at 2.48.06 PM.pngIt’s that time again! Time for the premiere of a new and glorious season of Independent Lens, with an eclectic and inspiring schedule full of independent documentaries guaranteed to surprise, entertain, and astound you.

This season, we’ve got remarkable lineup of 30 films from a broad range of talented independent filmmakers showcasing diverse perspectives not seen anywhere else on television. The Emmy® Award-winning series moves to Thursday nights at 10 PM (check local listings) and will premiere on October 13, 2011 with Wham! Bam! Islam!

But that’s just the beginning!

“In 10 years, Independent Lens has brought more than 275 films to PBS,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens senior series producer. “The stories and storytellers we continue to champion make the series the most diverse on television. We feature films that look at the most important issues of our time, as well as audience favorites from film festivals across the country. Our goal is to help viewers better understand today’s complex world by taking them to places they wouldn’t otherwise see, and encounter people they wouldn’t otherwise meet.”

Besides season premiere Wham! Bam! Islam!, other documentary features making their premieres include: Donor Unknown, directed by Jerry Rothwell, about a group of young women and men conceived by artificial insemination who set out to discover their biological father and in the process meet their (many) siblings. Watch the trailer:

Also coming this fall, Deaf Jam, directed by Judy Lieff, showcases the beauty and power of American Sign Language (ASL) poetry through this portrait of deaf teen Aneta Brodski; and We Still Live Here — Âs Nutayuneân, directed by Anne Makepeace (presented during Native American Heritage Month), which captures the return of the Wampanoag nation’s lost native language, the first time a language with no native speakers has been revived in this country.

Additional programming highlights include: Lives Worth Living, directed by Eric Neudel, looks at Fred Fay, a man who survived a devastating spinal cord injury when he was only 16, and turned his misfortune into a movement for disabled equality; and You’re Looking At Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t, directed by Scott Kirschenbaum, challenges our preconceptions of illness and aging through a first person account of Lee Gorewitz’s life inside an Alzheimer’s care home in California.

The fall/winter season wraps with Have You Heard From Johannesburg from acclaimed director Connie Field. This landmark, five-hour, three-night miniseries premieres on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress and weaves together the fascinating story of the global movement that took on South Africa’s apartheid regime and ended one of the greatest governmental injustices the world has ever known.

Following three generations of the struggle as the anti-apartheid fight is waged in sports arenas and cathedrals, in embassies and corporate boardrooms, at rock concerts and in supermarkets both in South Africa and around the globe, Have You Heard from Johannesburg is a monumental and inspiring achievement.

“The programs featured in the first half of the season barely skim the surface of the great programming we have in store for viewers this year,” added Vossen. “The second half of the season will present heartbreaking and inspiring stories about the black experience in honor of Black History Month and will feature programs from the newly launched ITVS initiative Women and Girls Lead that aim to educate people about the struggles women face around the world. These documentaries provide a window into a world we would normally never have access to in hopes of sparking meaningful social change.”

Check out the entire schedule for our fall and winter shows!

Brooke Shelby Biggs