NASA astronaut Mae Jemison waits as her suit technician, Sharon McDougle, performs a unpressurized and pressurized leak check on her spacesuit, 1992.
Beyond the Films

July 02, 2019

Space Scientists of Color, and the “Afronauts”

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Satu Runa What drives humankind to explore? There are several factors that can embolden a person to “seek out new civilizations” or “boldly go where no one has gone…...

Miriam Makeba (r) with Dizzy Gillespie in France 1991
Beyond the Films

January 30, 2018

For “Winnie”: Anti-Apartheid Songs of Protest

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Miriam Makeba and Dizzy Gillespie, 1991[/caption] By Sarah Bardeen, guest contributor Modern South Africa was forged in apartheid. The struggle defined life for generations of South…...

Winnie Mandela in a press conference, late 80s

January 29, 2018

“Winnie” Filmmaker Gives a New Perspective on Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Mandela

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Filmmaker Pascale Lamche took on the enormous but important challenge of documenting Winnie Mandela's story, a narrative, as she discovered, that was slightly skewed in the mind of many across…...

Douglas Mwonzora and Paul Mangwana (l-r) during a meeting about ratifying the new Zimbabwe constitution
Where Are They Now?

April 15, 2016

Zimbabwe Update: Still In Flux

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

The film Democrats, which aired on Independent Lens, traces the challenges and tensions that arose in Zimbabwe over the attempt to charter a new national constitution. While that African nation…...


April 14, 2016

Camilla Nielsson Gets Unprecedented Access to a Constitution in the Making

Craig Phillips in Interviews

[caption id="attachment_12917" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Filmmaker Camilla Nielsson at work shooting Democrats[/caption] Filmmaker Camilla Nielsson is based in Denmark but works all over the globe. Her previous films were set in Afghanistan, Mumbai, and Darfur. Then she turned her attention to…...

June 22, 2015

In the Shadow of Ebola Takes You to Liberia for One Family’s Story

Craig Phillips in

Independent Lens presents the premiere online of In the Shadow of Ebola [watch now], a gripping short film set around the height of the Ebola crisis, but told from a highly personal…...

Jessica Posner Odede at work in Kibera, Nairbi, Kenya.

February 09, 2015

Jessica Posner Odede: From New York to Nairobi

Craig Phillips in Where Are They Now?

In the final episode of A Path Appears (part three airs tonight on PBS; check local listings), Jessica Posner Odede and her husband Kennedy Odede bring us into the incredible work they…...

May 16, 2014

Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams on God Loves Uganda

Craig Phillips in Uncategorized

Roger Ross Williams won an Academy Award for his short documentary Music by Prudence, which told the moving story of 21-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena, who was born severely disabled and has struggled to…...