Blog

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
Interviews

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,…...

family plays video game while a game is superimposed over them; Original photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels.com
Lifestyle

December 22, 2020

Leveling Up Representation: Depictions of People of Color in Video Games

Independent Lens in Lifestyle

By Nadine Dornieden The $100+ billion video game industry is big. So big, in fact, that it dwarfs both the film and music industry combined. Gaming as a hobby has become…...

Lynching scene in Within Our Gates (by Oscar Micheaux)
Beyond the Films

February 20, 2020

As American as the Blues: Lynching in Film and TV

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade Adeniji Always in Season explores the history of lynching through the mysterious 2014 death of Lennon Lacy while also looking at historical reenactments of lynching, prompting some to…...

Filmmaker Jacqueline Olive
Interviews

February 20, 2020

Filmmaker Explores First Steps Toward Justice and Reconciliation

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

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…...

From First Rainbow Coalition: Young Lords members protest at 18th Ave. Police Station, Chicago
Beyond the Films

January 28, 2020

From Race Riots to Rainbow Coalitions and Heatwaves: Chicago Activism on Racial and Economic Justice

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

It would be foolhardy to try to succinctly sum up the political history of one of America's most historically politically complicated cities--Chicago--in one sweeping post. Rather, consider this a basic…...

Vintage photos from the winemaking history of the Robledo family from their collection
Beyond the Films

May 08, 2019

Harvest Season’s Historical Roots: Latinos in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys

Claralyse Palmer in Beyond the Films

Bittersweet -- this is the taste you’re left with after watching Harvest Season’s central storylines come to a close. Loved ones are reunited while wineries are engulfed in flames and…...

Black memorabilia figurines
Interviews

January 30, 2019

The Challenge of Making a Film About Racist Relics

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Filmmaker and teacher Chico Colvard's first feature doc, Family Affair, premiered at Sundance and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her cable channel, OWN. The searingly personal documentary explored…...

recreation of Moore's suicide note left on a dashboard in Grand Saline, in Man on Fire
Interviews

December 11, 2018

Filmmaker Explores a Preacher’s Shocking Sacrifice and How It Can Start a Conversation

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Joel Fendelman's Man on Fire, which has its television premiere on Independent Lens, won the David L. Wolper Student documentary award at the 2017 IDA Awards. The story at its heart…...

James Baldwin on the Dick Cavett Show
Interviews

January 10, 2018

How “I Am Not Your Negro” Filmmaker Reopened James Baldwin’s “House”

Craig Phillips in Interviews

The worldly Haitian-born filmmaker Raoul Peck and his family fled the Duvalier dictatorship in 1961 and found asylum in the Democratic Republic of Congo, before Peck finished his schooling in…...

Beitar fans unfurl club crest banner, from Forever Pure
Beyond the Films

May 12, 2017

Israeli Soccer Club Crests and Logos

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Kevin Koczwara Soccer is a global game that brings people together, or so we’re told. Kids across the world pick up the game, playing in fields, on side streets,…...

Young Muslim-Chechen player Dzhabrail Kadiev sits with his mom, in moment from Forever Pure
Interviews

May 11, 2017

Maya Zinshtein Explores How Soccer and Racism Intersected in Israel

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Israeli journalist-filmmaker Maya Zinshtein is in many ways the perfect person to make a film about the combustible story of Beitar Jerusalem FC, the Israeli soccer club which imploded when…...