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POV at a Glance

POV (a cinema term for “point of view”) is television’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 500 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.

POV Season Reel


POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award including 38 Emmys, 22 George Foster Peabody Awards, 13 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards, the three George Polk Documentary Film Awards and the Prix Italia.

“So much of what we see is watered-down and easily digestible, designed to appeal to the largest common denominator and not cause offense. Against this pallid landscape of cream-puffery, POV stands out as something quite bright and unusual.” — USA Today

Audience Reach

As a series broadcast on the national PBS schedule, POV can be seen by over 97% of the American viewing public, with a cumulative audience average of 2.5 million per program. In addition, POV works with thousands of educators and community groups, reaching over 15,000 people directly.


Over a generation, POV has championed accessibility and innovation in nonfiction storytelling. POV Engage works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present hundreds of free screenings every year, inspiring dialogue around today’s most pressing social issues. The series’ interactive arm, POV Spark, creates and advances experiential forms of storytelling and programming, redefining U.S. public media to be more inclusive of emerging technologies and interactive makers.

Partnering with Independent Producers

More than 800 programs are submitted for consideration each year. The films undergo a rigorous review process involving independent media professionals, public television station programmers and PBS. Once chosen, POV works with filmmakers to craft a strategic broadcast plan which includes a national press campaign, outreach and educational activities in partnership with public television stations, educators and community-based organizations, a stand-alone website and other materials and services geared to providing the most effective springboard possible for the film.

To submit your documentary project to POV and our other public media programs, visit our year-round Call for Entries page or check out other opportunities on the American Documentary website.

“POV, public television’s independent, nonfiction showcase remains a beacon in a world of limited opportunity.” — The Boston Herald


Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyncote Foundation. Additional funding comes from The John S. and James Knight Foundation, Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Chicago Media Project, Sage Foundation, Lefkofsky Family Foundation, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.