Two-part documentary features women of color transforming politics from the ground up.
Official Selection of 2020 Tribeca Film Festival with full program to air on POV's 33rd season in June as part of Trailblazers, PBS' summer-long celebration of groundbreaking and transformative women.
New York, N.Y. — April 16, 2020 — As reported exclusively in Deadline, POV announced today the acquisition of U.S broadcast and streaming rights for And She Could Be Next, a two-part documentary series directed by Peabody Award-winner Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) and Iranian documentary filmmaker Marjan Safinia (Seeds). This is the first miniseries to be co-produced by POV, the longest-running documentary series on American television. The entire program will air as a two-night special presentation this June on PBS as part of its summer “Trailblazers” initiative celebrating the centennial of the women’s vote and illuminating the stories of modern women who continue to make their voices heard to bring about change.
And She Could Be Next tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics from the ground up. The documentary series, filmed from 2018 through 2019, follows forward-thinking candidates and organizers across the country, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved —and made stronger— by those most marginalized. The episodes center individuals at the heart of the movement behind the New American Majority, including: Stacey Abrams (Georgia), Bushra Amiwala (Skokie, IL), Maria Elena Durazo (Los Angeles, CA), Veronica Escobar (El Paso, TX), Lucy McBath (Atlanta, GA), Rashida Tlaib (Detroit, MI) and Nse Ufot, Executive Director of the New Georgia Project. The documentary also features an entirely women of color crew. In addition to Lee, Safinia, producer Jyoti Sarda and executive producers like Ava DuVernay, And She Could Be Next credits contributing field directors: Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Amber Fares, Deborah Esquenazi, Ramona Emerson and Anayansi Prado.
“If ever there was a moment where we need to be reminded of the leadership of women of color, that time is now,” said Ava DuVernay, one of the film’s executive producers. “If you’re an immigrant, a young person, a person of faith, or simply someone who has felt unseen for too long, you will find yourself reflected in this story.”
The first episode was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, which has been postponed due to COVID-19 like many major events around the world. “And She Could Be Next was slated to world premiere as part of our Tribeca TV section, where we intended to host a conversation with some of the incredible subjects featured,” said Cara Cusumano, director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “This story by and about women of color making change feels more timely than ever. The festival continues to support this remarkable project and encourages our audiences to discover it on POV.”
“This series brings passion, energy and hope in our uncertain times,” said Justine Nagan, executive producer for POV. “Supporting this project meant a chance to highlight the work of the bold women of color on the front lines in this country, as well as those behind the camera. We are proud to partner with PBS to bring this landmark work to American audiences on public media.”
“As America’s home for documentaries, PBS has a longstanding commitment to programming that reflects the great diversity of our country,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “We are proud to share the stories of a new generation of women who are changing the face of politics.”
In association with POV, And She Could Be Next is produced by Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia and Jyoti Sarda and directed by Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia. Academy Award nominee and Emmy, BAFTA, Peabody winner Ava DuVernay is an executive producer and Justine Nagan and Chris White are the executive producers for POV.
And She Could Be Next is made possible by generous support from funders including IDA Enterprise Fund, Julia Meltzer, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Patty Quillin, Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin, Neda Nobari, James Costa, Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund, Good Gravy Fund, Women Donors Network, Women in Film Finishing Fund, Barbara Lee Family Foundation and other donors.
Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. It's on POV where American television audiences were introduced to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, The Act of Killing and American Promise and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Nanfu Wang, and Laura Poitras. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries.
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.
POV films and projects have won 38 Emmy Awards, 25 George Foster Peabody Awards, 14 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
In the summer of 2020, PBS is celebrating the women’s vote centennial with a slate of multiplatform content honoring and commemorating U.S. women’s suffrage, the feminist movement and modern-day changemakers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Vote” tells the story of the campaign to grant women the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. AMERICAN MASTERS “Unladylike2020” is a multimedia series featuring courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century. “And She Could Be Next,” a POV miniseries, follows women of color as political candidates and organizers who seek to expand the electorate, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved — and made stronger — by those most marginalized. And a two-part FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER special documents what motivated several conservative women to run for office. Two fan-favorite PBS series will salute female changemakers: AMERICAN MASTERS with “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” and “Mae West: Dirty Blonde;” and GREAT PERFORMANCES with “Gloria: A Life,” about Gloria Steinem, and “Ann,” about Texas governor Ann Richards. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW spotlights outstanding contributions from female athletes, artists, activists and more in the all-new special “Women’s Work.” The lineup also features two new miniseries: PREHISTORIC ROAD TRIP, hosted by the Field Museum’s Emily Graslie, who embarks on an epic adventure through America’s fossil country; and in the latest BBC co-production, Lucy Worsley investigates notable women and their roles in historical events in LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS. In addition, PBS will also encore the critically acclaimed and award-winning FRONTLINE documentary “For Sama,” an intimate yet epic journey of one woman’s experience of the Syrian war.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
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 Acton Family Giving, The John S. and James Knight Foundation, Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Chicago Media Project, Lefkofsky Family Foundation, Sage Foundation, 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.