Independent Lens and ITVS-Funded Films Earn Four out of Eight Peabody Awards for Documentaries

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(San Francisco, CA, April 16, 2019) — ITVS is proud to announce that four of its documentary films have been honored with Peabody Awards. Receiving the prestigious award are Dolores and The Judge, which aired on the PBS series Independent Lens, as well as the ITVS-funded films Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart and Minding the Gap. Honoring the “most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media,” the 78th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, hosted by Ronan Farrow.

These awards are part of a 25-year commitment to champion bold filmmakers who tell stories no one else is telling. With two-thirds of ITVS filmmakers being people of color and half being women, these stories entertain and create change on a national platform that is accessible to all. With annual viewership of over 40 million viewers, distribution of this award-winning content continues to touch those in front of the screen and behind the camera.

"We’re exceptionally proud that Dolores and The Judge will receive Peabody Awards, as they honor female pioneers who imagined a world that didn't exist and helped to manifest change," said Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens. "In Dolores, Peter Bratt masterfully captures the indefatigable architect of social change Dolores Huerta, who at age 89 is still an important leader of the Latinx equality movement. Often overshadowed by male counterparts in the United Farm Workers Association, Huerta originated the saying 'Si Se Puede' ('Yes We Can') and brought millions of women to the movement. The appointment of Kholoud al-Faqih, Palestine’s first female Shari’a judge, created a ripple effect throughout the Middle East. Erika Cohn's documentary The Judge demonstrates the empowerment of Arab women, counters Islamophobia, and offers an intelligent portrait of a changing society. Like the icons they present, these films will inspire millions of people for generations to come."

"A Peabody Award is unlike any other in its validation of bold filmmaking, and ITVS stands in awe of the risk-taking storytellers who win this honor,” said Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS. "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart and Minding the Gap exemplify the work we've been doing for 28 years, with unwavering support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to help Americans learn about and listen to each other. We're beyond proud to join our partners at American Masters and POV in bringing these empowering stories to millions of viewers."

More information on the winning films follows:


Dolores by Peter Bratt

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farmworkers union, with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century — and she continues the fight to this day.

The Judge by Erika Cohn

When Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench, he laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Islamic law courts. The Judge offers a unique portrait of Kholoud’s brave journey and her tireless fight for justice for women. 

ITVS-Funded Films:

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart by Tracy Heather Strain (American Masters)

At a time when women, people of color, and homosexuals were confined to the margins of society, Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965), best known for A Raisin in the Sun, boldly challenged U.S. society to live up to its ideals. Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart tells the dramatic story of the young, gifted and black woman who chose words to fight injustice—on stage and off.

Minding the Gap by Bing Liu (POV)

Liu's Oscar-nominated debut film is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown. In his quest to understand why he and his friends all ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit Join the conversation:, and on Twitter and Instagram @IndependentLens.

About ITVS

ITVS is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that has, for over 25 years, funded and partnered with a diverse range of documentary filmmakers to produce and distribute untold stories. ITVS incubates and co-produces these award-winning films and then airs them for free on PBS via our weekly series, Independent Lens, as well as on other PBS series and through our digital platform, OVEE. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Posted on April 16, 2019