Independent Lens Films Receive Four News & Documentary Emmy Awards

ITVS-Funded Armed with Faith Also Honored

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(San Francisco, CA, September 25, 2019) Independent Lens is proud to announce three films that premiered on the series were honored with four News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. The winning films are I Am Not Your Negro, Wildland and Dawnland; complete list follows. Additionally, Armed with Faith which was co-funded by ITVS and premiered on DOC World, was also honored. Presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), the News & Documentary Emmy Awards were awarded last night, September 24th, 2019, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City.

"We're exceptionally proud to have funded and supported the filmmakers whose work was honored with News & Documentary Emmy Awards last night," said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. "We're especially pleased that the teams from Dawnland, Wildland and I Am Not Your Negro were recognized for their exceptional storytelling. These films allow people to find unity in divided times by creating empathy and a deeper understanding of complex, urgent social issues. By making these extraordinary films free and accessible to all Americans via public television, Independent Lens continues to build the public trust in PBS as the Home of Documentaries."

Armed with Faith was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary. “We are so honored to have funded and co-produced Geeta Gandbhir and Asad Faruqi’s harrowing tale of those who risk their lives for their countrymen,” said Jim Sommers, ITVS Senior Vice President of Content. “We applaud filmmakers like Geeta and Asad who have the bravery to make sure these stories reach all Americans.”

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About the winning films:

DOC WORLD: ARMED WITH FAITH (Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary)

Filmmakers: Asad Faruqi, Geeta Gandbhir

In northwest Pakistan, the KPK Bomb Disposal Unit is trying to stop the region from falling into the hands of terrorists - working with “faith and passion alone.” Armed with Faith follows unit members who actively put their lives at risk for the people of their country. With families to support, they must decide: Is the job worth the risk?


Filmmaker: Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip

Follow the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S., which investigated the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities.

INDEPENDENT LENS: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary)

Filmmaker: Raoul Peck

An Academy Award nominee, the film envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

INDEPENDENT LENS: WILDLAND (Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary & Outstanding Editing: Documentary)

Filmmakers: Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski

Meet a firefighting crew as they struggle with fear, loyalty, love and defeat over the course of a single wildfire season in this intimate story of a small group of men – their exterior world, their interior lives, and the fire that lies between.

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 @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. For more information, visit

Posted on September 25, 2019