Independent Lens Receives Eight News and Documentary Emmy Award Nominations Including Best Documentary

ITVS co-productions receive three nominations including best documentary.

Fill 54 Created with Sketch. PDF Download

(San Francisco, CA) Thursday, August 6, 2020 — ITVS announced today that six Independent Lens films earned a total of eight News and Documentary Emmy® Award nominations, including Best Documentary. Nominated projects include Charm City, The Interpreters, The King, Made in Boise, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World and Wrestle which premiered on the Independent Lens series on PBS.

Additionally, two films co-produced by ITVS that premiered on POV, Midnight Traveler and The Silence of Others received three nominations, including Best Documentary, from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).

“For 18 seasons, Independent Lens has funded and co-produced documentaries focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens.“We’re especially honored that NATAS has recognized so many of our programs made by maverick directors and producers who uncover the ground truth years ahead of the zeitgeist in these stories from across the country and around the world. Their exceptional work—available for free on PBS, America’s Home for Documentaries—continues to inform, entertain and inspire in these tumultuous times.”

“The depth and breadth of the films that are being recognized through these News and Documentary nominations is a testament to the filmmakers passion and commitment to telling stories that are bold, innovative and impactful," said Jim Sommers, ITVS Senior Vice President of Content. "We are thrilled to be co-producing and presenting these films with our very diverse and talented filmmakers and alongside our partners at PBS, CPB, Independents Lens, POV, LPB and the National Multicultural Alliance. Congratulations to all!"

Independent Lens and ITVS have been honored with 118 nominations, including timely and relevant titles such as Birth of a Movement by Bestor Cram and Susan Gray, Stanley Nelson’s Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Dolores by Peter Bratt, I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck, Jonathan Olshefski’s QUEST, and Survivors by Anna Fitch, Arthur Pratt and Banker White.

The documentary awards will be presented Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 at 8 p.m. EDT. The ceremony will be streamed live on NATAS’ dedicated viewing platform powered by Vimeo, available on the web at and via The Emmys® apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku (full list at 

The following nominated films premiered on Independent Lens:

CHARM CITY (Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary)
Filmmaker: Marilyn Ness
Charm City is an intimate portrait of a diverse group of neighbors, including police, citizens, community leaders, and government officials who, with grit and compassion, survive in and work to improve their vibrant neighborhoods during a violent three-year stretch in Baltimore.

THE INTERPRETERS (Outstanding Politics & Government Documentary)
Filmmakers: Andrés Caballero and Sofian Khan
The Interpreters is a poignant but tense portrayal of a very human and high-stakes side of war’s aftermath, the story of how Afghan and Iraqi interpreters risked their lives aiding American troops–but then became the people we left behind.

THE KING (Best Documentary & Outstanding Historical Documentary)
Filmmaker: Eugene Jarecki
Is the promise of the "American Dream" alive or a concept that's faded in the rear-view mirror? Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, acclaimed filmmaker Eugene Jarecki takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America in search of not only Elvis's legacy but the fate of the American Dream and the consequences of "cashing in" to try to achieve it.

MADE IN BOISE (Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary)
Filmmaker: Beth AalaMade
in Boise offers a rare glimpse into the mysterious world of surrogacy by intimately following the lives of four paid reproductive surrogates, as they build relationships with the intended parents, prepare for the rigors of pregnancy, and navigate the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand their choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for someone else.

RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (Outstanding Arts & CultureDocumentary)
Filmmakers: Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte Marie, Robbie Robertson, and others, Rumble shows how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

WRESTLE (Outstanding Social Issue Documentary & Outstanding Editing: Documentary)
Filmmakers: Lauren Belfer and Suzannah Herbert
Wrestle goes inside the lives of four members of the high school wrestling team at Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School–a longstanding entry on Alabama’s list of failing schools. Teammates Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan show that needing a win can be about much more than just beating your opponent on the mat.

The following films were co-produced by ITVS and premiered on POV:

MIDNIGHT TRAVELER (Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary)
Filmmakers: Hassan Fazili and Emelie Mahdavian
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.

THE SILENCE OF OTHERS (Best Documentary & Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary)
Filmmaker: Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar
The Silence of Others reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco as they continue to seek justice four decades into democracy. Filmed over six years, the film follows the survivors organizing the groundbreaking “Argentine Lawsuit” to fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, where the emotional court battle uncovers a country still divided over its fascist history.

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 August 6, 2020