(Los Angeles, CA) — The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, in partnership with the Webby Award-winning PBS Digital Studios, today announced the launch of Indie Lens Storycast, a new, free subscription-based docuseries channel on YouTube. The news was delivered during the Independent Lens session during the PBS presentations at Television Critics Association Press Tour.
Created by indie filmmakers, and developed by ITVS, Indie Storycast showcases stories that reflect the funny, strange, and dynamic world we live in. Featuring a range of topics, from robot-building girls to dads navigating the waters of fatherhood, Independent Lens is expanding its content offerings to connect with the digital-savvy audience and experiment with new formats to spark conversations vital to communities across America.
Indie Lens Storycast will launch with four brand new docuseries by visionary makers, beginning with Iron Maidens, the story of a trailblazing all-girls competitive robotics team, on September 12 and The F Word, which follows a lesbian couple's rollercoaster ride through the foster adoption system, on September 14. New episodes will be unveiled every Tuesday and Thursday, continuing with the premieres of Divas of Karachi (Tuesday, October 24th), which is about sassy and smart housewives-turned-entrepreneurial philanthropists in Pakistan, and Pops (Thursday, October 26th), a humorous but poignant portrait of three African American dads making a difference. Episodes will range from 8-10 minutes and series contain between 6-10 episodes.
Indie Lens Storycast will have substantial support behind it: The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 12 million subscribers and has generated more than one billion lifetime views, and together partnered with the Independent Lens brand, recognized as a worldwide leader in documentaries showcasing the diverse and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers.
“We're very excited to launch our strictly online series Indie Lens Storycast as part of Independent Lens; we see this brand extension as a way to engage with new makers,” said Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens. “We're partnering with PBS Digital Studios and smart storytellers who want to use an episodic digital format to reach younger and more diverse audiences on YouTube.”
“Independent Lens and PBS have been great partners in the broadcast space for decades, and we’re excited to expand our relationship to digital,” said Brandon Arolfo, Senior Director, PBS Digital Studios. “Storycast follows a different structure than other
series that are in our YouTube network – allowing us to serve more audiences with versatile content created by a wide range of amazing producers. We’re happy to welcome Storycast to the PBS Digital Studios network and know that it will be a great addition to our network.”
“Episodic storytelling is in a golden age right now, as indie creators with urgent stories to tell are passionate to get into the form," says Karim Ahmad, Senior Producer of Indie Lens Storycast. "This channel is the organic confluence of all that, and the evolution of Indie Lens’ efforts in helping creators spark conversations with the general public. We are thrilled to be partnering with PBS Digital Studios to launch this innovative channel.”
By Killer Films
Producers: Adrienne Becker and Amber Guyton
Premieres Tuesday, September 12; new episodes every Tuesday into October
The Iron Maidens (or "Fe Maidens") are an all-girls competitive robotics team at Bronx Science High School - and one of the only all-female teams in the country. Follow these bright girls as they design, build and compete their robot in a national competition. A revealing exploration of these fearless trailblazers and their connections to one another, Iron Maidens demonstrates how their combined efforts leads them to excel at solving problems no one expects them to. Maybe now people will stop saying "they're pretty good at this--for Girls."
By Nicole Opper and Kristan Cassady
Premieres Thursday, September 14; new episodes every Thursday into October
By the SilverDOCS Award winning, Emmy-nominated filmmaker Nicole Opper (Off and Running) and Kristan Cassady, a queer Bay Area couple who plan to adopt a child and decide they want to form their family by adopting from foster care. This comedic docuseries chronicles their journey into the foster care system to become fost-adopt parents, bumbling through a bureaucratic maze in order to learn everything they can. Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part, but at least Nicole and Kristan have a sense of humor about the rollercoaster of emotions they are riding.
By Senain Kheshgi
Premieres Tuesday, October 24th; new episodes every Tuesday into December
In Pakistan, upper-class women live lives that often look just like upper-class Americans. They indulge in leisurely lunches and tea sessions, visit elite social clubs, and share interpersonal dramas every bit as fierce as their US counterparts. And these Pakistani women have their pet projects—only instead of launching cosmetic lines or a signature vodka brand, they’re building schools in rural villages, fighting violence against women, and supporting the local arts. But they manage to have fun, too.
by Garland McLaurin
Premieres Thursday, October 26th; new episodes every Thursday into December.
POPS tells three stories of African Americans from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and regions deeply engaged in the beautiful struggle of fatherhood. A new father must balance his career as an avid YouTuber with his wife’s postpartum depression; a formerly incarcerated writer strives to make a difference for others like him while being present for his toddler son; and a gay couple grapples with the challenges of guiding their adopted son into his teenage years. Each story, while very different, explores the universal themes of responsibility, nurturing, and love.
Visit the Indie Lens Storycast channel on YouTube for more information.
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 pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation: facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens
About PBS Digital Studios
The PBS Digital Studios network on YouTube includes more than 15 ongoing original series, including from PBS member stations across the country, designed to engage, enlighten and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 12 million subscribers and has generated more than one billion views. Series include the Webby Award-winning It’s Okay To Be Smart, Physics Girl and Crash Course, as well as popular series such as BrainCraft, PBS Space Time and more.
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 itvs.org.