Four for Independent Lens and One for POV, also on PBS.

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(San Francisco, CA, October 6, 2017) Five ITVS documentaries, four for Independent Lens and one for POV, received News & Documentary Emmy Awards, it was announced today at the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. The winning films include: The Armor of Light (Independent Lens) for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary; Thank You For Playing (POV) for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary; In Football We Trust (Independent Lens) for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary; (T)ERROR (Independent Lens) for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and Best of Enemies (Independent Lens) for Outstanding Historical Documentary. The News & Documentary Emmy Awards were presented on Thursday, October 5, 2017 in New York City; 15 ITVS productions were nominated. See complete list of all ITVS nominations below. PBS programs received 46 nominations and secured 12 wins for the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, the most earned by any organization.

"We're delighted that five ITVS documentaries, including four films funded through our Open Call, won Emmys this year," said Sally Jo Fifer, President and CEO of ITVS. “We congratulate our filmmakers; it’s an honor for us to fund and bring these compelling and important films to public television audiences.”

"We're thrilled that 11 Independent Lens films were nominated this year and four won Emmy Awards," said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. "It's a testament to these filmmakers' extraordinary work. Their boots on the ground storytelling results in films at the epicenter of vital conversations happening in America right now about race, gun violence, justice and what it means to live in a democracy. We have more great films like I Am Not Your Negro, Dolores, and The Force coming to our new season starting on November 6."

Formed by Congress in 1988 to address the lack of diverse voices in public media, ITVS has served as an incubator for filmmakers and a funding engine for more than 1400 films. Recipient of both the 2017 Television Academy Governors Award and 2017 Peabody Institutional Award, ITVS was recognized by the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors for its “broad transformative impact on the media landscape.” 


Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary:

The Return (POV) Filmmakers: Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway

An unprecedented reform to California's "Three Strikes" law examined through the eyes of those on the front lines — prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law.

What Tomorrow Brings (POV) Filmmaker: Beth Murphy    

Inside the very first girls' school in a small Afghan village, education goes far beyond the classroom as the students discover the differences between the lives they were born into and the lives they dream of leading.

Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary:

Wilhemina's War (Independent Lens) Filmmaker: June Cross

In Wilhemina's War, an African American grandmother struggles to help her granddaughter survive the health risks and social stigma of living with HIV.

Outstanding Social Issue Documentary:

Autism in Love (Independent Lens) Filmmaker: Matt Fuller

Autism in Love follows four adults on the autism spectrum as they navigate the challenges of dating and romantic relationships.

The Armor of Light (Independent Lens) Filmmaker: Abigail Disney *WON*

Two people of faith — an Evangelical activist and a mother whose son was murdered — find common ground in the fight against gun violence.

Outstanding Investigative Documentary: *WON*

(T)ERROR (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe

(T)ERROR shines a light on shadowy world of FBI informants, government surveillance, and counter-terrorism operations, going deep inside an active terror sting.

Outstanding Historical Documentary: 

Best of Enemies (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon *WON*

Best of Enemies captures the legendary 1968 debates between two famed intellectuals and ideological opposites: leftist Gore Vidal and neoconservative William F. Buckley.


No Más Bebés (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Renee Tajima-Peña and Virginia Espino

No Más Bebés investigates the history of Mexican-American women who were coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s.

Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary: 

Meet the Patels (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Geeta Patel and Ravi Patel

A real-life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, a single 30-year-old Indian American actor whose parents pull out all the stops to find him a bride.

Thank You For Playing (POV) Filmmakers: David Osit, Malika Zouhali-Worrall *WON*    

When Ryan Green, a video game programmer, learns that his young son has cancer, he and his wife begin documenting their emotional journey with a poetic video game. Thank You For Playing follows Ryan and his family over two years creating "That Dragon, Cancer," which evolves from a cathartic exercise into a critically acclaimed work of art.

Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary

Dogtown Redemption (Independent Lens) Filmmaker: Amir Soltani

Four recyclers in Oakland struggle to survive in a neighborhood already decimated by unemployment, addiction, and violence.

In Football We Trust (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn *WON*

The Polynesian football pipeline reaches from the Islands to Utah via the Mormon Church — and beyond there to the NFL.

Best Documentary:

Welcome to Leith (Independent Lens) Filmmakers: Michael Beach Nichols & Christopher K. Walker      

Welcome to Leith chronicles the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb.


Thank You For Playing (POV) (See above)        

Outstanding Editing: Documentary:

Thank You For Playing (POV) (See above)        

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

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.



Donna Hardwick, ITVS         415-356-8383       

Mary Lugo                              770-623-8190        

Cara White                             843-881-1480        

Posted on October 5, 2017