Three Independent Lens Films and Four ITVS-Funded Documentaries Honored with Peabody Award Nominations

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(San Francisco, CA, April 9, 2019) — ITVS is proud to announce that seven of its films were nominated in the documentary category for the 78th Annual Peabody Awards, out of a total 18 nominees. Titles include Dolores, I Am Not Your Negro and The Judge, which aired on the PBS series Independent Lens, presented by ITVS. In addition, four ITVS-funded films received the honor: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, Minding the Gap, QUEST, and SurvivorsHonoring the “most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio, and digital media,” the Peabody Awards will announce the winners in the Documentary Category on April 16th. The Peabody Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.


"We’re exceptionally proud to have three films recognized by the Peabody Awards, as I Am Not Your Negro, Dolores, and The Judge each celebrate iconic leaders who imagined a world that didn’t yet exist and fought to manifest that vision into being,” said Lois Vossen, executive producer of Independent Lens. “Raoul Peck’s masterpiece captures James Baldwin’s extraordinary clarion voice, and working with Raoul during the production of I Am Not Your Negro was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. In Dolores, Peter Bratt masterfully captures the indefatigable architect of social change Dolores Huerta who originated the saying 'Si Se Puede' ('Yes We Can') and lives it every day. Determined to show that women in the Middle East are engaged in fighting chauvinism, Erika Cohn’s The Judge challenges our preconceived notion of Shari’a law and the experience of women in the Middle East. We’re truly honored to have worked with and supported these filmmakers who’ve made films that — like their subjects — will inspire millions of people around the world for generations to come.”


We are thrilled that ITVS’s funding initiatives continue to help independent filmmakers tell bold stories that the esteemed Peabody Award board of jurors applaud through award nominations,” said Jim Sommers, senior vice president of ITVS content. “Partnering with public media strands to bring this work to the world is more important than ever, and vital to our mission. We are very proud of our team and colleagues.” Minding the Gap, QUEST, and Survivor, all of which premiered on the PBS series POV, and Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, debuted on American Masters.


More information on the nominated 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.


I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck

One of the most acclaimed films of recent years and an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, I Am Not Your Negro 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. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words (read by Samuel L. Jackson).


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 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.


QUEST: A Portrait of an American Family by Jonathan Olshefski (POV)

Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of a family from North Philadelphia. Beginning during the Obama presidency, Christopher "Quest" Rainey and his wife, Christine'a "Ma Quest," raise a family while nurturing a community of hip-hop artists in their basement home music studio. Epic in scope, QUEST is a vivid illumination of race and class in America and a testament to love, healing and hope.


Survivors by Arthur Pratt (POV)

Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmaker Arthur Pratt, Survivors presents an intimate portrait of his country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the sociopolitical turmoil that lies in its wake.


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 April 10, 2019