On Saturday, PBS, ITVS, POV, Independent Lens, and WNET together led the first in a series of events to ignite conversations about the importance of independent documentary films — and the need to provide a prominent platform for indies. More than 225 Bay Area filmmakers, local and national independent film organizations, public media advocates, educators, and community leaders turned out at the San Francisco Public Library to share and hear testimonials and ideas on how to build the visibility, reach, and impact of independent films by and about diverse, underrepresented communities on public broadcasting.
Their audience? PBS programming leaders Beth Hoppe and Marie Nelson, WNET’s Lesley Norman, ITVS’s Sally Jo Fifer, KQED’s Kevin Martin, Independent Lens’ Lois Vossen, POV’s Simon Kilmurry, filmmakers Orlando Bagwell and Tracy Droz Tragos, and community leaders Esta Soler of Futures Without Violence and Kin Folkz of Spectrum Queer Media.
The line to the microphone snaked up the auditorium aisle as attendees stepped up to tell the panel of “listeners” onstage about their experiences in making and using independent documentary to engage citizens of all ages in social issues, from poverty and homelessness to youth and women’s empowerment to LGBQT rights and gender-based violence. Many filmmakers expressed their hope for POV and Independent Lens to maintain a prominent position on the programming schedule amid recent headlines in trade press.
See a few highlights from the event here:
See coverage on Saturday's event in Current: "Filmmakers push for common carriage at first stop in public TV 'listening tour'." PBS launched “Independent Film on PBS: A National Listening Tour” in partnership with ITVS, POV, Independent Lens, and WNET. WNET and POV will organize the next event to be held on February 23, 2015 in New York City, location TBD. The Indie Caucus and Kartemquin Films will host a third stop in Chicago in March, date TBD.
From our blog
September 4, 2020
Director Lorena Manríquez spoke with me about the filmmaking process behind her film about Mexican muralist David Siqueiros, as well as the persistence required, and working during COVID quarantine.
August 27, 2020
Over the last month, we came together—virtually—with filmmakers and thought leaders for the ITVS Independents Summit. From virtual panels, check-ins, and happy hours, find out what we learned in our recap.
August 12, 2020
Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña talks about the PBS series she produced, "Asian Americans," as well as her extensive career, her association with ITVS, and racism during the time of COVID.