PBS to Celebrate POINT OF VIEW's 25th Anniversary

Related: PBS, POV

POV (Point of View) , launched on PBS in 1988, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on-air, online and on the ground in communities across the United States. American television's longest-running independent documentary series, POV is spearheading a wide array of activities featuring the brightest names in nonfiction film to complement its 2012-2013 season.

POV's 25th season, which began in June 2012, continues its regular Thursday primetime broadcasts through Oct. 25, 2012 with Patricio Guzman's award-winning Nostalgia for the Light, a remarkable meditation on Chile's history and its intersection with science. Two special presentations conclude the season in 2013, when POV switches to Monday nights at 10 p.m. on PBS: Reportero, the urgent story of Mexican journalists risking their lives to expose the truth, and Girl Model, a cautionary tale about young girls trying to break into the modeling industry.  

Also this season, Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme, whose film Cousin Bobby premiered on POV in 1993, returns with I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, a story of personal triumph after Hurricane Katrina.Natalia Almada's El Velador (The Night Watchman), which premiered at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in partnership with POV, visits the victims of Mexico's drug war—in the eerie quiet of a cemetery where silence speaks louder than words. Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco's Give Up Tomorrow tells a shocking story of injustice in the Philippines, and Adi Lavy and Maya Stark's Sun Kissed links American events from 1864 to the health of Navajo people today.

POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 27 Emmys, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. This year, POV achieved a new milestone, garnering a record 16 nominations in the 2012 News & Documentary Emmy Awards®, including four nominations for Best Documentary.

Leading arts, media and news organizations are joining with POV in 2012 and 2013 to present special events in honor of the series' 25th anniversary:

  • Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 – The Points North Documentary Forum, in partnership with the Orchard, will host a special reception at the Camden International Film Festival in Maine honoring POV and celebrating a quarter-century of some of the finest documentary programming on television. 
  • October - November 2012 – The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in Pleasantville, N.Y., continues its year-long celebration of 25 years of POV with screenings of Theo Rigby's Sin Pais (Without Country) on Oct. 9, as part of its "Latin Links: Immigrant Voices" series, and Reportero with filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz on Nov. 14, as part of its annual "Global Watch: Crisis, Culture and Human Rights" documentary series. The latter series has featured many POV filmmakers over the years, including Jonathan Demme, Marshall Curry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front), Pamela Yates (The Reckoning; Granito) and Jessica Yu (In the Realms of the Unreal). 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 – POV and The New York Times Media Group's Diversity Communications Committee will present "THE LIGHT IN HER EYES: Women, Faith and Empowerment in Syria" in New York City. The lunchtime event will be moderated by Michael Slackman, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times, and will feature Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix, the directors/producers of POV's The Light in Her Eyes. 
  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 – "Documenting Power: 25 Years of Political Films on POV" at The Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd Street, New York City. The evening event will be moderated by film and television critic Caryn James and will feature POV filmmakers Marshall Curry (Street Fight; If a Tree Falls; Racing Dreams), Laura Poitras (Flag Wars; My Country, My Country; The Oath), Shola Lynch (Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed) and Marco Williams (Two Towns of Jasper). 
  • Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 – POV is a partner in the Paley Center's DocFest Pitch Competition, which offers a $5,000 grant from A&E IndieFilms for an unfinished or work-in-progress documentary from an emerging filmmaker. This contest, now in its ninth year, asks five preselected up-and-coming nonfiction filmmakers to pitch their unfinished films to a panel of experts and producers in front of an audience. The event is part of The Paley Center for Media's annual documentary festival.
  • Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2012 – Germany's prestigious DOK Leipzig festival will showcase four POV films—The Oath, Better This World, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers and an additional title—in a special program, "The Fragility of Democracy – 25 Years of POV in America." 
  • February 2013 – POV at MoMA's "Documentary Fortnight"; details to be announced.

For a full list of POV screenings and events around the country, visit www.pbs.org/pov/outreach.

"POV has a legacy of supporting independent filmmakers and their work," says POV Executive Producer Simon Kilmurry. "Twenty five years ago, POV broke new ground by bringing bold and provocative documentaries to public television. Documentaries have a cultural currency due to the work of filmmakers like those who have been featured on POV over the years. These films no longer exist at the margins, but have become essential to how we experience the world. The vision and expression of filmmakers, whether they are working with long-form docs or experimenting with new digital tools, are inspiring, challenging and very, very exciting."

"POV has 25 years of lessons learned, trends established and new ground to cover," says POV Co-Executive Producer Cynthia Lopez. "We are grateful to the individuals and organizations that have been with us every step of the way, to the filmmakers who have chosen to tell their stories on POV and to the new partners who join with us every day. POV will continue to build on this strong foundation to nurture new generations of documentary storytellers."

Under the leadership of Kilmurry and Lopez, POV has formed a 25th anniversary advisory committee that includes Marc N. Weiss, POV's founder, and 17 people from the film, television and arts community:

Stephen Apkon, Founder and Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC)
Stephen Apkon is the founder and executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, a nonprofit film and education organization in Pleasantville, N.Y. that presents documentary, independent and foreign films. Apkon is president of Big 20 Productions and producer of I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, directed by Jonathan Demme and premiering on POV on Sept. 20, 2012, and Enlistment Day. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens.

Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Sally Berger is a film and media curator, lecturer and writer. Her exhibitions at MoMA explore multiple genres, including experimental, documentary and dramatic narrative film. She is the director of the annual "Documentary Fortnight: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction Film," which was founded in 2001 and features contemporary trends in nonfiction film/media. In March 2012, Berger traveled to Cuba with the Americas Media Initiative as guest curator of "Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias," a touring U.S. documentary shorts program.

Heather Croall, Director, Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Doc/Fest) 
Under Heather Croall's directorship, Sheffield Doc/Fest has grown into one of the biggest documentary festivals in the world. Prior to joining Doc/Fest, Croall was director of the Australian International Documentary Conference, where she first developed the innovative matchmaking pitching initiative known as "MeetMarket," which is now a cornerstone of Doc/Fest and regarded as one of Europe's top pitching initiatives. Croall has long been one of the industry's leading proponents of new media: In 2001, she and international partners developed the cross-media initiative "Crossover"—now a major part of Doc/Fest.

Deirdre Haj, Executive Director, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 
In her position at Full Frame, Deirdre Haj established the festival's year-round screening series as well as its "Teach the Teachers" program, "The School of Doc" for teens in Durham, N.C. (where the festival's headquarters are located) and the "A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy" discussion venue. Previously, she consulted for such organizations as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Her first film, the award-winning 2002 broadcast documentary Scene Smoking, was narrated by Sela Ward and starred Sean PennTed Danson and Rob Reiner.

Ryan Harrington, Director of Documentary Programming, Tribeca Film Institute
In his position at the Tribeca Film Institute, Ryan Harrington provides annual grants for up to 40 feature documentary projects worldwide. Previously, he managed production at A&E IndieFilms, where he championed the Oscar-nominatedMurderball and Jesus Camp. With Participant Media, he recently produced the feature documentary A Place at the Table, which will be released in theaters in early 2013.

Pat Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
Under the leadership of the Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison, CPB has strengthened public service media through investments in three important areas: digital, through innovation and technology; dialogue, through local community engagement, partnerships and service; and diversity, with diversity of content, talent and service. Prior to joining CPB in 2005, Harrison served as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. She is chairman of the advisory board of the Women and Girls Lead public-media initiative. In August 2012, she was included on the Forbes list of "Women Changing the World in Media" for establishing and directing the project.

Dave Isay, Founder, StoryCorps
Dave Isay is the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including six Peabody Awards and a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. He is the author and editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including three StoryCorps books: Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (2010) and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012)—all New York Times bestsellers.

Robert Kenner, Director and Producer
Robert Kenner's FOOD, Inc. (POV 2010) was nominated for an Academy Award® and won two Emmys. His most recent film, When Strangers Click, aired on HBO and is nominated for an Emmy. He received Peabody, Emmy and Grierson Awards for Two Days in October and was co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for Martin Scorsese's PBS series The Blues. Kenner has directed specials for PBS' American Experience and National Geographic, includingDon't Say Goodbye, which screened at the White House for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Kenner recently launched FixFood, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the food system, and he has begun shooting Merchants of Doubt, a feature documentary for Participant Media.

Paula A. Kerger, President and Chief Executive Officer, PBS
Since Paula Kerger's arrival at PBS in 2006, she has made particularly strong commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, education and the use of new technology to expand access to public media. Under her leadership to expand PBS' impact across platforms, PBS programming is now more accessible to Americans than at any time in public broadcasting's history. Prior to joining PBS, Kerger served for more than a decade at Educational Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of Thirteen/WNET.

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