POV today announced the acquisition of the U.S. broadcast rights for Bisbee '17, directed by Robert Greene. The film will join the series' 32nd season, which kicks off on PBS and amdoc.org in June 2019.
Produced by American Documentary and broadcasting on PBS since 1988, POV is American television's longest-running documentary series.
Bisbee '17, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was one of A.O. Scott's top film picks of 2018, follows several residents of Bisbee, Arizona, a former mining town where locals attempt to reckon with their community's darkest hour. In 1917, nearly 2,000 immigrant miners, on strike for better wages and safer working conditions, were violently rounded up by their armed neighbors, herded onto cattle cars, shipped to the middle of the New Mexican desert.
Culminating in a large-scale recreation of the deportation itself, the film combines narrative and nonfiction elements to create dramatized scenes that address contemporary themes of immigration, labor rights and environmental damage
"Playing the film on POV and getting it to the wider audience that public television offers is truly a dream come true for us," said director Robert Greene. "The Bisbee Deportation has been largely erased from history and we are so proud to have worked with the townspeople of Bisbee to tell this all-too-relevant story in a powerful and cinematic way."
"This is a daring documentary," said Chris White, executive producer of POV/American Documentary. "It fluidly transitions between past and present, and the way the film interacts with and reflects on collective memory and past trauma is deeply moving-the recreation itself feels like a cathartic group therapy. This is a cinematic adventure, and it pushes the boundaries of nonfiction storytelling."
POV's 32nd season begins in June 2019 on PBS television, PBS Passport as well as pov.org and amdoc.org, with exact premiere dates to be announced in Spring 2019. Bisbee '17 will premiere with other announced titles including On Her Shoulders by Alexandria Bombach and The Silence of Others by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. Bisbee '17 recently received five nominations for the 12th Annual Cinema Eye Honors and a nod for Best Documentary for the 28th Annual IFP Gotham Awards.
The Bisbee '17 deal was negotiated by Justine Nagan and Chris White on behalf of POV, and Matt Burke and Josh Braun of Submarine on behalf of Bisbee '17. The film was produced by Douglass Tirola, Susan Bedusa and Bennett Elliott at 4th Row Films.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television's premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world's boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.
POV films have won 37 Emmy® Awards, 21 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Award for CORPORATE Commitment to Diversity. Learn more at www.pbs.org/pov/ and follow @povdocs on Twitter.
POV's Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 800 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.
Since 1994, AmDoc has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department has continually experimented with web-based documentaries, producing PBS' first program website and the first Snapchat-native documentary. It has won major awards for its work, including a Webby Award and over 19 nominations. Now with a singular focus on incubating and distributing interactive productions, AmDoc's interactive team continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its co-productions, acquisitions and the POV Labs, where media MAKERS and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyncote Foundation. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Fledgling Fund, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.