To honor POV’s 30th season, which kicked off this week with Dalya’s Other Country, a festive gathering of the doc cognoscenti congregated at POV’s offices in Dumbo, Brooklyn earlier this month. Along with the Cinema Eye Honors, POV’s annual party has become the most regular, highly concentrated gathering of the NYC doc community. But this year’s celebration of three decades seemed particularly momentous.

As a tip of the hat to POV, I asked some filmmakers to share their love for a series that not only reaches millions of viewers, but, clearly, also a wide, diverse and appreciative community of documentary professionals.

“I watched and adored POV films in the years before I had my own films as a director and producer, like Tongues Untied and the films of Alan Berliner. First, you watch these movies and then you get to work with the people who made them. When I made My Perestroika, POV took me on on the basis of a ten-minute reel. I knew where my broadcast would be during three years of production. You feel proud to be a part of it and there’s pride in the accssibility to the entire country. If you care about reaching the broadest audience possible, you can be proud to be a part of POV.”
– Robin Hessman (My Perestroika)

“POV was a doula for me for my first film, Street Fight. I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t have money or relationships. And they welcomed me to the world of documentary filmmaking.”
– Marshall Curry (Street Fight., Racing Dreams, If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front)

“The great thing about POV is they showcase documentaries that tell honest and true stories about their subjects. Two Towns of Jasper is one of my favorites. The staff really cares about the craft and the filmmakers.”
– Michael Fequiere (former POV intern, director of KOJO: A Short Documentary)

“They released the first film that I was a director on, If A Tree Falls. I don’t think I realized how I lucky was. But the by the second time, for Art and Craft, I knew. They made my career.”
– Sam Cullman (If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Art and Craft)

Read more about the films that make up POV’s 30th season on PBS.

Get more documentary film news and features: Subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

Published by

Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen