POV executive director Simon KilmurryPOV Executive Director Simon Kilmurry unveils the exciting line-up for the 23rd season of POV on PBS.

I always feel a bit of a disconnect when I hear talk of a crisis in the media and then I see all the fantastic films that come through POV. Believe me, I know it’s tough out there, but from what I can tell, there are more excellent documentaries being made than ever before, despite the challenges. At POV, that makes our job more fun — and harder. We get to work with great films, but never have enough room for all the films we love, and those are decisions we never take lightly.

So, this is the time of year when we finally get to announce our 2010 POV season. We’ve been working with some of these filmmakers for a long time while they have been in production; others came to us more recently. We are thrilled to welcome back some esteemed POV alums, and give other filmmakers their first shot at a national broadcast. The subject matters may be diverse, but if there is one thing that unites these films, it’s the singular vision of the filmmakers. They have all found approaches to storytelling that serve their subjects — whether it be adoption, international aid, civil liberties, art or personal crises.

A couple of Oscar nominees bookend our year, and many of the films have been on the festival circuit from Sundance to IDFA, Hot Docs, Silverdocs and Full Frame, to name just a few. Some you’ll be seeing in your local theatre, too.

So, here is the list.

The year kicks off on April 21 with a special broadcast of Oscar nominee Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner. As part of this broadcast slot, we’ll also have the short documentary Notes on Milk by Ariana Gerstein and Monteith McCollum, a variation on their 2007 feature documentary Milk in the Land.

The regular POV season starts in June and runs through September, as follows:

June 22       William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
                    by Emily and Sarah Kunstler
June 29       The Beaches of Agnès
                    by Agnès Varda
July 6         Promised Land
                    by Yoruba Richen
July 13       Good Fortune
                    by Landon Van Soest
July 20       El General
                    by Natalia Almada
July 27      Presumed Guilty
                    by Roberto Hernández and Geoffrey Smith
Aug. 3         The Way We Get By
                    by Aron Gaudet (Encore)
Aug. 10       First Person Plural

                    by Deann Borshay Liem (Encore)
Aug. 17       Salt
                    by Michael Angus and Murray Fredericks
                   A Healing Art
                    by Ellen Frick
Aug. 24       The Edge of Dreaming
                    by Amy Hardie
Aug. 31       Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy
                    by Stephanie Wang-Breal
Sept. 7        Off and Running
                    by Nicole Opper

Sept. 14     In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee
                    by Deann Borshay Liem
Sept. 21     The Oath
                    by Laura Poitras

We’ll wrap the year up with a special fall presentation of the Oscar-nominated film, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith with a date to be announced.

Also this year we are excited to partner with Dave Isay and StoryCorps to present a selection of animated documentary shorts based on StoryCorps’ groundbreaking NPR oral-history project. We’ll present these shorts alongside some of our feature documentaries and short film slots. Look for details soon.

There will be local community screenings for many of these films around the country over the next few months — so, why not join us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter here (check the left column of the page) so you don’t miss a single film.

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Simon served as chief operating officer of American Documentary for six years before assuming the role of executive director in Fall 2006. Since joining AmDoc in 1999, he has played a key role in helping to set strategic direction for the organization and implementing new initiatives, including the Diverse Voices Project, POV's co-production initiative in support of emerging filmmakers; POV's Borders, PBS' Webby Award-winning online series; and True Lives, a second-run series for independent documentaries on public television. In addition, he worked to secure pioneering partnerships with both Netflix and Docurama to expand the distribution opportunities for POV filmmakers and enhance branding for POV Previously, Simon was associate director at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, a nonprofit literary arts and education organization and publisher, where he is now a member of the board of directors. He has also served as a board member and treasurer for Elders Share the Arts and East Harlem Block Schools, and as an informal advisor and funding panel member for other organizations including the New York City Center for Arts Education, the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers and New York State Council on the Arts. Simon attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Columbia University Business School's Institute for Not-for-Profit Management.