This week, we take a look at a few film festivals and turn our attention to POV films — and their subjects — in the news.


The Silverdocs Documentary Festival will take place from June 21- 27, 2010 (see our post about the festival in last week’s roundup). In addition to a great slate of films, the festival also features a number of workshops for filmmakers and media makers. Theresa Riley, the director of POV Interactive, is one of the panelists at PBS Interactive Workshop: Building Your Digital Toolbox. If you’re a producer who has a project in development, fill out an application and you could be selected to receive feedback about your project’s online plan. The workshop takes place on Thursday, June 24.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival kicked off in New York City on Thursday, June 10th with the opening night film, 12th and Delaware, which takes a look at both sides of the abortion debate; it is directed by POV alums Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka, 2006). The festival runs through June 24th, showcasing stories that bear witness to human rights violations. The closing night film will be Presumed Guilty, the story of a man wrongfully imprisoned in Mexico City. Global Comment called Presumed Guilty a “fascinating peek inside the Orwellian and oxymoronic Mexican justice system” and Pop Matters ponders the case, saying that it would be “shocking in most countries,” but par for course in Mexico, where “over ninety percent of defendants never even see a judge, and only about five percent are found innocent.” The film will air on POV on July 27, 2010.

Another film that will air on POV later this year is The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg, who leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times in 1971, recently appeared at the Personal Democracy Forum this past week with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Wikileaks is designed to help whisteblowers, journalists and activists provide sensitive materials to the public. The Hill reported that Ellsberg admires Wikileaks and mused that the Internet would have “eased publication of the Pentagon Papers.” Ellsberg has also been critical of President Obama in Speigel Online, and endorsed candidate Marcy Winograde, who is running for the senate, as reported by CBS News.

Finally, have you had a chance to check out our own Tom Roston‘s “Doc Power List”? On this very blog, Tom listed the 50 most powerful people in the documentary world (Top 10 and 11-40, unranked). What do you think of the list?

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.