POV, public television’s acclaimed showcase of independent nonfiction films, has named four productions to receive support from the series’ Diverse Voices Project (DVP), made possible through major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The DVP initiative, launched in 2003, awards co-production funding to filmmakers with creative and compelling stories to tell about diverse communities. The four films were selected from 345 submissions, and will air nationally on PBS during POV’s 20th season in 2007 and 21st season in 2008.
Selected films are Casino Nation by Terry Jones (Seneca), Laure Sullivan, Paul Wilson, and Mark Repasky; Made in L.A. by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar; Nerakhoun: The Betrayal by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath; and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars by Zach Niles and Banker White.
“We’re delighted to once again provide public television stations with engaging new programming that will resonate among varied communities,” said Simon Kilmurry, POV’s Executive Director, who noted that PBS station representatives worked with POV staff and filmmakers on the review panel. “We will draw on our extensive resources, including community engagement campaigns, the POV Web site and our Talking Back feedback from viewers, to sustain the programs’ impact well beyond the broadcast.”
The Diverse Voices Project is a partnership of POV and CPB, working with the five publicly funded Minority Consortia, which include Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC).
POV’s 2003 Diverse Voices films – Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras’ Flag Wars, Lisette Marie Flanary and Evann Siebens’ American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i, Juan Carlos Zaldivar’s 90 Miles, Charley Trujillo and Sonya Rhee’s Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam, and Alex Rivera’s The Sixth Section — garnered critical acclaim and awards, including a George Foster Peabody Award for Flag Wars.
2007 “Diverse Voices” Films
Casino Nation is a snapshot of a Native American tribe at a crossroads. After having endured a long and bloody struggle over tribal gaming, the Seneca Nation is now in the casino business. The film highlights the impact of sudden prosperity on this small sovereign nation that has historically struggled with crushing poverty. Will the distinctive culture and identity of these native people be able to withstand the onslaught of American culture’s promise of big and easy money? And will the tribe be able to heal the deep rifts created by conflict over casinos? The film explores these and other issues facing the Senecas during this critical time of sweeping change. Funded in part by Native American Public Telecommunications.
Documenting the lives, struggle and personal transformation of three Latina garment factory workers over a tumultuous three-year period, Made in L.A. artfully reveals the challenges facing immigrant workers and explores the dramatic and complex impact of globalization on the U.S. apparel industry and its largely immigrant workforce.
Nerakhoun: The Betrayal tells the remarkable story of Laotian refugee Thavisouk Phrasavath and his struggle against the forces of war and betrayal from his homeland to the U.S. The film marks an extraordinary collaboration between renowned cinematographer and director Ellen Kuras and Thavi himself as they combine the personal story of father and son with the sweeping global politics of Laos and the U.S. The result is a lyrical film that incorporates a mixture of archival footage, cinema verite, interviews and visually poetic montages. Thavi’s unforgettable journey reminds us of the inner strength necessary to survive war and poverty, and of the capacity to adapt, rebuild and forgive. Funded in part by the Center for Asian American Media.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars is the life-affirming story of a group of six musicians who come together to form a band while living as refugees in the Republic of Guinea. Forced from their homes in Sierra Leone, the members of the band represent the thousands of stories that exist amongst the survivors of the country’s civil war. Through music, The Refugee All Stars have found refuge, purpose and a source of power by giving a voice to the experiences of so many struggling to survive. Winner of the Full Frame Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, Full Frame/Emerging Pictures Audience Award, 2006 Miami International Film Festival Audience Award, 2005 AFI Grand Jury Award Best Documentary.

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.