American Documentary | POV Joins with Film, Media and Arts Organizations Nationwide to Celebrate POV’s 25th Anniversary on PBS

Screenings and Special Events with The New York Times, Paley Center for Media, Museum of Modern Art, Camden International Film Festival, Jacob Burns Film Center and DOK Leipzig Enliven Our Dialogue on Politics, Culture, Journalism and Human Rights

POV (Point of View), launched on PBS in 1988, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on-air, online and on the ground in communities across the United States. American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, POV is spearheading a wide array of activities featuring the brightest names in nonfiction film to complement its 2012-2013 season.

POV’s 25th season, which began in June 2012, continues its regular Thursday primetime broadcasts through Oct. 25, 2012 with Patricio Guzmán’s award-winning Nostalgia for the Light, a remarkable meditation on Chile’s history and its intersection with science. Two special presentations conclude the season in 2013, when POV switches to Monday nights at 10 p.m. on PBS: Reportero, the urgent story of Mexican journalists risking their lives to expose the truth, and Girl Model, a cautionary tale about young girls trying to break into the modeling industry.

Also this season, Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme, whose film Cousin Bobby premiered on POV in 1993, returns with I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, a story of personal triumph after Hurricane Katrina. Natalia Almada’s El Velador (The Night Watchman), which premiered at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in partnership with POV, visits the victims of Mexico’s drug war–in the eerie quiet of a cemetery where silence speaks louder than words. Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco’s Give Up Tomorrow tells a shocking story of injustice in the Philippines, and Adi Lavy and Maya Stark’s Sun Kissed links American events from 1864 to the health of Navajo people today.

POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 27 Emmys, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. This year, POV achieved a new milestone, garnering a record 16 nominations in the 2012 News & Documentary Emmy Awards®, including four nominations for Best Documentary.

Leading arts, media and news organizations are joining with POV in 2012 and 2013 to present special events in honor of the series’ 25th anniversary:

  • Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 – The Points North Documentary Forum, in partnership with the Orchard, will host a special reception at the Camden International Film Festival in Maine honoring POV and celebrating a quarter-century of some of the finest documentary programming on television.
  • October – November 2012 – The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in Pleasantville, N.Y., continues its year-long celebration of 25 years of POV with screenings of Theo Rigby’s Sin País (Without Country) on Oct. 9, as part of its “Latin Links: Immigrant Voices” series, and Reportero with filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz on Nov. 14, as part of its annual “Global Watch: Crisis, Culture and Human Rights” documentary series. The latter series has featured many POV filmmakers over the years, including Jonathan Demme, Marshall Curry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front), Pamela Yates, Peter Kinoy and Paco de Onís (Granito: How to Nail a Dictator) and Jessica Yu (In the Realms of the Unreal).
  • Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 – POV and The New York Times Media Group’s Diversity Communications Committee will present “THE LIGHT IN HER EYES: Women, Faith and Empowerment in Syria” in New York City. The lunchtime event will be moderated by Michael Slackman, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times, and will feature Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix, the directors/producers of POV’s The Light in Her Eyes.
  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 – “Documenting Power: 25 Years of Political Films on POV” at The Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd Street, New York City. The evening event will be moderated by film and television critic Caryn James and will feature POV filmmakers Marshall Curry (Street Fight; If a Tree Falls; Racing Dreams), Laura Poitras (Flag Wars; My Country, My Country; The Oath), Shola Lynch (Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed) and Marco Williams (Two Towns of Jasper).
  • Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 – POV is a partner in The Paley Center’s DocFest Pitch Competition, which offers a $5,000 grant from A&E IndieFilms for an unfinished or work-in-progress documentary from an emerging filmmaker. This contest, now in its ninth year, asks five preselected up-and-coming nonfiction filmmakers to pitch their unfinished films to a panel of experts and producers in front of an audience. The event is part of The Paley Center for Media’s annual documentary festival.
  • Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2012 – Germany’s prestigious DOK Leipzig festival will showcase four POV films–The Oath, Better This World, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers and A Perfect Candidate –in a special program, “The Fragility of Democracy – 25 Years of POV in America.”
  • February 2013 – POV at MoMA’s “Documentary Fortnight”; details to be announced.
  • For a full list of POV screenings and events around the country, visit visit

    “POV has a legacy of supporting independent filmmakers and their work,” says POV Executive Producer Simon Kilmurry. “Twenty five years ago, POV broke new ground by bringing bold and provocative documentaries to public television. Documentaries have a cultural currency due to the work of filmmakers like those who have been featured on POV over the years. These films no longer exist at the margins, but have become essential to how we experience the world. The vision and expression of filmmakers, whether they are working with long-form docs or experimenting with new digital tools, are inspiring, challenging and very, very exciting.”

    “POV has 25 years of lessons learned, trends established and new ground to cover,” says POV Co-Executive Producer Cynthia López. “We are grateful to the individuals and organizations that have been with us every step of the way, to the filmmakers who have chosen to tell their stories on POV and to the new partners who join with us every day. POV will continue to build on this strong foundation to nurture new generations of documentary storytellers.”

    Under the leadership of Kilmurry and López, POV has formed a 25th anniversary advisory committee that includes Marc N. Weiss, POV’s founder, and 17 people from the film, television and arts community:


    Stephen Apkon, Founder and Executive Director, Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC)
    Stephen Apkon is the founder and executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, a nonprofit film and education organization in Pleasantville, N.Y. that presents documentary, independent and foreign films. Apkon is president of Big 20 Productions and producer of I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, directed by Jonathan Demme and premiering on POV on Sept. 20, 2012, and Enlistment Day. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens.


    Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
    Sally Berger is a film and media curator, lecturer and writer. Her exhibitions at MoMA explore multiple genres, including experimental, documentary and dramatic narrative film. She is the director of the annual “Documentary Fortnight: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film,” which was founded in 2001 and features contemporary trends in nonfiction film/media. In March 2012, Berger traveled to Cuba with the Americas Media Initiative as guest curator of “Closing Distances/Cerrando Distancias,” a touring U.S. documentary shorts program.


    Heather Croall, Director, Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Doc/Fest)
    Under Heather Croall’s directorship, Sheffield Doc/Fest has grown into one of the biggest documentary festivals in the world. Prior to joining Doc/Fest, Croall was director of the Australian International Documentary Conference, where she first developed the innovative matchmaking pitching initiative known as “MeetMarket,” which is now a cornerstone of Doc/Fest and regarded as one of Europe’s top pitching initiatives. Croall has long been one of the industry’s leading proponents of new media: In 2001, she and international partners developed the cross-media initiative “Crossover”–now a major part of Doc/Fest.


    Deirdre Haj, Executive Director, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
    In her position at Full Frame, Deirdre Haj established the festival’s year-round screening series as well as its “Teach the Teachers” program, “The School of Doc” for teens in Durham, N.C. (where the festival’s headquarters are located) and the “A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy” discussion venue. Previously, she consulted for such organizations as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Her first film, the award-winning 2002 broadcast documentary Scene Smoking, was narrated by Sela Ward and starred Sean Penn, Ted Danson and Rob Reiner.


    Ryan Harrington, Director of Documentary Programming, Tribeca Film Institute
    In his position at the Tribeca Film Institute, Ryan Harrington provides annual grants for up to 40 feature documentary projects worldwide. Previously, he managed production at A&E IndieFilms, where he championed the Oscar-nominated Murderball and Jesus Camp. With Participant Media, he recently produced the feature documentary A Place at the Table, which will be released in theaters in early 2013.


    Pat Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
    Under the leadership of the Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison, CPB has strengthened public service media through investments in three important areas: digital, through innovation and technology; dialogue, through local community engagement, partnerships and service; and diversity, with diversity of content, talent and service. Prior to joining CPB in 2005, Harrison served as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. She is chairman of the advisory board of the Women and Girls Lead public-media initiative. In August 2012, she was included on the Forbes list of “Women Changing the World in Media” for establishing and directing the project.


    Dave Isay, Founder, StoryCorps
    Dave Isay is the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including six Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. He is the author and editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including three StoryCorps books: Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (2010) and All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012)–all New York Times bestsellers.


    Robert Kenner, Director and Producer
    Robert Kenner’s FOOD, Inc. (POV 2010) was nominated for an Academy Award® and won two Emmys. His most recent film, When Strangers Click, aired on HBO and is nominated for an Emmy. He received Peabody, Emmy and Grierson Awards for Two Days in October and was co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for Martin Scorsese’s PBS series The Blues. Kenner has directed specials for PBS’ American Experience and National Geographic, including Don’t Say Goodbye, which screened at the White House for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Kenner recently launched FixFood, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the food system, and he has begun shooting Merchants of Doubt, a feature documentary for Participant Media.


    Paula A. Kerger, President and Chief Executive Officer, PBS
    Since Paula Kerger’s arrival at PBS in 2006, she has made particularly strong commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, education and the use of new technology to expand access to public media. Under her leadership to expand PBS’ impact across platforms, PBS programming is now more accessible to Americans than at any time in public broadcasting’s history. Prior to joining PBS, Kerger served for more than a decade at Educational Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of Thirteen/WNET.


    Michael Lumpkin, Executive Director, International Documentary Association (IDA)
    With nearly three decades of leadership in the nonprofit film community, Michael Lumpkin joined the IDA in 2009. He previously served as both executive director of Frameline and festival director for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival and co-produced the highly acclaimed HBO documentary The Celluloid Closet.


    Bení Matias, Acting Executive Director, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
    Bení Matias is an independent documentary filmmaker and the acting executive director and founding member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). She was previously executive director of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and publisher of The Independent. She is currently working on the Latino Public Broadcasting-funded documentary Coquito! as producer/director with producers Tami Gold and Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez.


    Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President
    Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn borough president since January 2002, is the chief advocate for Brooklyn’s economic, social and cultural interests. Elected to the New York State Senate in 1978, Markowitz began his career in public service in 1971 by organizing the Flatbush Tenants Council, which grew into Brooklyn Housing and Family Services, the largest tenants’ advocacy organization in New York State. In 1973, he founded the Senior Citizens League of Flatbush, an organization that is still going strong: Markowitz proudly joined the League in 2006 at the youthful age of 60.


    Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs Forum and Market Director, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
    Elizabeth Radshaw oversees Hot Docs industry events, including the festival’s flagship event, the Hot Docs Forum, a documentary film-pitching forum that provides a unique opportunity to pitch feature documentaries, series and interactive documentary projects to financers. Radshaw established and runs Doc Ignite, a Canadian documentary crowd-funding site, as well as the Shaw Media Hot Docs Fund and the Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Fund, a production fund for residents of Africa. Previously, she was the head of acquisitions at TVF International, which she joined from the National Film Board of Canada.

    Tammy Robinson, Board Chair, POV
    As former vice president and director of programming for Thirteen/WNET New York, Tammy Robinson oversaw the development and production of all national and local programming, including specials, mini-series and ongoing programs such as Nature, Great Performances and American Masters. She served as liaison with PBS for scheduling and editorial matters, business affairs, promotion, legal and finance and was actively involved in fundraising and establishing partnerships with private-sector entities. Her many awards include an International TV & Film Award, New York Festival, for The Power of the Past with Bill Moyers, the Film Council of Greater Columbus award for In Performance at the White House and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series for Smithsonian World: Tales of the Human Dawn.


    Tiffany Shlain, Founder, The Webby Awards; Co-founder, International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
    Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” Tiffany Shlain has received 50 awards and distinctions for her films and other works. Her last four films premiered at Sundance, including Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology, which the U.S. State Department selected as part of its 2012 American Film Showcase. She is currently working on a film series titled “Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change.” Shlain is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and is a member of the advisory boards of M.I.T.’s Geospatial Data Center and the Institute for the Future.


    Ron Simon, Curator, The Paley Center for Media
    Ron Simon has been a curator at The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio) since the early 1980s. Among the exhibitions he has curated are “The Television of Dennis Potter”; “Witness to History”; and “Jack Benny.” Simon organizes the center’s annual documentary festival, is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, New York University and Hunter College, and lectures internationally. He has written for The Encyclopedia of Television and Thinking Outside of the Box and was host and creative consultant for the CD-ROM Total Television. He is a member of the editorial board of Television Quarterly, former chair of the Peabody Awards jury and recipient of the title Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Cultural Services. Simon curates The Paley Center’s annual documentary festival.


    Sky Sitney, Festival Director, Silverdocs
    Sky Sitney is recognized as one of the key contributors in helping Silverdocs become one of the leading festivals of its kind. She was formerly programming director at the Newport International Film Festival. She also served as film programmer at the New York Underground Film Festival and is co-founder and curator of the series “Fresh Film” at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Sitney is a doctoral candidate in cinema studies at New York University, teaches at Georgetown University and is completing a dissertation on the subject of documentary film.


    Pegi Vail, Associate Director, Center for Media, Culture and History, New York University
    Anthropologist Pegi Vail has taught about culture and media, tourism and documentary filmmaking at New York University and Columbia University and has served as lecturer for the Columbia Alumni Travel Study Program, National Geographic and Open Society. As a curator, she has collaborated with the National Museum of the American Indian, the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, the Museum of Modern Art and The Moth, a storytelling organization for which she was a founding board member. She currently serves on The Moth’s curatorial committee and general council.


    Marc Weiss, Founder of POV
    Marc N. Weiss created POV in 1986, after a long history working in independent media. In 1995 he created POV Interactive, the first website for a public television series; a year later it became one of the first sites to experiment with user-generated content. In 1997, Weiss founded Web Lab, an online laboratory to develop innovative uses of digital media to explore public issues. In 2002, he created Crossover, an intensive retreat designed to catalyze cross-media collaborations. In 2011, he produced When Strangers Click (directed by Robert Kenner) and Gun Fight (directed by Barbara Kopple) for HBO and executive produced A Fierce Green Fire (directed by Mark Kitchell). Weiss is now shifting his focus to work full-time on climate change.

    POV’s 2012 – 2013 Schedule – POV films can be seen on-air, online for 30 days after broadcast at and in sneak previews on the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. The PBS broadcast schedule follows. (All regular 2012 programs air Thursdays at 10 p.m.; check local listings).

    Sept. 20 – I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful by Jonathan Demme
    Jonathan Demme’s portrait of post-Katrina New Orleans tells the story of fearless matriarch Carolyn Parker, a lifelong resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, who is fighting for the right to rebuild her home, her church, her community–and her life. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.

    Sept. 27 – El Velador (The Night Watchman) by Natalia Almada
    Award-winning director Natalia Almada (Al Otro Lado, POV 2005; El General, POV 2009) returns with a beautiful and mesmerizing new film. From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies a guard who watches over the mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. This film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists and quietly defies the dead. An Official Selection of the 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and IDFA. A co-production of Altamura Films, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by CPB. A co-presentation with LPB.

    Oct. 4 – Give Up Tomorrow by Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco
    A riveting exposé of a Kafkaesque world of corruption and injustice, Give Up Tomorrow chronicles a sensational murder case that ends capital punishment in the Philippines–but fails to free an innocent man. Winner, Audience Award, 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. An Official Selection of the 2011 IDFA. A co-production of ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), ITVS and POV’s Diverse Voices Project, with funding provided by CPB in association with the BBC. A co-presentation with CAAM.

    Oct. 18 – Sun Kissed by Maya Stark and Adi Lavy
    When a Navajo couple uncovers a hidden link between their children’s rare genetic disorder and the American government’s conquest of their tribe, their lives are changed forever. A co-production of ITVS, with funding provided by CPB. A co-presentation with Native American Public Telecommunications.

    Oct. 25 – Nostalgia for the Light by Patricio Guzmán
    Chile’s remote Atacama Desert, 10,000 feet above sea level, is the setting of Patricio Guzman’s Nostalgia for the Light. In this otherworldly place, earthly and celestial quests meld: Archaeologists dig for ancient civilizations, women search for their loved ones and astronomers scan the skies for new galaxies. An Official Selection of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Winner, 2011 IDA Award for Best Feature. A co-presentation with LPB.

    Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 at 10 p.m., Special Presentation – Reportero by Bernardo Ruiz
    In Mexico, investigative journalism can be a life-threatening profession. Reportero follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at an independent newsweekly as they defy powerful drug cartels and corrupt officials to continue publishing the news. An Official Selection of the 2012 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. A co-production of Quiet Pictures, ITVS and LPB, with funding provided by CPB. A co-presentation with LPB.

    Winter 2013 Special Presentation – Girl Model by A. Sabin and David Redmon
    Girl Model follows a complex supply chain of young models that stretches across Siberia, Japan and the United States. The provocative film is a lyrical exploration of youth, beauty and ambition, seen through the eyes of a conflicted American modeling scout and the 13-year-old girl she discovers. An Official Selection of the 2011 IDFA and TIFF. Winner, 2011 POV | Alpha Cine Award. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.

    About POV:
    Produced by American Documentary, Inc., the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 325 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide and has a Webby Award-winning online series, POV’s Borders. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit

    Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the desJardins/Blachman Fund and public television viewers. Funding for POV’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

    POV Communications: 212-989-7425. Emergency contact: 646-729-4748
    Cathy Fisher,
    POV online pressroom:

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POV Pressroom
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.