Downloads: Press Release

Third Annual PBS Online Film Festival Returns in June 2014

Arlington, VA; MARCH 5, 2014 – As the home for independent films, PBS today launched a collection of independent short films at, working in partnership with its independent strand producers Independent Lens and POV. Over the coming months, the site will showcase 26 original films commissioned for digital platforms from Independent Lens and POV. The films range in length from three to 20 minutes and were co-curated by PBS, Independent Lens and POV to appeal to young, diverse, and social audiences. The short films feature content that is upbeat and innovative in both storyline and execution. PBS also announced its popular Online Film Festival will return June 16-July 31, 2014.

“PBS is the home for independent films, and these short films from Independent Lens and POV nicely complement our year round independent film offerings on-air,” said Donald Thoms, Vice President Programming and Talent Management. “This collection of original digital shorts will introduce new audiences to the diverse and compelling content PBS offers from independent producers from across the country. In addition, this collection of short independent films will be a great run-up to the June launch of the Online Film Festival, which has become an annual event for short film fans.”

Six of the 26 short films are available today on all PBS digital platforms; the PBS mobile app; the PBS apps on Roku, AppleTV and Xbox; YouTube; and PBS’ social media channels. Four new films will premiere each month beginning in April. In addition, POV will premiere a series of interactive documentaries later in the summer. Viewers can continue the conversation around these short films at #PBSIndies. This presentation is made possible, in part, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“ITVS is proud to contribute to the curation of short documentaries that showcase contemporary storytelling and help define this genre in a digital age,” said Sally Jo Fifer, President and CEO of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Executive Producer of INDEPENDENT LENS. “The collection complements Independent Lens and POV’s on-air format and highlights the diverse quality content we see on these award-winning PBS series.”

“Independent film is no longer just film,” said Adnaan Wasey, Executive Producer of POV Digital. “POV is excited to showcase the work of artists who are combining nonfiction media with the power of digital technology to create a new art form and engage the public.”

The six films premiering today are:

“Mr. Smith’s Peach Seeds” (POV) — Meet the retired meter reader and cattle rancher who has carved hundreds of peach seeds into hummingbirds, stingrays, gospel choirs, entire villages, and even a baseball stadium. The film is available here:

“Wood” (POV) — Follow the journey of timber from the forest to the sawmill, and meet the working men who guide it along the way. The film is available here:

“Paraíso” (POV) — Experience the danger that immigrant window cleaners face each day as they risk their lives rappelling down Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers. The film is available here:

“Lucky Dip” (Independent Lens) — Meet a little girl in a stormy seaside town who encounters a magical amusement arcade rabbit and the foreboding Pin Man. The film is available here:

“Here and Away” (Independent Lens) — Two people–an old man living on a small island and a young woman living in one of the world’s biggest cities–describe why no other place on earth could ever be home. The film is available here:

“Home” (Independent Lens) — Take a bittersweet, evocative journey through the filmmaker’s childhood home, which was flooded during Hurricane Katrina and mistakenly torn down a year later. The film is available here:

PBS Online Film Festival Returns

The PBS Online Film Festival, featuring more than 25 short films, will kick off Monday, June 16 and run through Thursday, July 31. In addition to partners Independent Lens and POV, the Festival will include works from, and collaborations with diverse public television producers including, Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), Vision Maker Media, National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC).

In addition, PBS will collaborate with PBS member stations to showcase the best in locally-produced independent films, including KQED (San Francisco), KLRU (Austin, TX), Houston PBS, Alaska Public Media, Vermont PBS, Arkansas Educational Television, CET/ThinkTV (Cincinnati/Dayton), WCVE Richmond (Virginia) and Louisiana Public Television.

“As the demand for video content on the web continues to grow, the PBS Online Film Festival is a great example of how PBS and our partners are experimenting with new formats and platforms to reach diverse audiences,” said Eric Freeland, Senior Director, Digital Programming. “Since its launch, the PBS Online Film Festival has been a popular online event and we look forward to offering viewers captivating short films this summer.”

Starting June 16, viewers can watch the films at and vote for their favorites. As with previous Festivals, the film with the most votes receive a “people’s choice” award. For updates on the festival, follow #PBSolff on Twitter.

About PBS
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

– PBS –

Maryellen Mooney, Goodman Media International, 212-576-2700;
Jennifer Byrne, PBS, 703-739-5074;
For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at

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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.