Press Release

November 8 2021

POV: Three American Documentary Named Finalists for Prestigious duPont-Columbia Awards for Excellence in Documentary Journalism


New York, N.Y. – November 8, 2021 – The The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards recently announced three American Documentary films as finalists: Softie and Through the Night from POV, and Meltdown in Dixie from America ReFramed.

These three films are among the 30 finalists for the prestigious awards which celebrate the best in journalism across audio, video, broadcasting and documentary platforms. PBS leads all nominees with eight nods, including three for FRONTLINE. To date, American Documentary films have won 15 du-Pont Columbia awards, most recently The Apology and Dark Money in 2020.

Tackling some of the most important current issues in both American and international life, including political corruption, childcare and poverty, and the lingering effects of Confederate symbolism, these three films ground these topics in individuals’ lives and communities, offering important lived perspectives to topics typically discussed in the abstract. Softie follows Kenyan political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi as he runs for office against his corrupt opponents. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, New York. Meltdown in Dixie explores the broader role of Confederate symbolism in 21st century America and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain.

The winners of the award, which is presented by the Columbia Journalism School, will be announced in a virtual ceremony in February 2022. It is the second year the duPont-Columbia Awards have recognized finalists for the award.


On Thursday October 4th, DOC NYC announced the honorees and projects for four initiatives that foster new talent. POV vice president of impact and engagement Asadullah Muhammad was named to the ‘Documentary New Leaders’ initiative, a program that honors individuals whose efforts and fresh thinking on distribution, sales, festivals, and marketing bring greater inclusion and equity to the field. This program is co-presented by A&E. Muhammad is one 18 honorees selected amongst a pool of over 100 nominees.

For its ‘40 Under 40’ initiative, DOC NYC selected 12 current American Documentary filmmakers. Maya Cueva and Leah Galant, directors and Elizabeth Woodward, producer of On the Divide, CJ Hunt, director of The Neutral Ground, Morgan Elise Johnson, producer, and Ashley O’Shay, director of Unapologetic, Angelo Madsen Minax, director of North by Current, Lance Kramer, director of City of Trees, Emily Harrold, director of Meltdown in Dixie, Rodrigo Reyes, director of Purgatorio, Sharon Shattuck, director of From This Day Forward and Nevo Shinaar, director of Stay Close. Co-presented by HBO Films, ‘40 Under 40’ shines a light on emerging talent.

The full list of honorees can be found here.

Series Credits


Executive Producers - Justine Nagan, Chris White, and Erika Dilday

Co-Producers- Nicole Tsien, Nikki Heyman

Associate Producer - Sophie Harari

POV Shorts:

Executive Producers - Justine Nagan, Chris White, and Erika Dilday

Producer - Opal H. Bennett

America ReFramed:

Executive Producers - Justine Nagan, Chris White, and Erika Dilday for American Documentary; Chris Hastings for WORLD Channel

Supervising Producer - Carmen Vicencio

Coordinating Producer - Robert Y. Chang

About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise and Minding The Gap and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are broadcast nationally on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 45 Emmy Awards, 25 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About American Documentary

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Perspective Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust, Park Foundation, Sage Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Abby Pucker, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.