February 11 2021
POV Acquires Berlinale-Bound Film 'North by Current'
New York, N.Y. -- February, 11, 2021 -- POV, the acclaimed independent documentary series on PBS, announced today that it had acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to North by Current directed by Angelo Madsen Minax.
The film, which follows Minax as he returns to his rural Michigan hometown after his sister and brother-in-law’s wrongful persecution for the inconclusive death of his niece, is an official selection for the prestigious 71st annual Berlin International Film Festival and will be included in POV’s 34th season. North by Current weaves vignettes of present-day footage of the filmmaker, an adult trans man, with VHS and Super 8 home movies of his childhood and his parents’ childhoods in Michigan. What emerges is a poetic and richly detailed document of addiction, grief and queer identity told through the lens of a difficult relationship to faith and family.
“We were immediately taken by North by Current,” said executive producer of POV | American Documentary, Chris White. “Madsen is one of the most innovative filmmakers of our time, and his latest film is an excellent addition to an already impressive body of work. A bold and singular film, North by Current pushes the boundaries of nonfiction filmmaking towards exciting new terrain. We can’t wait to share it with the American public.”
"I am deeply honored that this film will join the ranks of so many POV films that have inspired me – work by Marlon Riggs, Agnes Varda, Natalia Almada, and countless others. It demonstrates POV’s long-standing commitment to work that is formally challenging and has a distinct voice," said director Angelo Madsen Minax. "North By Current is a film that poses so many interrelated questions, but offers few answers for them. It pushes viewers to try to build out their own narratives – or maybe question their assumed narratives. Maybe even question why they feel entitled to a narrative to begin with. The fact that this kind of work will get to exist inside a television on regular TV is completely thrilling."
The North by Current deal was negotiated by Justine Nagan and Chris White on behalf of POV, and Angelo Madsen Minax and producer Felix Endara on behalf of North by Current. The film is a co-production of POV | American Documentary Inc. and Field of Vision with original music composed by Julien Baker.
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. It's on POV where American television audiences were introduced to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, The Act of Killing and American Promise and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Nanfu Wang, and Laura Poitras. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries.
Over a generation, POV has championed accessibility and innovation in nonfiction storytelling. POV Engage works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present hundreds of free screenings every year, inspiring dialogue around today's most pressing social issues. The series' interactive arm, POV Spark, creates and advances experiential forms of storytelling and programming, redefining U.S. public media to be more inclusive of emerging technologies and interactive makers.
POV films and projects have won 42 Emmy Awards, 26 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 pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Acton Family Giving, 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, 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.