New York, N.Y. — May 11, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT — POV, America’s longest-running non-fiction series on PBS celebrates its milestone 35th year with a slate of acclaimed thought-provoking films. The award-winning anthology series will premiere fourteen features with themes that include environmental justice, systemic inequity, global perspectives on motherhood, and caregiving during multiple crises. [Photo download].
POV builds upon its decades-long commitment to representation and inclusion, with over half of this season’s films directed by women, and two thirds by filmmakers of color. In addition, half come from filmmakers of Asian descent, and several titles are by and about people with disabilities. A major platform for global nonfiction in the U.S, the series will feature stories from China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Greenland, Myanmar, Norway, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and feature contemporary Muslim perspectives from both outside and within the U.S.
“PBS is proud that after 35 years, POV continues to deliver artistically unique, essential, and dynamic films by a diversity of creators. As our passionate, inclusive, and intellectually curious audience continues to grow, POV remains a powerful linchpin in the mission of public television” saidSylvia Bugg, PBS’s Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming.
The 35th season opens July 11 with Wuhan Wuhan, by Yung Chang, a stirring observational documentary on the first wave of the COVID-19 lockdown. Episodes premiere Monday nights and will be available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
In addition to standard closed captioning, POV partners with DiCapta for audio description services to provide real time audio or text interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities. Films are accompanied by free educational resources, with many available for local screenings through POV’s Community Network digital lending library.
“We are so excited to launch our 35th season in this anniversary year. As we reach back with titles that highlight our collective enormous histories, showcase a diversity of forward-looking veteran and new filmmakers who challenge conventional narratives, and as we as an organization evolve our own understanding of what accessibility means, we are poised for an unforgettably audacious new season” said Erika Dilday, executive director of American Documentary and executive producer of POV.
Preceding Wuhan Wuhan as well is a special encore presentation of Academy Award® nominated documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin?, by filmmakers Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña. As previously announced, the broadcast will coincide with the 40th anniversary of Chin’s murder and be part of four-day Rememberance & Rededication activities in Detroit with CAAM and Detroit Public Television (DPTV).
As climate change transforms how we live, three films focus on environmental issues through the lens of international and indigenous communities. Ann Kaneko and Jin Yoo-Kim’s Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust documents the intergenerational struggle to protect California’s Payahuunadü / Owens Valley and the unexpected alliance between Japanese Americans, Native Americans and environmental activists. In Winter’s Yearning, directors Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog examine the precarious relationship between the people of Maniitsoq, Greenland and U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Corporation. Delikado, the first feature film from Karl Malakunas, follows the plight of land defenders struggling to save an island paradise in the Philippines from being plundered by powerful politicians and business figures.
The season also examines systemic inequity in U.S. institutions and the true costs of the American Dream for Black and Brown communities. Dan Chen’s directorial debut Accepted follows four high school students at T.M. Landry College Prep, a controversial K-12 day school in rural Louisiana, known for sending its graduates to elite universities. The Last Out, by Academy Award® nominee Sami Khan and Michael Gassert, follows three Cuban baseball players who risk exile to chase their dream of playing in the U.S. major leagues. Kevin Shaw’s Let the Little Light Shine dives into the dynamic between parents, educators, and students embroiled in a battle over closing a high-performing elementary school with a predominantly Black student population in a gentrified Chicago neighborhood.
As the premier destination for provocative, critically acclaimed, international non-fiction films, POV’s 35th season contains an exciting variety. As previously announced, the 2022 Sundance Film Festival acquisition and feature debut by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing, Midwives, takes us inside the lives of two women working together at a health clinic in Myanmar torn apart by violent ethnic divisions. The season will also feature two Oscar®-shortlisted films focusing on contemporary African stories. Faya Dayi, directed by Jessica Beshir, immerses viewers into the Oromo and Harari communities of Harar, Ethiopia and their entwinement with khat, a euphoria-inducing plant that grips the lives and economies of this region. Director Camilla Nielsson’s Oscar®-shortlisted film, President, meanwhile, goes inside Zimbabwe's 2018 general election in a post-Mugabe landscape.
The series stays true to its “point of view” roots with a pair of deeply personal stories about family, caregiving, and people with disabilities. Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand returns to POV with Love & Stuff, harnessing every bit of her signature first-person style, and heimish gallows humor, to face a universally gut wrenching reality – imagining life without her mother – who is poised to die from terminal cancer much sooner, than later. While time is not on Helfand’s side, 25 years worth of archival family footage-turned-cinematic portal is, and in the wake of her mother’s death becomes a way to link the love to the stuff and one generation to the next. In He’s My Brother, Danish director Cille Hannibal and co-director Christine Hanberg turn their lens on Christine’s family and the caretaking of Hanberg’s brother Peter, who requires very specific care for multiple disabilities. As Peter and Christine’s parents age, Christine confronts how to continue giving both Peter and herself dignified lives. I Didn’t See You There, Reid Davenport’s feature debut, is a personal, unflinching view of the world as a disabled person.
Additional titles, including the fifth anniversary season of the Emmy Award®-winning series, POV Shorts, plus streaming projects, will be announced later.
POV’s executive producer Chris White added, “These films cover a myriad of topics, the political and social issues of our times, but what makes them remarkable is that they are rooted in human experience, bringing viewers into the lives of generous protagonists, active participants in the telling of their own stories. These films are artful illustrations of how we actually operate in the world, relationally. What are our relationships to each other, to our institutions, to power?”
POV is one of the most highly-acclaimed documentary series on television. In the last year, the series received seven News & Documentary Emmy nominations, and won Best Documentary for Advocate (POV Season 33). This marked the second year in a row that a POV film took home that honor; POV earned the 2020 Best Documentary award for The Silence of Others (POV Season 32). POV won two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards for Through the Night (POV Season 33) and Softie (POV Season 33). In addition to its Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature, The Mole Agent (POV Season 33) was also shortlisted for Best International Feature. Recently, Mayor (POV Season 34) received a Peabody nomination and four POV films were awarded Peabody Awards in 2020: The Distant Barking of Dogs, Inventing Tomorrow, Midnight Traveler, and The Silence of Others (POV Season 32).
POV SEASON 35 LINEUP
Special Encore Presentation - Who Killed Vincent Chin?
Filmmakers: Renee Tajima-Peña and Christine Choy
Premieres: June 20th, 2022
On a hot summer night in Detroit in 1982, Ronald Ebens, an autoworker, killed Vincent Chin, a young Chinese American draftsman with a baseball bat. Although he confessed, he never spent a day in jail. This gripping Academy Award®-nominated film relentlessly probes the implications of the murder, for the families of those involved, and for the American justice system. Who Killed Vincent Chin?, a legacy title from POV’s archives, was recently restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and also added to the National Film Registry. Best Documentary Nominee, 61st Annual Academy Awards®. A co-presentation with Detroit Public Television and the Center for Asian American Media
Director: Yung Chang
Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Luo and Diane Quon
Premieres: July 11, 2022
With unprecedented access in a period of pandemic lockdown, Wuhan Wuhan documents February and March 2020 in Wuhan where the coronavirus was first discovered. Going beyond the statistics and salacious headlines, frontline medical workers, patients, and ordinary citizens put a human face on the early days of the mysterious virus as they grapple with an invisible, deadly killer.
Director/Producer: Ann Kaneko
Producers: Jin Yoo-Kim and Tracy Rector
Premieres: July 18, 2022
Three communities intersect, sharing histories of forced removal – Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Manzanar WWII concentration camp, Native Americans who were forced from these lands, and ranchers turned environmentalists, who were bought out by the LA Department of Water and Power. How do they come together in the present moment to defend their land and water from Los Angeles?
A co-production of the Center for Asian American Media and Vision Maker Media. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media.
Directors: Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog
Producers: Sturla Pilskog, Are Kvalnes Pilskog, Vibeke Vogel and Emile Hertling Péronard.
Premieres: July 25, 2022
In Maniitsoq, Greenland, the U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Corporation has been planning to build a smelting plant for years. Pictured against immense, isolating landscapes, the people await their plant and with it, the nation's possible first steps towards economic renewal and political sovereignty.
Directors/Producers: Cille Hannibal and Christine Hanberg
Premieres: August 1, 2022
Christine's brother Peter experiences his world through touch, smell, and taste. Now 30 years old, Peter's family is having trouble finding the proper care for his multiple disabilities. Told through Christine's eyes, He's My Brother explores how the family works to assure him a dignified life once the parents are gone -- and Christine's uncertainties about one day becoming his primary caregiver.
Director: Camilla Nielsson
Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Signe Byrge Sørensen
Premieres: August 8, 2022
Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. The new leader of the opposition party, MDC, Nelson Chamisa, is challenging the old guard, ZANU-PF, represented by the acting president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The 2018 Zimbabwean general election serves as the ultimate test for both the ruling party and for the opposition. How will they interpret democracy in a post-Mugabe era – in discourse and in practice?
Winner, 2021 Sundance World Cinema Documentary, Excellence Verité Filmmaking. Shortlisted, 94th Academy Awards®. A co-presentation with Black Public Media.
Director/Producer: Jessica Beshir
Premieres: August 29, 2022
A hypnotic immersion in the world of Harar, Ethiopia, a place where one commodity – khat, a euphoria-inducing plant – holds sway over the rituals and rhythms of everyday life, Faya Dayi captures intimate moments in the lives of everyone from the harvesters of the crop to people lost in its narcotic haze to a desperate but determined younger generation searching for an escape from political strife.
Official selection 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Shortlisted, 94th Academy Awards®. A co-presentation with Black Public Media.
Director: Judith Helfand
Co-Director: David Cohen
Producers: Helfland, Hilla Medalia and Julie Parker Benello
Premieres: September 5, 2022
“How do you live without your mother?” Filmmaker Judith Helfand asks this unbearable question twice: as a daughter caring for her terminally ill mother, and as an “old new mom,” single parenting her much-longed-for adopted baby girl. With footage from 25 years of first-person filmmaking, shiva babka and 63 boxes of dead parents’ “stuff,” the film asks: what do we really need to leave our children?
Director/Producer: Karl Malakunas
Producers: Michael Collins, Marty Syjuco and Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala
Premieres: September 26, 2022
Palawan is one of Asia's tourist hotspots. But for a small network of environmental crusaders struggling to protect its spectacular forests and seas, it is more akin to a battlefield. Delikado follows three land defenders as they try to stop politicians and businessmen from destroying the Philippines’ “last ecological frontier."
A co-production of POV and ITVS
Directors: Sami Khan and Michael Gassert
Producers: Sami Khan, Michael Gassert and Jonathan Miller
Premieres: October 3, 2022
Three Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk exile to chase their dreams of playing in the United States. At the shadowy nexus of the migrant trail and pro sports, The Last Out chronicles their harrowing journey, from immigration obstacles to the broken promises of dubious agents. Against all odds, these young athletes try to hold onto their hope while fighting for a better life for their families.
Official selection, 2020 Tribeca Film Festival (premiered in 2021). A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.
Director/Producer: Dan Chen
Producers: Mark Monroe, Jason Y. Lee and Jesse Einstein
Premieres: October 10, 2022
Accepted follows four high school students at T.M. Landry, a prep school in Louisiana known for its viral videos of seniors being accepted to the Ivy Leagues, and sending 100% of its graduates to college. But an explosive NY Times article exposes the controversial methods of its dynamic founder – and the fiction of higher education's promise.
Official selection, 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
Producers: Mila Aung-Thwin, Bob Moore and Ulla Lehmann
Premieres: November 21, 2022
Chronicles two women who run a makeshift medical clinic in a region torn apart by violent ethnic divisions. Hla, the owner, is a Buddhist in western Myanmar, where the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, are persecuted and denied basic rights. Nyo Nyo is a Muslim and an apprentice. Encouraged and challenged by Hla, Nyo Nyo is determined to become a steady health care provider for her people.
Winner, 2022 Sundance World Cinema Documentary, Excellence Verité Filmmaking. A co-production of POV.
Director: Kevin Shaw
Producers: Steve James and Rachel Dickson
Premieres: December 12, 2022
National Teachers Academy (NTA) is considered a beacon for Black children: a top-ranked, high-performing elementary school in the fastest growing neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. As the neighborhood gentrifies, a wealthy parents’ group seeks to close NTA and replace it with a high school campus. How will the NTA community fight to save their beloved institution?
A co-production of POV and ITVS, in association with Black Public Media.
Director: Reid Davenport
Producer: Keith Wilson
Premieres: January 16, 2023
Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into a meditative journey exploring the history of freakdom, vision, and (in)visibility. Shot from director Reid Davenport's physical perspective - mounted to his wheelchair or handheld - I Didn't See You There serves as a clear rebuke to the norm of disabled people being seen and not heard.
Winner, 2022 Sundance, U.S. Documentary Director and Grand Jury Prize nominee.
POV Season 35 images here
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 available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
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, 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 social media.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 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’s 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. Decades of research confirm that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by followingPBS Communications on Twitter.
About American Documentary, Inc.
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 Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Sage Foundation, Chris and Nancy Plaut, 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.
Dicapta Corporation is a communications technology company focused on making media accessible for people with visual and hearing disabilities. It has been offering high quality audio description, captioning, and language customization services since 2004. Dicapta has served the TV industry, media companies, educational institutions, and variety of organizations in making communications accessible to everyone. Dicapta has also been funded by the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Health and Human Services to work in the creation of accessibility assets and the development of technology to improve access to media for people with sensory disabilities.
All4Access is a global repository that stores media accessibility assets such as captions, audio description, and American Sign language. It simplifies the way assets are shared and used while protecting the rights of media creators. All4Access is a technology created by Dicapta and the Universidad Carlos II de Madrid, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.