New York, N.Y. – June 17, 2021 – American Documentary | POV is proud to announce the national broadcast premiere of David Osit's Mayor on Monday July 26th at 10 p.m. (check local listings) and online at pov.org. The film will also be available to stream for free on pov.org until August 25th, 2021. Mayor is director David Osit’s second film to broadcast on POV after his documentary Thank You For Playing, which won the ‘Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary’ at the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Mayor was named a New York Times Critic’s Pick and has picked up awards from Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and CPH:DOX, among others.
Exploring the dynamics of public service and international politics, Mayor offers a nuanced perspective of the Palestinian struggle for autonomy through the eyes of former civil engineer-turned-mayor, Musa Hadid. Hadid has been the mayor of Ramallah, home to 60,000 people and located in the central West Bank, since 2012. He approaches his duties with practicality–he paves sidewalks, cleans sewage spills, approves city advertising campaigns, builds a new fountain and makes sure the local school buildings are built so that children can play in the sunshine.
Yet, not even the most mundane of Hadid's responsibilities is left untouched by the Israeli occupation, with raids and government strictures casting a continual shadow over the city. Balancing the deadpan, bureaucratic humor of his everyday job with the continued encroachments of global and regional politics, Mayor highlights the constant, less-publicized injustices of the occupation on the public servant as well as on the city he serves.
Mayor offers a much-needed injunction against the narrow representations of Palestinians in the media. A historically Christian city in the Middle East, Ramallah is surrounded by greenery, has snow in the winter and its residents are enthusiastic celebrators of Christmas. Hadid’s mayoralty is beset by the same problems that plague public servants around the world, but what separates Hadid’s job from so many of his fellow officials is best captured by the Israeli patrols that bombard his city with teargas during dinner time.
Funny, tragic and compassionate, Mayor captures Hadid and the citizens of Ramallah as they struggle to move forward under difficult circumstances, ultimately asking the question: how do you run a city if you don’t have a country?
"I'm thrilled to share Mayor with American audiences on POV, in my opinion one of the most progressive, valuable, and vital nonfiction programs we have in the entire country. During production I would describe the film as something like "Parks and Recreation" set in Palestine, and it says everything about POV that they were eager to hear more. I'm so excited to work with them to bring Mayor Musa and Ramallah to American viewers," said director David Osit.
Chris White, executive producer of POV, said, “David is an astute observer and a master of his craft. He captures the monotony of municipal governance and the idiosyncrasies of a place under the omnipresent cloud of occupation. Yet, through his lens, he manages to do so with the same wry wit as his protagonist. In Mayor Musa you will find hope, humor, and humanity.”
Director, Producer, Cinematographer: David Osit
Editors: David Osit, Eric Daniel Metzgar
Executive Producers: Maxyne Franklin, Teddy Leifer
Co-Executive Producers: Abigail E. Disney, Laura Durning
Approved publicity photos available here.
About the Filmmaker
David Osit - Director/Producer
David Osit is an Emmy Award-winning director, editor and composer. David is one of the directors of the feature documentary THANK YOU FOR PLAYING, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, broadcast on POV in 2016, and was nominated for three Emmy awards, winning for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. He also edited and produced OFF FRAME, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and Berlinale in 2016. His first film, BUILDING BABEL, premiered at True/False in 2012. David is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents and the Sundance Nonfiction Director's Lab.
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, POV.org 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 42 Emmy Awards, 26 George Foster Peabody Awards, 14 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.
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, 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.