New York, N.Y. – Wednesday, August 11, 2021 – POV Shorts, the newest series from American Documentary, debuts its fourth season on September 6, 2021 on PBS and streaming online at POV.org. With 13 new short nonfiction films packed into seven unique episodes, POV Shorts continues to program innovative and diverse stories that capture longing for community and identity and difficult reconciliations with family history. In just its 3rd season, POV Shorts was named the ‘Best Short Form Series’ at the 36th annual IDA Documentary Awards.
Season 4 begins on September 6th with a collection of films about family roots and the connections we feel to home, including Canadian Screen Award winner Sing Me a Lullaby directed by Tiffany Hsiung, acclaimed short A Broken House directed by Jimmy Goldblum, and MFA student film standout Joychild directed by Aurora Brachman. The season concludes on January 24, 2022 with Team Meryland directed by Gabriel Gaurano, accompanying the broadcast of POV's Not Going Quietly. The story follows a twelve-year-old boxer from the projects of Watts training to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion while her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a shot at her dream.
Other notable season 4 films include Seahorse, directed by Nele Dehnenkamp, about a young Yezidi girl who wrestles with her traumatic memories of the Mediterranean Sea, SXSW documentary shorts award winner Águilas, directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre, about a group of searchers who work to recover the missing migrants on the Southern border of Arizona, and Le Frère, directed by Jérémie Battaglia, about a boy who is living with an illness that is causing him to lose the use of his body and the dreams he continues to carry. POV Shorts will also broadcast two films from the POV Spark series Otherly, a collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada that first premiered on Instagram Stories.
“This is a deeply-affecting group of films, particularly given the challenges of the past year” said POV Shorts producer Opal H. Bennett. “We see reunion and redemption, grace and compassion, and displays of inimitable human spirit. Our fourth season aims to bring you stories that will linger long after their screening.”
The home for acclaimed documentary shorts, past award winners and nominees from POV Shorts include A Night at the Garden, which received an Academy Award nomination, Earthrise, from POV Shorts' inaugural season, and last season’s The Love Bugs, both of which received nominations for Best Short Documentary Emmys. POV Shorts have screened at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, True/False film festivals, among others.
Launched in 2018, POV Shorts sources films through a variety of channels, particularly its open call for entries page (cfe.pov.org). POV Shorts has almost 40 titles in its catalog. In addition, the strand works with major short-form digital distributors such as Field of Vision and has worked with others including The New York Times Op-Docs and Condé Nast’s The New Yorker.
POV Shorts Season 4 Lineup
EPISODE 1: Where I’m From-- Stories on home and how it shapes us.
Broadcast Date: September 6, 2021
A Broken House, dir. Jimmy Goldblum
Mohamad Hafez received a one-way ticket to the United States. Missing his homeland, he decided to create a stand-in. A story of love, loss and creating pathways home.
Sing Me a Lullaby, dir. Tiffany Hsiung
Spanning 14 years and two continents, a daughter searches for her mother's birth parents in Taiwan, unraveling complex tensions between love and sacrifice.
Joychild, dir. Aurora Brachman
A child reveals a secret to their mother: "I'm not a girl." This breathtakingly honest portrait of growing up gender expansive beautifully captures the hesitancy, fear, and relief at revealing one's innermost thoughts, as well as the unconditional love of a mother.
EPISODE 2: Dreaming Life-- Two stories of self acceptance and finding joy.
Broadcast Date: November 22, 2021
Another Hayride,dir. Matt Wolf
As the AIDS epidemic took hold in the early 1980s, self-help guru Louise Hay created a space for healing called the Hayride. Drawing hundreds of gay men confronting a deadly pandemic, Louise promised that self-love would help them overcome AIDS.
To the Future, With Love, dir. Shaleece Haas
Meet 19-year-old Hunter “Pixel” Jimenez, a nonbinary trans boy caught between the expectations of his Guatemalan immigrant family and his dreams of living happily ever after.
EPISODE 3: Familial Healing-- Two windows into what it means to be a survivor,
Broadcast Date: November 29, 2021
I'm Free, Now You Are Free, dir. Ash Goa Hua
A story about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9.
Seahorse, dir. Nele Dehnenkamp
Against the backdrop of a community pool, a young Yezidi girl wrestles quietly with her traumatic memories of the Mediterranean Sea.
EPISODE 4: On Caregiving and Grace-- Stories of courageous empathy in the face of loss
Broadcast Date: December 6, 2021
Águilas, dir. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre
Along the scorching southern border in Arizona, only an estimated one out of every five missing migrants is ever found. Águilas is the story of one group of searchers--the Águilas del Desierto--who volunteer monthly to recover the missing.
The Hairdresser, dir. Lorraine Price
In this short documentary, Kathleen reflects on her experience as a hairdresser while we bear witness to her unusual work.
EPISODE 5: Becoming Myself: Two conversations on identity and connection -- selections from the POV Spark/NFB series, Otherly.
Broadcast Date: December 13, 2021
Integrate.Me, dir. Tristan Angieri
This short follows Tristan, a young adult who grew up queer, trans, and traumatized. They took a chance on an experimental therapy, finding their authentic place.
Elaine is Almost, dir. Em Yue
Explore the unconditional love between siblings as one sister interviews another on the eves of her 14th and 15th birthdays.
EPISODE 6: Le Frère: A story of familial sacrifice and the bonds of brotherhood.
Broadcast Date: December 27, 2021
Le Frère, dir. Jérémie Battaglia
Living with an illness that is causing him to lose the use of his body, Kaïs is awoken every morning by a different member of his family. Though paralyzed, he dreams he is the hero of his favorite manga, along with his brothers: Fehd, the bodybuilder and Zaid, the ninja.
EPISODE 7: Team Meryland: Meet Meryland, a 12 year old boxer with Olympic dreams.
Broadcast Date: January 24, 2022
Team Meryland, dir. Gabriel Gaurano
In the projects of Watts, Meryland Gonzales, a twelve-year-old female boxer trains to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion. Meanwhile, her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a shot at achieving her dreams.
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, 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 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.