AMERICA REFRAMED is one of the best places to see high quality, provocative documentaries on public television. Unfortunately you probably haven't even heard of the series -- much less seen it -- if you live in the Washington DC area. Docs In Progress Executive Director Erica Ginsberg asks why.Read more
by Matthew Radcliff, Co-Organizer, WIFV/Docs In Progress Documentary Roundtable
Every other month, the WIFV/Docs In Progress Documentary Roundtable welcomes filmmakers and industry experts to discuss topics of interest to the documentary filmmaking community. On February 9, 2015, we welcomed three speakers to talk about how documentary filmmakers can navigate the world of public television. The speakers were Kathryn Washington (CPB), Robyn DeShields (DeShields Associates), and Ramona Diaz (independent filmmaker). The following are notes I made from the presentation.
For those of you who may not be documentary filmmakers (or even for those of you who are), you may not be aware of a recent decision PBS made which has the potential to impact independent documentary producers. While the decision to move PBS' two flagship independent film series Independent Lens and POV, from Tuesday nights to Thursday nights may, on the surface, seem like no big deal, it actually has a great deal of potential impact and has caused an uproar in the documentary community.
Chicago-based Kartemquin Films -- which has been producing documentaries for more than 45 years, including a number which ended up on PBS (The Interrupters, Milking the Rhino, In the Family, The New Americans, and Hoop Dreams just to name a few) -- has been particularly vocal on the issue, publishing an open letter to PBS on March 15. We recently asked Kartemquin's Communications Manager, Tim Horsburgh to share more of the story of the "PBS Needs Indies" campaign.