PBS today announced that landmark independent non-fiction series POV and Independent Lens will both move to Monday nights beginning with the premiere of Independent Lens in the Fall. This is a huge step toward the continued promotion and support of independent non-fiction programming on PBS.
Today's announcement signals the culmination of a months-long process which gave birth to the PBS Needs Indies campaign, a campaign launched by Kartemquin Films with support from the IDA. This campaign garnered the support of hundreds of filmmakers who expressed their concern at the potential loss of quality programming on public television. The IDA is pleased with this recent announcement and hopes that this will mean a renewed viewership for the programs effected by the change.
If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can keep the discussion going tomorrow night (May 10th) at Doc U: The Future of Docs on PBS at the CineFamily. Join Simon Kilmurry, Executive Producer of American Documentary | POV; Lyn Goldfarb, award-winning documentary director and producer; Gordon Quinn, Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films; Lois Vossen, founding and Senior Series Producer of Independent Lens; and Brenda Brkusic, Executive Producer of Program Development and National Productions at PBS SoCaL. Reserve your seat today!
Below is the full press release from PBS, which came out at noon today:
PBS, ITVS and POV today announced a new strategy to bolster the mission-focused, independently produced content centered largely around its landmark series POV and Independent Lens, which together provide a year-round broadcast footprint for independent filmmakers on public television. Both series will air in a new timeslot on Monday nights at 10:00 pm starting this fall with the premiere of Independent Lens on October 29.
"The Monday night schedule gives us an opportunity to drive new and larger audiences on-air and online to the diverse and innovative content that independents bring to PBS," said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS.
In addition to the regular Monday night broadcasts of both series (Independent Lens October through June, and POV June through October), PBS plans to develop a multiplatform film festival for mid-2013, which would showcase independent programs from both series during several weeks of broadcast presentations that would connect TV audiences with online and mobile content, and digital users, who are often younger and more diverse, with opportunities to participate locally with their public television stations.
The digital component of the multiplatform film festival builds on a recent PBS online film festival that drew from independent content providers and attracted more than 300,000 viewers on YouTube and the PBS.org website. "The online film festival is only one example of how we can extend the reach of these important programs through efforts that go beyond broadcast," added Kerger.
"We are thrilled with PBS’s decision to move the programs to Mondays as part of an overall strategy for independent programs," said Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director of POV. "Filmmakers and viewers will benefit from a public television experience that fully embraces the power and impact of independent documentaries."
"By broadcasting indies' mission-focused stories on Monday nights, we hope that more PBS viewers will have the opportunity to engage in the community and educational activities that independent films inspire," said Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of ITVS, which produces Independent Lens. "We also bring the diverse communities reflected in and served by indies' work home to PBS and support the core mission of public broadcasting."
Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin films, one of the nation’s leading independent production houses, said, "We are happy that PBS has chosen this exciting way forward and we stand ready to support the new strategy and PBS in every way we can."
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