Lois Vossen Named Executive Producer of PBS’ ‘Independent Lens’

Lois Vossen, who has long supervised the PBS documentary series “Independent Lens,” has been elevated to executive producer from deputy executive producer, a move that places her among the top supervisors of PBS series including “Frontline” and “American Masters.”

Under Vossen’s leadership, the series has received 15 Peabody Awards in 12 years, most recently in spring for “Brakeless,” a cautionary tale about a catastrophic Japanese train crash. Earlier this month, “Independent Lens” was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards.

Prior to “Independent Lens,” Vossen was associate managing director of the Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Labs. She has served on the juries at SXSW, DOC New Zealand, Toronto and New Orleans film festivals, among others. Vossen is based at San Francisco’s Independent Television Service, the producer of the series, and has been with the organization for 19 years.

In a statement, Vossen said the series expects to enjoy “additional support from PBS, which has renewed its commitment to independent film by increasing social-media marketing and more funding to acquire streaming rights, allowing us to compete more effectively in the marketplace.”

“Independent Lens” will open its 14th season Nov. 9, with “Stray Dog,” which is billed as a “stereotype-shattering portrait” of Vietnam veteran Ron Hall and is directed Debra Granik.

Other films premiering in the 2015-16 season include Stanley Nelson’s “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” the first feature-length documentary to showcase the Black Panther Party and its significance to the broader American culture, which PBS Distribution will open theatrically in September; “East of Salinas,” the story of a bright young student and his teacher, both sons of migrant farm workers; and “Autism in Love,” which explores the lives of four adults with autism as they pursue and manage romantic relationships. Premiering in 2016 is the documentary “Meet the Patels,” and “In Football We Trust,” which explores the story behind the Polynesian pipeline to the NFL.


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