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PBS Documentary Series ‘POV’ Brings Syrian Rebels, ‘Killer Lesbians’ to 2015 Season

The longest-running series for independent documentaries on television, “POV,” is prepared to unveil its 28th season, which will include an exclusive look behind insurgent lines in the Syrian civil war, an ode to one man’s 35,000-mile worldwide motorcycle odyssey and the Academy Award-nominated “Cutie and the Boxer,” which explores the marriage of famed “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara.

The documentary film series is particularly intent on broadening its audience on PBS this year, as the network’s flagship New York affiliate, WNET, considers moving the program out of its primetime lineup. Supporters of “POV” and “Independent Lens” — another documentary program threatened with removal from  primetime — worry that other PBS stations might oust the two shows from their 10 p.m. Monday-night time slot.

Producers of the two programs protest that there is nowhere else on television that regularly broadcasts the controversial work of truly independent filmmakers — those who maintain editorial control over their work.

The summer season for “POV” begins June 22 and runs through late August, debuting with “Out in the Night,” a film about a group of lesbians who were charged with gang assault after they said they were threatened by a man on a Greenwich Village Street. Filmmaker blair dorosh-walther (who doesn’t capitalize her name) provides the other side of the narrative from women that some in the media dubbed a gang of “Killer Lesbians.”

Subjects of future “POV” programs include slavery in modern-day Cambodia (“The Storm Makers,” Aug. 17), families struggling to regain their children from child welfare authorities (“Tough Love,” July 6) and an up-close portrait of a 19-year-old Syrian revolutionary and his ragtag group of comrades in the city of Homs (in “Return to Homs,” July 20.)

In the fall, “POV” plans to air an account of the motorcycle sojourn of 27-year-old Matt VanDyke,  which landed him — among many other places — in solitary confinement in a Mideastern prison. The film, “Point and Shoot,” is the work of two-time Oscar nominee Marshall Curry.

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