“POV,” the longest-running series for independent documentaries on television, has unveiled the majority of its slate for the series’ 35th season, which launches on July 11 with Yung Chang’s “Wuhan Wuhan.”
Neighborhood gentrification on Chicago’s south side, land defenders in the Philippines and the 2018 Zimbabwean general election are among the many topics that will be examined by the 14 feature docus in the upcoming season, which will run through Jan. 16.
PBS has revealed 13 of the upcoming season’s “POV” films beyond “Wuhan Wuhan,” an observational documentary about the first wave of the COVID-19 lockdown, with one more entry slated to be unveiled in June.
While celebrity driven docs are all the rage with streaming services, “POV” will stay true to its roots and program social issues films that delve into topics including environmental justice (“Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust,” July 18) immigration (“The Last Out,” Oct. 3) and systemic inequity (“Let the Little Light Shine,” Dec. 12).
“PBS is proud that after 35 years, “POV” continues to deliver artistically unique, essential, and dynamic films by a diversity of creators. As our passionate, inclusive, and intellectually curious audience continues to grow, POV remains a powerful linchpin in the mission of public television,” said Sylvia Bugg, PBS’s chief programming executive and general manager, general audience programming.
The lineup will also feature eight international titles, including 2021 Oscar-shortlisted docus “President” (Aug. 8) and “Faya Dayi” (Aug. 29) as well as recently acquired titles from film festivals like Sundance (“Midwives,” Nov. 21) and Hot Docs (“Delikado,” Sept. 26).
Reid Davenport’s “I Didn’t See You There” will close the season when it airs in January. The doc, which premiered at Sundance 2022 and has since become a film festival favorite, offers audiences an unflinching view of the world from a disabled person’s perspective.
“As we reach back with titles that highlight our collective enormous histories, showcase a diversity of forward-looking veteran and new filmmakers who challenge conventional narratives, and as we as an organization evolve our own understanding of what accessibility means, we are poised for an unforgettably audacious new season,” said Erika Dilday, executive director of American Documentary and executive producer of “POV.”
More than half of the films this season were directed by women, and two thirds by filmmakers of color. In addition, half come from filmmakers of Asian descent, and several titles are by and about people with disabilities. The series will feature stories from China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Greenland, Myanmar, Norway, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and feature contemporary Muslim perspectives from both outside and within the U.S.
“These films cover a myriad of topics, the political and social issues of our times, but what makes them remarkable is that they are rooted in human experience, bringing viewers into the lives of generous protagonists, active participants in the telling of their own stories,” “POV” executive producer Chris White said in a prepared statement. “These films are artful illustrations of how we actually operate in the world, relationally. What are our relationships to each other, to our institutions, to power?”
Prior to the release of “Wuhan, Wuhan,” “POV” will air the Oscar nominated documentary “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” on June 20. The encore presentation will coincide with the 40th anniversary of Chin’s death and is part of four days of remembrance for the Chinese American in Detroit.
Each film will premiere on a Monday night and will be available for streaming concurrently with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms. Additional titles, including the fifth anniversary season of the Emmy Award-winning series, “POV Shorts,” plus streaming projects, will be announced at a later date.
“POV” 35th Season Lineup:
Director: Yung Chang
Premieres: July 11, 2022
“Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust”
Director/Producer: Ann Kaneko
Premieres: July 18, 2022
Directors: Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog
Premieres: July 25, 2022
“He’s My Brother”
Directors/Producers: Cille Hannibal and Christine Hanberg
Premieres: Aug. 1, 2022
Director: Camilla Nielsson
Premieres: Aug. 8, 2022
Director/Producer: Jessica Beshir
Premieres: Aug. 29, 2022
“Love & Stuff”
Director: Judith Helfand
Premieres: Sept. 5, 2022
Director/Producer: Karl Malakunas
Premieres: Sept. 26, 2022
“The Last Out”
Directors: Sami Khan and Michael Gassert
Premieres: Oct. 3, 2022
Director/Producer: Dan Chen
Premieres: Oct. 10, 2022
Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
Premieres: Nov. 21, 2022
“Let the Little Light Shine”
Director: Kevin Shaw
Premieres: Dec. 12, 2022
“I Didn’t See You There”
Director: Reid Davenport
Premieres: Jan. 16, 2023