Independent Lens

Watch Independent Lens

  • TV-14
  • 1999
  • 26 Seasons
  • 7.9  (621)

Independent Lens is a critically acclaimed documentary series that has been on PBS since 1999. Hosted by notable actors such as Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Peter Coyote, Don Cheadle, Kal Penn, Alona Tal, Lance Reddick, America Ferrera, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the show features independent filmmakers from all over the world who explore a variety of social, political, and cultural issues.

Each episode offers a unique insight into the world of indie filmmaking, with documentary filmmakers sharing their stories and their work. The series showcases a diverse range of genres, including cinema verité, personal essay films, investigative documentaries, and animated shorts among others. Independent Lens covers a wide range of topics, including environmental issues, social justice, race relations, immigration, and LGBTQ rights. The series also highlights issues of economic inequality, mental health, and addiction, among others.

One of the things that sets Independent Lens apart from other documentary series is its focus on the storytelling process behind independent filmmaking. Each episode features interviews with the filmmakers, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses into the production process. This provides audiences with a deeper understanding of the creative decisions that go into making a documentary, as well as the challenges and obstacles that filmmakers face along the way.

Another unique feature of Independent Lens is its commitment to showcasing films from diverse perspectives. The series features a wide range of international voices and filmmakers from communities that are often underrepresented in mainstream media. This focus on diversity has helped Independent Lens become an important platform for emerging filmmakers, who are given a platform to share their stories with a broader audience.

Throughout its 20+ year run, Independent Lens has received numerous awards and accolades for its programming. The series has won multiple Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as Peabody Awards, IDA Awards, and a George Foster Peabody Award. The show has been praised for its commitment to independent voices and its unwavering dedication to social justice and human rights.

Overall, Independent Lens is a must-watch series for anyone interested in documentary filmmaking or exploring the complex issues facing our world today. With its engaging stories, diverse perspectives, and innovative approach to storytelling, this series serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of independent voices and the vital role that documentary filmmakers play in shaping our understanding of the world around us.

Independent Lens is a series that is currently running and has 26 seasons (515 episodes). The series first aired on August 9, 1999.

Independent Lens
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Breaking The News
5. Breaking The News
February 19, 2024
Women and LGBTQ+ journalists launch startup "The 19th" to buck a broken news media system.
Sister Úna Lived a Good Death
4. Sister Úna Lived a Good Death
February 5, 2024
Following a cancer diagnosis, a wisecracking Catholic nun chooses to live as she's dying. In this touching end-of-life documentary, the self-proclaimed "leader of the misfits" plans her funeral in her last nine months of life.
Razing Liberty Square
3. Razing Liberty Square
January 29, 2024
The Liberty City public housing community in Miami becomes ground zero for climate gentrification.
Racist Trees
2. Racist Trees
January 22, 2024
Racial tensions ignite in Palm Springs, California, over a fight to remove a wall of trees that form a barrier believed to exclude a community.
Beyond Utopia
1. Beyond Utopia
January 9, 2024
They grew up believing their land was paradise. Now, they risk everything in escaping it. In an unforgettable documentary, follow families on a treacherous journey to defect from their homeland of North Korea, as the threat of severe punishment and possible execution looms over their passage, revealing a world many have never seen.
Where to Watch Independent Lens
Independent Lens is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Independent Lens on demand at Vudu and PBS.
  • Premiere Date
    August 9, 1999
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (621)