SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 14, 2012) - The Emmy® Award-winning documentary series "Independent Lens" announced the launch of its 11th season on PBS today. The series moves to the coveted time slot of Monday night at 10 PM (check local listings) starting October 29, 2012 with Macky Alston's "Love Free or Die."
"We are extremely excited to open the 'Independent Lens' 2012-13 season with Macky Alston's 'Love Free or Die,'" said Lois Vossen, senior series producer. "We presented Macky's previous film, 'Hard Road Home,' and are pleased to welcome him back to PBS. 'Love Free or Die' documents the remarkable struggles and triumphs of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who, in 2003, became the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. This film is emblematic of the kinds of stories coming this season, on what is our most extraordinary slate of 'Independent Lens' films ever."
Filmmaker Alston added, "'Independent Lens' is such as a great supporter of independent filmmakers and such an ideal venue for documentaries; I'm delighted to be back."
In addition, "Independent Lens" will present the two-night, prime time special, "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by Maro Chermayeff, airing on Monday and Tuesday, October 1 and 2, at 9 PM. A landmark event based on the bestselling book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the miniseries follows six actress-advocates -- America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde -- as they travel to Africa and Asia and meet inspiring, courageous individuals who are confronting oppression and developing real, meaningful solutions through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.
Additionally, this fall "Independent Lens" veteran Brad Lichtenstein ("Almost Home") returns with "As Goes Janesville," premiering on November 5. "As Goes Janesville" follows three years in the lives of several residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, a once-prosperous town fighting to redefine itself in the face of the closing of the country's oldest GM plant.
"Independent Lens" will premiere two films from the WHY POVERTY? Project, a unique opportunity to kick-start national and global debates about poverty in the 21st century. Premiering on November 12 is Academy Award winner Alex Gibney's "Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream." "Park Avenue" looks at the top one percent of "the one percent" of the richest Americans, many of whom live in one Park Avenue apartment building and wield extraordinary influence on American politics and economics. "Solar Mamas" (premiering December 17) introduces the women of India's Barefoot College, which provides rural women living in poverty with an education that empowers them to make their communities self reliant and sustainable.
Other films coming to the second half of the season include four 2012 Sundance Film Festival award winners: "The Invisible War" by Kirby Dick, "The House I Live In" by Eugene Jarecki, "Detropia" by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry" by Alison Klayman, and SXSW favorite "Beauty Is Embarrassing" by Neil Berkeley, along with 12 other festival favorites and acclaimed films. A complete list of all the films coming to the "Independent Lens" 2012-13 season will be announced after Labor Day.
For more information in "Independent Lens," visit www.pbs.org/independentlens
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