Airing weekly on Monday nights on PBS through ITVS, the Emmy Award-winning, Oscar-nominated series Independent Lens introduces new documentary films made by independent filmmakers like Eugene Jarecki, Kirby Dick, Connie Field, and Frederick Wiseman. Past seasons of Independent Lens have been presented by hosts Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Terrence Howard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, America Ferrera, and Mary-Louise Parker. Stanley Tucci is returning for his second stint as host for the 2013-2014 season.
The series began in 1999 and for three years aired 10 episodes each fall season. In 2002, PBS announced that in 2003 the series would relaunch and expand to 29 primetime episodes a year. The 2013-2014 season is regarded as the 12th season for the series.
Independent Lens has won six Primetime Emmy Awards and 16 films have won News & Documentary Emmy Awards. In 2012, "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?" won for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking; in 2007, A Lion in the House won for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking; and A Lion's Trail won in 2006 for Outstanding Cultural and Artistic Programming. Three other films won for Best Documentary: Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life in 2008, Be Good, Smile Pretty in 2004, and Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle in 2000. As well, five Independent Lens films garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Weather Underground, Waste Land, Hell and Back Again, and How to Survive a Plague. Other awards conferred upon Independent Lens films include the George Foster Peabody Award, International Documentary Association Documentary Awards, Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, and Sundance Film Festival Awards.
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