The fourth season of the award-winning POV Shorts series debuts on September 6, 2021 on PBS and streaming online at POV.org with 13 new short nonfiction films packed into seven unique episodes. POV Shorts was named the ‘Best Short Form Series’ at the 36th annual IDA Documentary Awards.
Season 4 begins on September 6th with a collection of films about family roots and the connections we feel to home, including Canadian Screen Award winner Sing Me a Lullaby directed by Tiffany Hsiung, acclaimed short A Broken House directed by Jimmy Goldblum, and MFA student film standout Joychild directed by Aurora Brachman.
The season concludes on January 24, 2022 with Team Meryland directed by Gabriel Gaurano, accompanying the broadcast of POV’s Not Going Quietly. The story follows a twelve-year-old boxer from the projects of Watts training to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion while her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a shot at her dream.
Other notable season 4 films include Seahorse, directed by Nele Dehnenkamp, about a young Yezidi girl who wrestles with her traumatic memories of the Mediterranean Sea, SXSW documentary shorts award winner Águilas, directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre, about a group of searchers who work to recover the missing migrants on the Southern border of Arizona, and Le Frère, directed by Jérémie Battaglia, about a boy who is living with an illness that is causing him to lose the use of his body and the dreams he continues to carry. POV Shorts will also broadcast two films from the POV Spark series Otherly, a collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada that first premiered on Instagram Stories.
“This is a deeply-affecting group of films, particularly given the challenges of the past year” said POV Shorts producer Opal H. Bennett. “We see reunion and redemption, grace and compassion, and displays of inimitable human spirit. Our fourth season aims to bring you stories that will linger long after their screening.”
EPISODE 1: Where I’m From: Stories on home and how it shapes us.
Broadcast Date: September 6, 2021
A Broken House, dir. Jimmy Goldblum
Mohamad Hafez received a one-way ticket to the United States. Missing his homeland, he decided to create a stand-in. A story of love, loss and creating pathways home.
Sing Me a Lullaby, dir. Tiffany Hsiung
Spanning 14 years and two continents, a daughter searches for her mother’s birth parents in Taiwan, unraveling complex tensions between love and sacrifice.
Joychild, dir. Aurora Brachman
A young child tells their mother “I’m not a girl” for the first time.
EPISODE 2: Dreaming Life: Two stories of self acceptance and finding joy.
Broadcast Date: November 8, 2021
Another Hayride, dir. Matt Wolf
As the AIDS epidemic took hold in the early 1980s, self-help guru Louise Hay created a space for healing called the Hayride. Drawing hundreds of gay men confronting a deadly pandemic, Louise promised that self-love would help them overcome AIDS.
To the Future, With Love, dir. Shaleece Haas
Meet 19-year-old Hunter “Pixel” Jimenez, a nonbinary trans boy caught between the expectations of his Guatemalan immigrant family and his dreams of living happily ever after.
EPISODE 3: Familial Healing: Two windows into what it means to be a survivor.
Broadcast Date: November 15, 2021
I’m Free, Now You Are Free, dir. Ash Goa Hua
A story about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE9.
Seahorse, dir. Nele Dehnenkamp
Against the backdrop of a community pool, a young Yezidi girl wrestles quietly with her traumatic memories of the Mediterranean Sea.
EPISODE 4: On Caregiving and Grace: Stories of courageous empathy in the face of loss.
Broadcast Date: November 22, 2021
Águilas, dir. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre
Along the scorching southern border in Arizona, only an estimated one out of every five missing migrants is ever found. Águilas is the story of one group of searchers–the Águilas del Desierto–who volunteer monthly to recover the missing.
The Hairdresser, dir. Lorraine Price
In this short documentary, Kathleen reflects on her experience as a hairdresser while we bear witness to her unusual work.
EPISODE 5: Becoming Myself: Two conversations on identity and connection — selections from the POV Spark/NFB series, Otherly.
Broadcast Date: December 13, 2021
Integrate.Me, dir. Tristan Angieri
This short follows Tristan, a young adult who grew up queer, trans, and traumatized. They took a chance on an experimental therapy, finding their authentic place.
Elaine is Almost, dir. Emily Yue
Explore the unconditional love between siblings as one sister interviews another on the eves of her 14th and 15th birthdays.
EPISODE 6: Le Frère: A story of familial sacrifice and the bonds of brotherhood.
Broadcast Date: December 27, 2021
Le Frère, dir. Jérémie Battaglia
Living with an illness that is causing him to lose the use of his body, Kaïs is awoken every morning by a different member of his family. Though paralyzed, he dreams he is the hero of his favorite manga, along with his brothers: Fehd, the bodybuilder and Zaid, the ninja.
EPISODE 7: Team Meryland: Meet Meryland, a 12 year old boxer with Olympic dreams.
Broadcast Date: January 24, 2022
Team Meryland, dir. Gabriel Gaurano
In the projects of Watts, Meryland Gonzales, a twelve-year-old female boxer trains to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion. Meanwhile, her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a shot at achieving her dreams.