A House Made of Splinters directed by Simon Lereng
A House Made of Splinters directed by Simon Lereng

The multi award-winning series POV returns for its 36th season with a slate of 16 feature documentaries with themes devoted to caregiving, transnationalism, activism, childhood aspirations, accessibility, and intergenerational relationships.

Films this season include POV alumni director Simon Lereng Wilmont and producer Monica Hellström’s timely Oscar®-nominated documentary A House Made of Splinters. As the war in Eastern Ukraine takes a heavy toll on families living near the frontline, a small group of strong-willed social workers work tirelessly in a special kind of orphanage to create an almost magical safe space for kids to live in. In Vietnamese first-time director Hà Lệ Diễm’s riveting Oscar® Shortlisted feature Children of the Mist, she details the challenges facing a Hmong girl living in rural Northern Vietnam caught between tradition and modernity.

As sweeping issues in cultures collide, five films explore transnationalism and the effect land has on identity. The season opens June 26 with tAfter Sherman, Jon-Sesrie Goff’s poetic feature debut about his quest to unearth his Black inheritance amidst a violent past in the South Carolina Low Country. In A Story of Bones, directors Joseph Curran and Dominic Aubrey de Vere chronicle Annina van Neel’s and Peggy King Jorde’s efforts to reclaim a burial site containing thousands of formerly enslaved Africans on the famed British territory, St. Helena. Set between the rodeo rings of eastern North Carolina and the longed-for Mexican hometown of an undocumented family living in the U.S. for 20 years, Bulls and Saints by director Rodrigo Dorfman and producer Peter Eversoll, is a story of reverse migration, belonging, rebellion, and redemption. Leslie Tai’s first feature-length documentary, How to Have an American Baby, is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the shadow economy of Chinese birth tourism in the U.S. Juliana Curi’s and Uýra Sodoma’s visually stunning, Uýra: The Rising Forest, is about an Amazonian indigenous trans performance artist who uses their craft to inspire indigenous and riverside youths to connect to themselves, their ancestors, and their environment in Brazil.

The series stays true to its “point of view” roots with three deeply personal stories about caregiving, family, and people with disabilities. Eat Your Catfish, filmed from the perspective of Kathryn, a woman with ALS, is an unvarnished account of a family’s bond and of a woman’s will to live. With both empathy and gallows humor, directors Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen and Noah Amir Arjomand—who is Kathryn’s son—probe the breakdown of a family pushed to its tipping point. In director Rea Tajiri’s vibrant tender cine-poem, Wisdom Gone Wild, the filmmaker collaborates with her Nisei mother as they confront the painful curious reality of wisdom “‘gone wild” in the shadows of dementia. In unseen, director Set Hernandez follows their friend, Pedro, an aspiring social worker facing the uncertainty of life as a blind, undocumented immigrant.

Continuing with stories focused on family the season offers four films about intergenerational relationships and childhood aspirations. Murders That Matter, directed and produced by POV alumnus and Peabody Award-winner Marco Williams (Two Towns of Jasper), documents Movita Johnson-Harrell, an African American, Muslim mother, over five years, as she transitions from being a victim of trauma and violence into a fierce advocate against gun violence in Philadelphia’s Black communities. Director Inna Sahakyan tells the forgotten story of a teenage girl who survives the Armenian genocide, escapes to America, becomes the face of a massive humanitarian campaign and makes a meteoric rise as a silent movie star in1920’s Hollywood in the animated documentary Aurora’s Sunrise. The feature debut of So Yun Um’s Liquor Store Dreams, is an intimate, autobiographical documentary about two Korean American children of liquor store owners who must reconcile their own dreams with those of their immigrant parents. Director/producer and MIT alum, Arthur Musah, traces the journey of four inspiring African MIT undergrads who strive to be agents of change back in their home countries of Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe in the uplifting Brief Tender Light.

The season also examines the intersectionalities of activism, inclusion and belonging with two films that invite viewers to be more engaged in their communities and the greater world. Directors Andres “Jay” Molina and Alexis Neophytides’ raw, heartfelt film, Fire Through Dry Grass, exposes–in real time– institutional neglect at a New York City nursing home during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic while following Jay and his friends, a group of disabled Black and brown artists, who refuse to be ignored. An urgent depiction of truth in crisis, While We Watched, directed by Vinay Shukla, follows primetime Indian journalist Ravish Kumar – a man troubled by the future of news and the soul of his nation.

Recently, POV took home the IDA Documentary Award for “Best Curated Series” for its landmark 35th anniversary season (2022). In 2021, the series received seven News & Documentary Emmy nominations, and won Best Documentary for Advocate (POV Season 33). This marked the second year in a row that a POV film took home that honor; POV earned the 2020 Best Documentary award for The Silence of Others (POV Season 32). POV won two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Awards for Through the Night (POV Season 33) and Softie (POV Season 33). In addition to its Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature, The Mole Agent (POV Season 33) was also shortlisted for Best International Feature. Recently, Let the Little Light Shine (POV Season 35) received a Peabody nomination and last year, Mayor (POV Season 34) was awarded a Peabody.

POV airs on PBS, Mondays at 10p/9C and free streaming via the PBS App.


After Sherman
Director/Producer: Jon-Sesrie Goff
Producers: blair dorosh-walther, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
Premieres: June 26, 2023
Returning to the coastal South Carolina land that his family purchased after emancipation, filmmaker Jon-Sesrie Goff’s desire to explore his Gullah/Geechee roots transforms into a poetic investigation of Black inheritance, trauma, and generational wisdom, amidst the violent tensions that define America’s collective history.
Featured cast: Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr.
Country: USA I Year: 2022
Produced in association with ITVS, Black Public Media, Hedera Pictures LLC
Winner, Best Documentary Feature Award, at the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and 2022 Atlanta Film Festival. Received the 2022 Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence at the Tallgrass Film Festival.

A Story of Bones
Directors: Joseph Curran, Dominic Aubrey de Vere
Producer: Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo
Premieres: July 3, 2023
As Chief Environmental Officer for St. Helena’s troubled airport project, Annina van Neel learns about an unmarked mass burial ground of an estimated 9,000 formerly enslaved Africans. Haunted by this historical injustice, she and African American preservationist Peggy King Jorde fight for the proper memorialization of these forgotten victims, exposing the UK’s disturbing colonial past and present.
Country: UK I Year: 2022
Nominee, Best Documentary Feature, 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

Liquor Store Dreams
Director: So Yun Um
Producers: So Yun Um, Eddie Kim
Premieres: July 10, 2023
In Liquor Store Dreams, two Korean American children of liquor store owners reconcile their own dreams with those of their immigrant parents. Along the way, they confront the complex legacies of LA’s racial landscape, including the 1991 murder of Latasha Harlins and the 1992 uprisings sparked by the police beating of Rodney King, while engaged in current struggles for racial and economic justice.
Featured cast: Mark Burton, Danny Park, May Park.
Country: USA I Year: 2022
Co-presented with The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
Winner, Local Jury Award, 2023 Palm Springs, International Film Festival

A House Made of Splinters
Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont
Producer: Monica Hellström
Premieres: July 17, 2023
In the shadow of poverty, addiction, and war in Eastern Ukraine, a safe haven provides refuge for children who have been temporarily separated from their parents. A House Made of Splinters chronicles three displaced kids who, despite the perils surrounding them, find moments of joy and friendship, with the aid of dedicated social workers who work tirelessly to protect them from harm. Countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine I Year: 2022
Nominee, 95th Academy Awards®. Sundance World Cinema Documentary, 2022.

Eat Your Catfish
Directors/Producers: Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand, Senem Tüzen
Premieres: July 24, 2023
Paralyzed by late-stage ALS and reliant on round-the-clock care, Kathryn clings to a mordant wit as she yearns to witness her daughter’s wedding. Drawn from 930 hours of footage shot from her fixed point of view, Eat Your Catfish delivers a brutally frank and darkly humorous portrait of a family teetering on the brink, grappling with the daily demands of disability and in-home caregiving.
Countries: USA, Turkey, Spain I Year: 2021
Winner, Best Documentary at the Istanbul Film Festival
Winner, Best International Documentary at the International Antenna Documentary Film Festival

Children of the Mist
Director: Hà Lệ Diễm
Producer: Swann Dubus, Trần Phương Thảo
Premieres: July 31, 2023
Children of the Mist, traces the story of Di, a 13-year-old girl coming of age in a remote indigenous Hmong community in the mountains of Northwest Vietnam. As part of the first generation in her village with access to education, Di navigates the cultural and social challenges faced by young girls in her community while balancing inherited tradition with change.
Country: Vietnam I Year: 2021
Shortlisted, 95th Academy Awards®

While We Watched
Director/Producer: Vinay Shukla
Producers: Khushboo Ranka, Luke W. Moody
Premieres: September 4, 2023
A timely depiction of a newsroom in crisis, While We Watched follows tormented Ravish Kumar for two years as he battles a barrage of “fake news,” falling ratings and the resulting cutbacks. Are there viewers for fact-based analyses anymore? Will his show survive or become a swan song of reason – drowning out in sensationalism, misinformation, and ratings-driven editorial decisions?
Featured cast: Ravish Kumar, Sushil Bahuguna, Deepak Chaubey.
Country: UK I Year: 2022
Co-presented with The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
Winner, Amplify Voices Award, 2022 Toronto International Film Festival

Bulls and Saints
Director: Rodrigo Dorfman
Producer: Peter Eversoll
Premieres: September 18, 2023
After 20 years of living in the United States, an undocumented family decides to return home. Little do they know it will be the most difficult journey of their lives and reawaken an intense desire for a place to belong. Set between the rodeo arenas of North Carolina and the spellbinding Mexican town they yearn for, Bulls and Saints is a love story about reverse migration, rebellion, and redemption.
Country: USA I Year: 2023
Produced in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)

Murders That Matter
Director/Producer: Marco Williams
Premieres: September 25, 2023
How would you handle the trauma of losing a loved one? Set in Philadelphia, Murders That Matter documents African American, Muslim mother Movita Johnson-Harrell over five years as she transforms from a victim of violent trauma into a fierce advocate against gun violence in Black communities. Her relentless activism exposes the emotional and psychological toll the killings take on those left behind.
Featured cast: Movita Johnson-Harrell.
Country: USA I Year: 2022
Produced in association with ITVS

Uýra – The Rising Forest
Director/Producer: Juliana Curi
Producers: João Henrique Kurtz, Lívia Cheibub, Martina Sönksen
Co-Producer: Uýra Sodoma
Premieres: October 2, 2023
While traveling through the Amazon, Uýra shares ancestral knowledge with Indigenous youth to promote the significance of identity and place, threatened by Brazil’s oppressive political regime. Through dance, poetry, and stunning characterization, Uýra boldly confronts historical racism, transphobia, and environmental destruction, while emphasizing the interdependence of humans and the environment.
Featured cast: Zahy Guajajara, Uýra Sodoma.
Countries: Brazil & USA I Year: 2022
Co-presented with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Peril and Promise, a public media initiative from The WNET Group
Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary, 2022 Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Aurora’s Sunrise
Director/Producer: Inna Sahakyan
Producers: Vardan Hovhannisyan, Christian Beetz, Juste Michailinaite, Kestutis Drazdauskas, Eric Esrailian
Premieres: October 23, 2023
At 14, Aurora Madriganian survived the horrors of the Armenian Genocide and escaped to New York, where her story became a media sensation. Her newfound fame led to her starring as herself in Auction of Souls, one of Hollywood’s earliest blockbusters. Blending storybook animation, video testimony, and rediscovered footage from her lost silent epic, Aurora’s Sunrise revives her forgotten story.
Featured Cast: Anzhelika Hakobyan, Arpi Petrossian, Shushan Abrahamyan.
Countries: Armenia, Germany, Lithuania I Year: 2022

Fire Through Dry Grass
Directors: Andres “Jay” Molina, Alexis Neophytides
Producer: Jennilie Brewster
Co-Producers: Peter Yearwood, Sarah Feuquay
Premieres: October 30, 2023
Wearing snapback caps and Air Jordans, the Reality Poets don’t look like typical nursing home residents. In Fire Through Dry Grass, these young, Black and brown disabled artists document their lives on lockdown during Covid, using their poetry and art to underscore the danger and imprisonment they feel. In the face of institutional neglect, they refuse to be abused, confined, and erased.
Country: USA I Year: 2023

Wisdom Gone Wild
Director/Producer: Rea Tajiri
Producer: Sian Evans
Premieres: November 20, 2023
A vibrant tender cine-poem, a filmmaker collaborates with her Nisei mother as they confront the painful curious reality of wisdom ‘gone wild’ in the shadows of dementia. Made over 16 years, the film blends humor and sadness in an encounter between mother and daughter that blooms into an affectionate portrait of love, care, and a relationship transformed.
Country: USA I Year: 2022
Produced in association with The Center for Asian American Media CAAM
Nominee, IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary, 2022 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival

How to Have an American Baby
Director/Producer: Leslie Tai
Producer: Jillian Schultz
World Premiere: December 11, 2023
Ho Have an American Baby is a kaleidoscopic voyage into the shadow economy catering to Chinese tourists who travel to the US to give birth for citizenship. Told through a series of intimately observed vignettes, the story of a hidden global economy emerges–depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in its web.
Country: USA I Year: 2023
Co-Presented with Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from The WNET Group.

Director: Set Hernandez
Producers: Day Al-Mohamed, Felix Endara, Diane Quon
Co-Producer: Dorian Gomez Pestaña
Premieres: Q1, 2024
As a blind, undocumented immigrant, Pedro faces obstacles to obtain his college degree, become a social worker, and support his family. Uncertainty looms over him even after he graduates. Through experimental cinematography and sound, unseen reimagines the accessibility of cinema, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health.
Country: USA I Year: 2023
Co-presented with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)
World Premiere, 2023 Hot Docs Festival

Brief Tender Light
Director/Producer: Arthur Musah
Premieres: Q1, 2024
A Ghanaian MIT alum follows four African students at his alma mater as they strive to become agents of change for their home countries Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Over an intimate, nearly decade-long journey, all must decide how much of America to absorb, how much of Africa to hold on to, and how to reconcile teenage ideals with the truths they discover about the world and themselves.
Country: United States I Year: 2023
Co-presented with Black Public Media and Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from The WNET Group

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