Independent Lens is a curated series of the best independent documentaries on television that airs weekly on PBS. The series features original human stories that attract and represent a diverse audience. As a designer with ITVS, I work alongside the marketing team to create and deliver original artwork for these films that aligns with our overall series brand while representing unique marketing strategies for each film
Film Description: Choreographer Elizabeth Streb is known for her unique style of dance and performance art that literally turned the world of dance on its head. Born to Fly looks at Strebs’ inspired career as a dancer and the process that developed into her rare style of extreme action. The film also explores what it takes to be a member of the Streb dance company and culminates with their series of jaw-dropping performances that opened the 2012 London Olympics.
Key Idea: Appeal to an audience interested in the arts and play to the daring beauty of Streb’s work.
Film Description: Growing up filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe was an honor’s student and described as an all-around “good kid” by family and friends. After coming to the realization that his family was constantly struggling to make ends meet he decided to stage a bank robbery with his friends to try to help his family. Evolution of a Criminal uses the filmmaker’s personal experience as a means to frame a larger discussion about class struggles and the choices people feel forced to make in times of desperation.
Key Idea: What are some of the underlying factors of a seemly good kid when they make bad choices?
Film Description: In 2010, the U.S. experienced the greatest oil spill in its history with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Along with devastating effects on the environment, the disaster also had a huge impact on those living on the gulf; affecting their way of life and their livelihoods. The Great Invisible looks at the spill from the perspective of the people who worked on the rig, live off of the resources of the gulf, and those who represent some of largest oil companies in the world.
Key Idea: Focus this story through a human lens by telling the stories of the people affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Film Description: Happiness is the story of a young boy growing up in a small mountain community on the cusp of receiving access to electricity in the small nation of Bhutan. Bhutan is famous for having a commitment to “Gross National Happiness” and filmmaker Thomas Balmès utilizes the country’s rugged terrain and life in its small villages to capture an intimate portrait of a culture in a time of transition. In focusing on the introduction of technology to an almost forgotten time without electricity, television, and the internet, the viewer must question their own relationship with technology and it’s impact on our lives.
Key Idea: Is technology really the key to our modern happiness?
Film Description: During the 1960’s and 70’s the small town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, established itself as a recording and production mecca for some of the biggest and brightest emerging musicians in American music. Muscle Shoals creates a soulful tribute to the magic that musicians found while recording there and the freedom musicians found to work together during racial segregation.
Key Idea: What is it about such a small and seemingly unknown town that created such a rich and sought after sound?
Film Description: Above the busy streets of Kanpur, India, hangs a complex and precarious network of wires delivering power to its many factories and residents. In a city without a utilities system that can provide a sufficient supply of electricity to its citizens, self-taught electricians have been climbing rickety ladders and splicing hi-voltage wires to provide power for their neighbors. Powerless follows the struggle between India’s power company to clean up its broken system and the people’s quest to find a reliable source of power on their own terms.
Key Idea: A Robin Hood story of tact and rebellion that champions the voice of the majority over an effective and rigid bureaucracy.