From Independent Lens to POV, from the WORLD Channel to the PBS Online Film Festival, the LA Film Festival, and beyond, the National Minority Consortia (otherwise known as the NMC) supports public media by and about people of color in many contexts. Chances are you already know us, the National Black Programming Consortium. But here’s an introduction to our sister organizations — Latino Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communications, the Center for Asian American Media and Vision Maker Media — with this list of five exciting films they have in store.
1. No Más Bebés, dir. Renee Tajima-Peña — Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting, the organization behind PBS’s VOCES series and documentaries like the Emmy Award-winning Presumed Guilty, co-produced this chilling expose of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center’s sterilization of Mexican American women. Directed by Renee Tajima-Peña — who also made the powerful Who Killed Vincent Chin? — No Más Bebés premiered last Sunday, June 14, at the LA Film Festival.
2. The Fishing Club, dir. David Rosen — Pacific Islanders in Communications
What if a small group of friends could stop the construction of a major resort on one of Hawai’i’s last tourist-free coastlines? That’s the goal of The Fishing Club, whose members each have deep-rooted connections to the land. This short is part of the 2015 PBS Online Film Festival (June 15-July 17), and presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications.
(And for those of you on the prowl for great docs about transgender issues, PIC also supported the documentary Kumu Hina about transgender educator and mentor Hina Wong-Kalu, which aired last month on Independent Lens.)
3. Tough Love, dir. Stephanie Wang-Breal — Center for Asian American Media
POV premieres next week with its usual first-rate array of films — among them this affecting documentary about two parents’ struggles with the courts to regain custody of their children. The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a supporter and co-presenter of Tough Love, which was nominated for Best Documentary this spring at CAAM’s own festival and a Grand Jury Prize last year at DOC NYC. The filmmaker, Stephanie Wang-Breal, previously directed the Emmy-nominated Wo Ai Ni, Mommy, another CAAM-supported documentary, about an eight-year-old girl from China’s adoption by an American Jewish family.
Tough Love will air on PBS as part of the POV series, July 6 at 10 PM ET.
4. Rising Voices / Hótȟaŋiŋpi, dir. Will Meya — Vision Maker Media
Rising Voices, by linguist and advocate Will Meya, gives voice to an ancient language on the brink of extinction. Lakota, language of the Lakota people, has largely disappeared due to widespread adoption of English. This film traces the history of its use and tells an inspiring story of students’ attempts re-learn Lakota, as well as Lakota activists’ efforts to breathe life back into this vital element of their culture and identity. Vision Maker Media will present this hour-long documentary. Look for it on public television at the end of October!
5. Finding Refuge, dir. Torsten Kjellstrand — Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media — supporters of the series America by the Numbers and films like the lacrosse doc The Medicine Game — funded this piece about homegoings and the influence of atrocities on future generations. An Alutiiq woman battling cancer wants to visit her ancestral homeland, Refuge Rock — a place where, over 200 years ago, Russian traders made the first of many attempts to destroy Alutiiq people and culture. Finding Refuge exposes this history, sheds light on the pride and advocacy of current-day descendants and spends time with the ailing protagonist as she attempts to connect with her heritage. The documentary will appear on public television in early October of this year.
Photos by: Torsten Kjellstrand & Dog Mountain, LLC / Courtesy of Vision Maker Media
Learn more about the National Minority Consortia and other upcoming projects at http://nmcmedia.org.