AMERICA REFRAMED Public Television’s newest documentary series on WORLD Channel
AMERICA REFRAMED is public media’s newest documentary series, co-produced by WGBH Boston and American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc), producer of the acclaimed POV documentary series on PBS. AMERICA REFRAMED broadcasts Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel (check local listings). Broadcasts are followed by free online streaming on www.worldchannel.org.
Season four of AMERICA REFRAMED curates a diverse selection of films highlighting innovative and artistic approaches to storytelling from emerging and veteran filmmakers alike. Viewers will be immersed in personal stories from the streets of towns big and small to the exurbs and country roads that span the spectrum of American life. The documentaries invite audiences to reflect on topics as varied as culture, healthcare, politics, gun violence, religion and more. Several episodes feature a roundtable discussion moderated by host Natasha Del Toro with special guest commentators and filmmakers.
Executive Director and Executive Producer, Justine Nagan explains, “AmDoc is incredibly excited to partner with WGBH and the WORLD Channel on season four of the AMERICA REFRAMED series. In these turbulent media times, it is increasingly important to share with viewers illuminating and thought-provoking films from independent voices with a variety of perspectives. This series continues to build momentum, viewership and access to themes not often explored in typical media.”
Coming Up on America Reframed Season 4
TONIGHT *TV Premiere
In the forests of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, bustling camps of migrant workers hunt the elusive matsutake mushroom. Here, Kouy Loch, a 46-year-old former platoon leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Freedom Fighters crosses paths with Roger Higgins, an ailing 75-year-old sniper formerly with the U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam. The unlikely pair find more than just mushrooms in the woods; they create a familial bond and a means to slowly heal the wounds of war. Told over the course of one matsutake mushroom season, THE LAST SEASON illuminates the delicate balance of nature to render a moving portrait of love and the cycle of life. Read the full press release here.
June 7 *TV Premiere
As graduation season commences, COLLEGE WEEK is an insider’s perspective, rarely represented in mainstream media, about a tenacious group of teachers at Spencer Elementary Technology Academy. The school, located in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, is committed to providing its students with access to technology, while setting high standards of excellence. Largely known for its high rates of homicide, crime, poverty and violence, Austin is one of the city’s largest communities. Despite its notoriety, Austin also has a caring community of home owners and working class families striving to make positive changes. Read the full press release here.
June 21 *TV Premiere
THE HAND THAT FEEDS tells the story of an epic power struggle that turned a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new service economy wage wars. At a popular bakery café in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, patrons get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, the immigrant workers, many undocumented, earn far below the minimum wage with no overtime or paid sick days. With the support of the Laundry Workers Coalition, young “Occupy” activists and law students, Mahoma López, a mild-mannered sandwich-maker turned organizer-activist emerges. The unlikely coalition launches a journey that tests the limits of their resolve and their commitment to the cause and each other. Read the full press release here.
June 28 *TV Premiere
Filmed over six years, BURIED ABOVE GROUND follows three Americans fighting to overcome the paralyzing grip of PTSD: Luis Carlos Montalván, an Iraq War veteran who has emerged as a New York Times best-selling author and a leading advocate for PTSD awareness; Erundina López, a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence who has battled addiction for many years; and Ashley Boudreaux, a fifth-generation New Orleans native whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Their personal journeys shed light on an underreported mental health condition that is often misunderstood and left untreated. Read the full press release here.
Broadcast March 1
Focusing on the six-day Newark, New Jersey outbreak, REVOLUTION ’67 reveals how the event began as spontaneous revolts against poverty and police brutality, and ended as a fateful milestone in America’s struggles over race and economic justice.
Broadcast March 8
In BaddDDD SONIA SANCHEZ, the 80-year-old poet, her friends and family reflect on her committed and uncompromising life. Deemed “a lion in literature’s forest” by poet Maya Angelou, Sanchez is a winner of major literary awards including the American Book Awards. A seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, she raised her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women’s liberation, and most importantly, peace. The documentary unfolds with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work featuring special appearances by Questlove, Talib Kweli, Amiri Baraka, Haki Ruby Dee, Yasiin Bey, and Bryonn Bain.
Broadcast March 22
How strong is a woman’s desire to be a mother? After marrying the woman of her dreams, Lexy and wife Jessica set out to start a family. The couple spend their life savings on getting pregnant but it turns out to be more difficult than anticipated. ROMEO ROMEO is an intimate portrait of modern marriage and the struggle with infertility.
Broadcast March 29
Hot dogs and apple pie are not merely symbols of the American Dream. In DOG DAYS, they are the things those dreams are made of–literally. This story unfolds through the working relationship between Coite, who risks his capital to embark on a new food business, and single mother Siyone, a food vendor from Eritrea dreaming of freedom.
Broadcast April 5
At the Arctic edge of America, Native Alaskan teenagers strive to be both modern American kids, and the inheritors of an ancient whaling culture, language and tradition. CHILDREN OF THE ARCTIC is a year-in-the-life portrait of three Native youth coming of age in Barrow, Alaska, and the decisions they have to make about their futures.
Broadcast April 12
An activist odd couple are paired together unexpectedly in their mission to fight poverty in hurricane wrecked New Orleans and build a sustainable future.
Broadcast May 10
In her quest to uncover how the Western name “Grace” became ubiquitous among Asian Americans, filmmaker Grace Lee seeks out and speaks with many subjects named Grace Lee, soon learning the name’s Hollywood origins, as well as its Christian and missionary roots. Through an array of first-person interviews, she finds that the name carries with it a stereotype of the model minority—or rather a “quiet, well-behaved overachiever.” While a wide range of women, including a Hawai’i based television anchor, could fit a certain image of the name, others would break that mold.
Broadcast May 17
A thrilling and suspenseful tale, OPERATION POPCORN explores the fate of 10 Hmong American leaders and a retired U.S. Army officer who are accused of conspiring together to overthrow the communist government of Laos. Seven years in the making, the film sheds light on the fragile relationships between individuals and the American surveillance state. Read the full press release.
Broadcast May 24
MY LIFE IN CHINA is an unvarnished portrait of the life and memories of a stoic and reticent man committed to his family and two sons. Director Kenneth Eng’s father would often tell them the story of how he walked for seven days and six nights before swimming for four hours to Macau to escape poverty and Communism. Upon their visit to rural China for the first time in 18 years, Eng and his father retrace the perilous steps his father chanced in search of a better life. Eng’s father reflects, “In 1966, everyone wanted to go to the U.S., people were starving.” His father was one of thousands to make the journey.
About AMERICA REFRAMED
AMERICA REFRAMED is a co-production of the WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc. and is hosted by journalist Natasha Del Toro.
Season 4 of AMERICA REFRAMED curates a diverse selection of films highlighting innovative and artistic approaches to storytelling from emerging and veteran filmmakers alike. Viewers will be immersed in personal stories from the streets of towns big and small to the exurbs and country roads that span the spectrum of American life. The documentaries invite audiences to reflect on topics as varied as culture, healthcare, politics, gun violence, religion and more. Several episodes feature a roundtable discussion moderated by host Natasha Del Toro with special guest commentators and filmmakers.
In 2015, AMERICA REFRAMED won a GRACIE Outstanding Series award, and was nominated for an EMMY award as well as an Independent Documentary Association award for best curated series. In its first season, AMERICA REFRAMED received five 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and one Imagen Awards nomination.