PBS strand ‘Independent Lens’ has lined up 23 documentaries for its 12th season, including season opener Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, and acclaimed films Jiro Dreams of Sushi and How to Survive a Plague.
Actor Stanley Tucci is once again the host of the PBS series, which debuts its new season on September 30 with Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (pictured). The doc tells the story of Filipino singer Arnel Pineda who became the frontman for the band Journey after impressing with his YouTube videos.
It’s followed on October 21 by Peter Nicks’ The Waiting Room. The documentary follows several stories taking place in an ER waiting room in Oakland, California’s Highland hospital, were people can wait up for 14 hours to be seen by a doctor.
Meanwhile, the two-part doc The Graduates/Los Graduados, by Bernardo Ruiz, focuses on the Latino dropout crisis as seen through the eyes of six young students. It airs on October 28 and November 4.
Two docs explore Native American stories, with Indian Relay by Charles Dye following three communities preparing for a grueling horse racing National Championship, in a sport where riders race bareback and switch horses; while Young Lakota by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt looks at three young people dealing with difficult choices when the first female President of Oglala Lakota promises to build a women’s abortion clinic.
Docs airing in December include Playwright: From Page to Stage by Robert Levi, on two young playwrights; Jiro Dreams Of Sushi by David Gelb, on one of the world’s greatest sushi chefs; and the Oscar-nominated How to Survive a Plague by David France, on two groups of activists who helped turn AIDS into a manageable condition.
The upcoming winter/spring season includes TIFF title At Berkeley, from Fredrick Wiseman; A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at The New York Times from Samantha Grant; The Kill Team by Dan Krauss; Muscle Shoals by Greg “Freddy” Camalier; and The Trials of Muhammad Ali by Bill Siegel.
The complete spring 2014 schedule will be announced at a later date.
“The challenge for so many first-rate documentary filmmakers is getting their important stories not only told, but out there to the world,” said Lois Vossen, senior series producer of ‘Independent Lens.’