PBS to launch Online Film Festival

The American pubcaster's inaugural online festival will showcase independently produced short films from February 27 through March 30.
February 23, 2012

American pubcaster PBS will launch its inaugural Online Film Festival, showcasing 20 short films by independent filmmakers, from February 27 to March 30 via and YouTube.

The shorts featured in the program will be grouped around a common theme and posted online every Monday. They were produced by the public broadcast outlet Independent Television Service (ITVS), PBS’s doc strand ‘POV,’ and the National Minority Consortia – which includes Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), the National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC), the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT)).

“The theme of the PBS Online Film Festival is ‘Watch Us Surprise You,’ as we think many will be surprised by the depth and breadth of video content that’s available on,” said Jason Seiken, PBS’s senior VP of interactive, product development and innovation.

Visitors can vote for their favorite film by “liking” it and the winner will receive the People’s Choice award and top placement on the homepage and its related video portals and social media channels.

Here are a list of short documentaries in the program , as well as screening dates, with descriptions provided by PBS:

“Real Stories” (February 27)

Seltzer Works (POV)
Third generation seltzer filler Kenny Gomberg is the last bottler in Brooklyn.

The Archive (POV)
A man and his giant record collection (that no one wants).

Once Upon a Rooftop (CAAM)
The world of Hong Kong rooftop dwellers whose lives are tenuous, but filled with an enduring hope.

I Survived (NAPT)
A first-hand account of Sgt. Samuel Tapia’s experience when his convoy hits a roadside bomb.

“Growing Pains” (March 5)

This Gay and Age (POV)
A young filmmaker examines how media has influenced expectations of gay teens.

“Girl Power” (March 12)

Women and Girls Lead: Meet Beverly (ITVS)
Beverly Kearny, the University of Texas Women’s Track and Field Coach, leads by example to mold young women into confident, fearless winners.

“Who Are We?” (March 19)

Sunshine: Single Dads (ITVS)
Single parenthood becomes even more complicated when the parent is a father, and that father is gay.

Black Folk Don’t: Tip (NBPC)
Part of a series of short films exploring common stereotypes, the film asks whether this is a dated idea or still true today.

Bullet Proof Vest (ITVS)
Nine-year-old Jyeshria wants a bulletproof vest—and she’s dead serious.

Offbeat” (March 26)

34x25x36 (POV)
This film shows the inner workings of the Patina V mannequin factory outside Los Angeles and the musings of the designers who decide what the perfect female body should look like.

Watch the festival trailer below:



About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.