America Reframed
Tue, 10/07/2014 - 8:00pm

Eighty percent of women in US prisons today are mothers of school-age children.

Many a parent would find it difficult to be away from their child for a day, or even a week. But imagine being separated for ten to twenty years? Filmed over four years at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Jenifer McShane's Mothers of Bedford explores the effects of a long-term prison sentence on the relationship between a mother and child.

The documentary follows Melissa, Tanika, Mona, Rosa and Anneathia, five prisoners and mothers who are dealt with struggles and joys. It shows the normal frustrations of parenting as well as the surreal experiences of a child's first birthday party inside prison, the cell that the child lives in with her mother and the biggest celebration of the year, Mother's Day in prison!

A mother herself, Jenifer was drawn to the universal themes of motherhood and the staggering power of the mother-child relationship. As we watch the mothers inside Bedford trying to become their better selves, we see parts of our own selves – and that gives us all hope. Is it possible to become a better mother while serving time in a maximum security prison?

Miller Center's American Forum
Sun, 10/05/2014 - 7:00pm
Mike Mozart/Flickr

The debate series begins with two teams of debaters on Are Unlimited Campaign Contributions Corrupting American Democracy? Ann Ravel, vice chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and University of California-Davis legal scholar Vikram Amar argue that tighter limits are needed to preserve democracy. Arguing that limits are unconstitutional and thwart a free democracy are Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC, and former FEC chair Bradley Smith, a legal scholar at West Virginia University.

Produced by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, "American Forum's Beyond Gridlock: Seeking Solutions to the Crisis in American Politics" is a timely and important debate series on crucial national issues. The series brings together some of the nation’s leading thinkers to engage in classic, but civil, debates on four of the key issues facing the country and shaping November’s midterm elections: health care, immigration, campaign finance, and political polarization.

Film School Shorts
Mon, 10/06/2014 - 6:30pm

Film School Shorts is a new weekly series that showcases short student films from across the country. Each week, viewers can watch hot new episodes featuring quirky comedies, slice-of-life dramas and hard-hitting thrillers from cutting edge filmmakers. Short Films + Big Productions = Film School Shorts

The Hunter and the Swan Discuss their Meeting (NYU) and God of Love (NYU):

A Brooklyn couple have dinner with a hunter and his girlfriend, a magical swan woman whose captured robe led to their courtship. The evening goes one direction – downhill. Writer/director Emily Carmichael.

2011 Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short, God of Love follows Raymond, an artist who combines singing with his champion dart-throwing ability to harness the power of love. Writer/director Luke Matheny.


Sat, 10/04/2014 - 1:30pm

This half-hour documentary follows a year in the life of 11-year-old Kimberly Torrez. Living steps from the border in Nogales, Mexico, Kimberly crosses each day to attend school just across the line in Arizona. Kimberly’s unemployed father, stricken with Hepatitis C, needs a liver transplant; Kimberly’s mother desperately awaits the visa that will allow her to live in the U.S. with her American children if her husband dies. A slice-of-life portrait told through Kimberly’s eyes, the film illuminates the changing face of America through the story of this one family.

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 1:30pm

Closer To Truth is the definitive series on Cosmos, Consciousness and God, a global journey in search of the vital ideas of existence.  It is the most complete, compelling, and accessible series on Cosmos, Consciousness and God ever produced for television.

Closer To Truth explores fundamental issues of universe, brain/mind, religion, meaning and purpose through intimate, candid conversations with leading scientists, philosophers, scholars, theologians and creative thinkers of all kinds.  The shows are a rich visual experience, shot entirely on location in high definition with multiple cameras generating film-like production values. The visual lushness of the high definition, on-location productions, combined with the intriguing titles of the shows, builds audiences already interested in such perennial topics.

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 9:00pm

Episode One- See how Clarkston, Georgia’s daily realities reflect wider demographic trends.

This is the first national series dedicated to examining the new American mainstream — the growing numbers of African Americans, Asians, Latinos, mixed race, immigrants, women, youth and LGBTs, whose growing purchasing power and influence over the arts, culture, commerce and the outcome of elections are affecting every aspect of contemporary life. Each half-hour program focuses on stories from every corner of the nation, amplified “by the numbers” — a distillation of the latest statistical information about population, health, education, quality of life and consumer trends.

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:00pm

Join Tavis Smiley as he interviews politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers in this unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment.

PBS NewsHour
Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:00pm

PBS NEWSHOUR continues to provide in-depth analysis of current events with the NEWSHOUR’s team of seasoned and highly regarded journalists. Co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, the nightly broadcast features Jeffrey Brown, chief correspondent for arts, culture, and society; and Margaret Warner, chief foreign correspondent, who deliver compelling original reporting and newsmaker interviews from the field. Senior correspondent Hari Sreenivasan delivers news to the digital world and anchors the news summary on the television broadcasts.
Click HERE for tonight's topics. 

Central Standard: On Education
Mon, 09/29/2014 - 6:00pm

Episode 3 contrasts five communities. The stark demographic differences between the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, the North Center neighborhood, the city of Dolton, the Humboldt Park neighborhood, and the Wilmette suburb become apparent through the five students’ home lives and the concerns of their parents.Competition for positions at selective enrollment high schools is steep. More than 16,800 eighth graders applied for 3,200 freshman spots available for the 2014-15 school year.

Watch the series online HERE. Episode guide HERE

180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School
Sun, 09/28/2014 - 8:00pm

Students featured in this film include Raven Coston, a 17-year-old who left New Orleans with her mother following Katrina and is trying to get through school while raising a baby and working part-time; Delauntte Bennet, an 18-year-old sophomore who has been kicked out of numerous schools for getting into fights; Raven Quattlebaum, an 18-year-old who used to spend her days robbing and assaulting people, but is now determined to turn her life around and go to college; Rufus McDowney, 16, who has been in and out of the juvenile justice system since the age of 13; and Tiara Parker, 17, who has good grades but may not be able to afford college.

An issue that plagues DC Met, and is a leading indicator for dropping out, is chronic absenteeism. In 2010, nearly 50% of students from DC Met missed 15 or more days of school. Throughout the film, faculty members scour roll call reports to see who is showing up for homeroom. The basketball coach reminds his team that if they do not show up to school they cannot stay on the team—to which one of the players responds by walking out of the gym as cameras roll. Adding urgency to the problem, an audit two months into the school year gauges how many of the registered students are actually in school, in order to determine the budget for the following year.

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