Center for Independent Documentary
Bloggers, Tweeters, and Facebookers around the world are jailed for their pro-democracy activism, yet barely half the eligible voters in the U.S. care to cast a ballot. Online a different story unfolds—Journalism 2.0 meets Government 2.0 in an attempt to re-invigorate American democracy. AMERICAN SPRING explores what democracy looks like in the 21st century as cell phones, laptops, and an ever-expanding toolkit of apps changes the power dynamic between citizens, the media, and politicians.

40 Days to $40K: Help us make it to home plate! It has been three years since Mica embarked on his mission to send baseballs to Cuba, and we began our journey to document it with Got Balz? Now, we need your help to bring it home. Join our support team by making a tax deductible donation on Kickstarter ( Be a player and reap the rewards! Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Mica is on a mission to repay the nation of Cuba for saving his grandpa's life during the Holocaust. His youthful idea: send baseball gear to kids in Havana. Collecting bats, balls, and gloves from friends and thrift stores proves easy, but then he's thrown a curve ball: the U.S. embargo. Suddenly, the ninety miles between his country and Cuba might as well be a million. Over the next two and half years his deepening understanding of U.S. policy tempers his earnest idealism, until overcoming his grandfather's objections, he takes matters into his own hands—forever changing his sense of self, family, tradition, and the country he calls home. Directed by Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel Please visit our website: And like our Facebook page: A PatchWorks Production:

The Franciscan Manzanita had been extinct in the wild for almost 70 years—until it was spotted growing on a freeway traffic island at the edge of San Francisco. This is the story of one small plant—the last of its kind—and the fascinating, hilarious, and poignant ballet of human efforts to save it.

In Bristol, Tennessee at the Paramount Theatre, we were fortunate to catch up with our friends, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Dom Flemons of the group granted us a wonderful interview in which he talked about his understanding of Lesley Riddle's invaluable contribution to the Carter catalogue. And the Chocolate Drops also sang "When the World's on Fire" for us. Enjoy.

Patagonia Rising investigates a plan to build five large hydroelectric dams on two of the world's purest free-flowing rivers in Chile. Tracing the hydrologic cycle of the Baker River from ice to ocean, Patagonia Rising brings voice to the South American cowboys, Gauchos, caught in the crossfire of future energy demands.

This is an excerpt from the upcoming music documentary The Winding Stream - The Carters, the Cashes and the Course of Country Music. It tells the story of how A.P. Carter met his future wife Sara while selling fruit trees in the hills of southwest Virginia.

The Carter Family and their years in Texas on Border Radio. A clip from The Winding Stream: The Carters, the Cashes & the Course of Country Music, a documentary in progress by Beth Harrington.

Today the Hawk Takes One Chick captures day-to-day life in a rural society on the threshold of simultaneous collapse and reinvention. The Lubombo region of Swaziland suffers from the world's highest prevalence of HIV and the lowest life expectancy. This observational film is told from the poignant perspective of three grandmothers (gogos) who have become instrumental in defining a new world order in the fight against the spread of HIV.

Filmmaker Dakin Henderson, age 24, grew up with two grandmothers who have aged very differently: one is a healthy and active 86-year old, the other died recently after a long and painful decline into dementia. Through an intimate investigation into the stories of his grandparents' aging, Dakin discovers truths about the aging process that are rarely discussed in public, and still largely unknown to people his age. From the perspective of the generation preparing to inherit an increasingly elderly population, What Time Is Left is a personal story of how three generations of one family are coping with the process of their loved elders growing old and dying.

It's not really about skin color, it's about a state of mind. Whiteness is something learned, and most white people don't even realize what they've absorbed. People of color, on the other hand, see us quite clearly. A 3 minute clip from the 15 minute first person documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, A.M. Sands.

Profiles three older adults sculpting their lives with creativity and a knack for reinvention. With wisdom, humor, and a few surprises, Light / Years challenges our misconceptions about aging, focusing instead on renewed potential and the power of creativity to enrich the art of living.

How does a dying working class town end up betting its future on art? With 80% of its downtown buildings closed, North Adams, Massachusetts united blue-collar locals with art world luminaries to transform economic failure into America's largest center for contemporary art, MASS MoCA. A film by North Adams native, Nancy Kelly, DOWNSIDE UP is about the tentative, dangerous notion of hope in a city widely viewed as hopeless.

Rene di Rosa is smitten by art. For over 50 years the renowned Napa Valley collector and California art patron has been seeking out unknown and emerging artists, adding their work to his ever-growing and vast collection. SMITTEN is not only about a man and his vast and extraordinary collection, it also offers a delightful commentary on the art of aging successfully.

Directed by Ann Carol Grossman & Arnie Reisman. Based on the book War Paint: Miss Elizabeth Arden & Madame Helena Rubinstein—Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry by Lindy Woodhead, the film follows the women through their decades long, groundbreaking careers, drawing links to events of the times.

Directed by Denise Prichard. 'CAUSE' peels back the layers to uncover the personal histories and motivations that make these individuals who they are, and what drives them to behavior some would call extreme. Going beyond the labels and what initially meets the eye, their stories weave together to form a collective thread and reveal that they have more in common than one would think.

When filmmaker Cynthia McKeown learned that her friend Janice Fine had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she approached her with the idea of doing a video diary. That diary became the award-winning documentary film One in Eight: Janices Journey.

Directed by Marc Fields. Narrated by Steve Martin, The Banjo Project: The Story of Americas Instrument is a cross-media cultural odyssey: a major television documentary, a live stage/multi-media performance with Tony Trischka, and a website that chronicle the journey of Americas quintessential instrument—the banjo—from its African roots to the 21st century. The Banjo Project television documentary brings together contemporary players in all styles—Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Ralph Stanley, Abigail Washburn, Mike Seeger, Don Vappie and Cynthia Sayer, among many others—with folklorists, historians, instrument makers and passionate amateurs to tell the story of Americas instrument in all its richness and diversity.

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