Tag Archives: POV

Q&A: Thomas Allen Harris, Family Pictures USA

We know our family history through the images we retain: albums, videos, memories. What kind of story do these images tell when we look at the bigger picture?

Premiering Aug. 12 and 13 on PBS, the three-part series Family Pictures USA explores American communities through the lens of family photo albums, unearthing rich personal stories that expand our understanding.

Host, director and executive producer Thomas Allen Harris spoke with Wisconsin Public Television to share some of his reflections. Read on for more!

Continue reading Q&A: Thomas Allen Harris, Family Pictures USA

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride this June on WPT!

Diverse perspectives contribute greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the culture and diversity of Wisconsin residents. Fifty years after the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 (read more here!), Wisconsin Public Television is pleased to share Pride Month programs honoring many facets of LGBTQ life and history.

Read on for a selection of scripted and nonfiction programs airing this month, as well as exciting multimedia content from StoryCorps – that needs your story, too!

Continue reading Celebrate LGBTQ Pride this June on WPT!

Q&A: Pete Schwaba, Director’s Cut

Pete SchwabaFrom his home base in Marinette, writer, director and comedian Pete Schwaba remains connected to the independent film community as host of Director’s Cutas well as introducing documentaries shown on Independent Lens and POV.

Each year, the Director’s Cut season kicks off with a preview of the Wisconsin Film Festival. Join Schwaba and special guests – festival organizers and filmmakers – 9 p.m. Monday, April 1 on WPT to discuss some of the great offerings in store. Then, come on down to the fest itself from April 4-11, where Schwaba presents the Golden Badger Awards to the best of Wisconsin’s Own films.

Schwaba spoke with us to share some of his favorite indie film picks from past seasons, and what he loves about public TV. Read on!

Continue reading Q&A: Pete Schwaba, Director’s Cut

What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
Continue reading What We Watch: Garry Denny

My Favorite Things: Carol Griskavich

Carol jpg headshot, croppedAs 2018 begins, we’re looking back on some of our favorite memories of the last year. From favorite programs to community events, this was a big year, with fun run-ins and meaningful moments.

Today’s memories come from Carol Griskavich, WPT’s community engagement coordinator – a brand-new position at the station this year. Read on to find out what she’ll remember the most from 2017!

Continue reading My Favorite Things: Carol Griskavich

POV Brings a “Rare Bird” to Television

Think about the most stylish people you know. How many of them have had the contents of their closets on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or inspired a line of MAC makeup? Have they been a visiting professor at a major university, admired by Alexander Wang and Kanye West or sold a shoe and jewelry collection on the Home Shopping Network – all after age 90?

That’s Iris Apfel, the subject of this week’s POV – simply titled Iris. You may not know the name, but once you see her, she’s hard to forget. Continue reading POV Brings a “Rare Bird” to Television

Streaming Favorites for January


Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.21.04 PMWe’ve officially made it to a new year, and with it comes fantastic new content on WPT’s video portal. Discover new streaming favorites with us, whether you’re a fan of cooking or the cosmos. Some of my favorite finds this month are:

These quick videos are musical, inspiring and focused on farm-to-table recipes. Host Patricia Wong shares delicious meals with fresh ingredients that will get you trying something new in less than five minutes.

Pulling its name from a cinema term that means “point of view,” POV is television’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. It’s hard not to get drawn into these provocative, compelling documentaries. Check out Girl Model or StoryCorps Shorts: The Saint of Dry Creek for a personal window into contemporary social issues.

Don’t let this tongue twister of a name turn you off: these short, beautiful and interesting videos share so much interesting info in just a few minutes. If you are trying to figure out the difference between fair trade and direct trade, or if you’d like to learn more about how American farms get their water, dive into this video series aimed at educating about sustainability.

What is weird metallic hydrogen? How does Saturn have a solid core? Would a gas giant planet really float in a giant bathtub? Find out by watching these quick, beautifully animated and SUPER interesting videos about our universe.

LGBT Pride Month: Special Programs Airing This June

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. This June on Wisconsin Public Television, enjoy programs including:

Independent Lens “The New Black”
9 p.m. Monday, June 1
See how the African American community is grappling with gay rights in light of the gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. This program documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage.

Independent Lens “We Were Here”
10:30 p.m. Friday, June 5
Both inspiring and devastating, David Weissman’s film revisits the arrival in San Francisco of what was called the “Gay Plague” in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound issues raised by the AIDS epidemic as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed, offering a cathartic validation for the generation that suffered through the onset of AIDS while opening a window of understanding to those who have only the vaguest notions of what transpired in those years.

Facing Fear
5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 14
This 30-minute documentary shows what happens when a former neo-Nazi skinhead and a gay victim of his hate crime attack meet by chance after 25 years.

Independent Lens “Limited Partnership”
9 p.m. Monday, June 15 
In 1975, when American Richard married Australian native Tony in one of the first same sex marriages performed in the U.S., they found themselves on the front lines in the battle for legal immigration status for same sex spouses.

POV “Out in the Night”
9 p.m. Monday, June 22 
Examine the uphill battle of a group of African American lesbians charged with attempted murder when they fought back after being threatened. The case reveals the role that race, gender identity and sexuality play in the criminal justice system.

Out and Proud in Chicago
11 p.m. Wednesday, June 24
Hosted by actress Jane Lynch, “Out & Proud” charts the history of Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the 19th century to the present.

A True Political Satire Unfolds in Iowa

Poster for the film Janeane From Des MoinesThis week on Director’s Cut it is my pleasure to welcome the very talented Grace Lee, director of “Janeane From Des Moines.”  This is a unique look into the 2012 Republican caucuses in Iowa through the eyes of Janeane Wilson, a housewife played by Jane Edith Wilson. This is a film you won’t want to miss because of Wilson’s portrayal of the troubled Janeane and some deft storytelling by Lee and Wilson who co-wrote the script.

‘Janeane’ is a genre hybrid. The film is scripted and improvised but shot documentary style which will keep viewers guessing for the first 30 minutes, at least those viewers who don’t read this blog.

A staunch conservative, Janeane searches for a candidate to throw her support behind in the 2012 election. The film is engaging from the start when Diane Sawyer throws to a clip of Janeane talking with Mitt Romney. She manages to talk with just about every candidate in the race without breaking character and even gets a sit down with Michelle Bachman. As the story progresses, Janeane’s life unravels and she struggles with her beliefs and political ideology. Political leanings aside, you find yourself really rooting for this conflicted character.

Grace Lee is an accomplished filmmaker with a diverse and award-winning track record. Her credits also include “The Grace Lee Project” and her most recent film, “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” which premiered nationally on POV on Wisconsin Public Television last month.  In case you’re wondering,  I do confront Lee about the fact that she has two films with her own name in the title. I don’t back down from the tough questions!

Lee is a director to keep an eye on and you can start by watching my interview with her and then “Janeane From Des Moines” on Director’s Cut Presents tonight at 10 on Wisconsin Public Television.  Hope you can watch!

56 Up

A half century ago, director Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough) worked as a researcher on the film Seven Up!, which documented the lives of several seven-year-olds in Britain. Seems a bit innocuous in today’s reality TV soaked culture, but because Seven Up! was followed by 7 more films, the body of work has become one of the most significant documentary series of all time.

56 Up on WPTApted stuck with the project and directed all the subsequent films — including the latest, 56 Up — which airs 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 on WPT. In a 2006 interview with moviefone, the now 72-year-old director doubted whether the series will outlive him. See his perspective now and learn about the genesis of the Up series in this POV interview.

Aside from its global appeal as a landmark documentary series, Up has local appeal too. One of the film’s stars is Nick Hitchon, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In the film, Hitchon admits that he’d prefer to be known for his scientific contributions. But, he seems accepting of his movie star status, even if the films don’t portray a true representation of his life. (Hear Nick and fellow star Suzy speak on the limitations of compressing 7 years worth of time into a documentary that’s barely more than 2 hours long).

Tune in this coming Monday, or watch online to see how Hitchon and his fellow stars — long removed from childhood — are settling into middle age at 56.