Coming Attractions: PBS Online Film Festival Returns

The PBS Online Film Festival returns June 16. The exciting lineup featuring independent filmmakers includes "Why We Rise," a moving documentary about undocumented young Asians in NYC.

The PBS Online Film Festival returns June 16, featuring 25 diverse independent films.

CAAM is proud to co-present Why We Rise, a film about three undocumented young Asian Americans in New York. They reveal what it’s like to grow up without legal immigration status. The moving short film, directed by Corinne Manabat and Brian Redondo, won the Loni Ding Award for Social Issue Documentary at this year‘s CAAMFest.

The PBS Online Film Festival showcases films from Independent Lens, POV and collaborations with public television producers including CAAM, Latino Public Broadcasting, National Black Programming Consortium, Pacific Islanders in Communications and Vision Media Maker.

The 25 selected films screen for free on the web until the end of July, shining a spotlight on some of the best independent filmmakers today. The films are both narrative and documentary shorts. They are available to stream on, YouTube, Roku and Xbox.

Stay tuned to find out how to vote for your favorite film for the “People’s Choice” award!

Check out the list of films below:

Independent Lens


Being a teenager isn’t easy, especially for Nayla, a Muslim-American girl who wants to join her high school’s cheerleading squad.

“Border Bedazzlers”

Hoping to heal the divide between Mexico and the United States an inspired group of artists turn the border wall into a giant canvas.


“The Jazz Ticket

Vince Womack has built a high school jazz powerhouse in one of L.A.’s toughest districts.

Center for Asian American Media

“Why We Rise

Three brave young New Yorkers reveal what it’s like to grow up without having legal immigration status.

Latino Public Broadcasting

“El Doctor

Worlds collide when an Arizona family hires an undocumented day laborer.

“El Reloj”

Experience a day in the life of a Zapotec grandfather and his city-born granddaughter.

National Black Programming Consortium

“You’re Dead to Me

A mother and daughter revisit issues with each other on a tragic anniversary date.

“My Dear Americans

An Indian-American husband and wife adjust to immigrant life in an American suburb.

“7 Day Gig

A young man sits Shiva, mourns for his father’s death with strangers from the Internet.

Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)

“Dog Save the Queen”

The Million Dollar Corgi Quest comes to the Island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.


Vaine escapes her brutish “protector” and shares a daily, wordless love play with Tamatoa.

Vision Maker Media and Wisconsin Media Lab

“Lady Thunderhawks”

The Lady Thunderhawks varsity basketball team has become a pillar of hope for an entire community.

Alaska Public Media

“I Am an Aurora Hunter

Alaskan Todd Salat is one of the best aurora borealis photographers in the world.

Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN)


Explore the life and art of reclusive Winslow, Arkansas, artist Tim West.

“Diamond John

John Wesley Huddleston tries to support his wife and five daughters by digging for gold.

CET & ThinkTV

“Overpass Light Brigade

Overpass Light Brigade tells the story behind Wisconsin’s Holders of the Lights.

“Sorry About Tomorrow

Baldwin is using time travel in hopes of undoing everything that has recently been done to him and those he loves.


“Yellow Wallpaper”

A woman descends into insanity as she struggles against the patriarchal institution that confines her.

“Digging for Water”

When a well drill becomes stuck at 225 feet, a Haitian community must dig it out by hand in order to get water.

KQED (Film School Shorts)


Set during the attacks of 9/11, a young girl wishes she could go back in time.

“First Match

A teenage female wrestler on an all-boy wrestling team faces her biggest challenge.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting

“A Part of Me, A Part From Me

Lawrence goes to an old house by the lake and relives painful memories of his lost love.

Vermont PBS

“North Star

Witness a haunting, poetic re-creation of a slave escaping from the South to New England.

“Mad River Rising

An aging farmer escapes his retirement home and finds himself back at his boyhood farm.


“Calls from Home: Prison Radio in Appalachia

From the heart of Appalachia, a radio station broadcasts hip-hop and shout-outs behind bars.