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Vision Maker Media Announces Seventh Annual PBS Online Film Festival: One Independent Film from Vision Maker Media Included

The Festival Returns to All PBS Digital Platforms July 16-27


Lincoln, NE; July, 16, 2018 - Today, Vision Maker Media announced that the Webby Award-nominated PBS Online Film Festival will return for a seventh year July 16-27, 2018 and will feature 25 short-form independent films from multiple public media partners and PBS member stations. Vision Maker Media's filmmakers Edmund Frazer Myer (Chehalis Tribe) and Charles "Boots" Kennedye (Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma) are among those featured in this year's Festival for their film Leo Yankton: A Redemption Story. The PBS Online Film Festival is part of a multi-platform initiative to increase the reach and visibility of independent films, and to provide a showcase for diverse storytelling that inspires and engages.

Beginning July 16, the Festival will be available via Vision Maker Media and PBS digital platforms including As in previous years, films will also be available to stream on YouTube and Facebook.

The one film from Vision Maker Media include:

"Leo Yankton: A Redemption Story"

A Redemption Story follows Leo Yankton (Oglala Lakota) and how he contributed in efforts to protect the water on the Standing Rock reservation, and continues to find ways to have a positive impact with Native County and the rest of the world.

"Vision Maker Media is excited to participate again this year. It's a good opportunity for vacation viewing." --Shirley Sneve, Executive Director of Vision Maker Media

This year's lineup features films from the Black Public Media, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Independent Television Service (ITVS), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), POV, To The Contrary, Vision Maker Media and World Channel, as well as PBS local member stations, including DPTV (Detroit), KLRU-TV Austin PBS, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, NET (Nebraska), Twin Cities Public Television, UNC-TV, Vermont PBS, WNET (New York) and WSIU (Illinois). Promotional partners for the PBS Online Film Festival include Independent Lens and World Channel.

"Every year, PBS and its member stations challenge ourselves to elevate the breadth and depth of innovative storytelling through our work with The PBS Online Film Festival," said Ira Rubenstein, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer. "The world of filmmaking is changing, and filmmakers can make as much of an impact on small screens as they do on big screens. The festival amplifies unique stories from an exciting collection of filmmakers across the country, reaching viewers on platforms as diverse as the films themselves."

The PBS Online Film Festival has become a popular annual online event, generating more than six million streams over the course of the festival's history. The festival also received a nomination in the 2015 Webby Awards category for Online Film & Video: Variety (Channel).

Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite film to win the "Most Popular" award, and a distinguished panel of eight jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the "Juried Prize." This year's jury members include International Documentary Association Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, Black Film Critics Circle Founder Mike Sargent, WGBH Educational Foundation Executive Producer Judith Vecchione, Firelight Media & Films Documentary Lab Manager Chloe Walters-Wallace, Digital Media Executive Adnaan Wasey, Senior Director of Programming & Development at PBS Pamela Aguilar, FRONTLINE Producer & Editor Michelle Mizner and American Experience Producer Eric Gulliver.

For updates on the festival, follow #PBSFilmFest on Twitter or visit

About Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media (VMM) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. We envision a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. We work with Native producers to develop, produce and distribute programs for all media. VMM supports training to increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives producing quality public broadcasting programs. A key strategy for this work is the development of strong partnerships with tribal nations, Indian organizations and Native communities. Reaching the general public and the global market is the ultimate goal for the dissemination of Native produced media that shares Native perspectives with the world.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) empowers and engages Native People to tell stories. For more information,

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS' premier children's media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV - including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.


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