PubTV station relations consultant Jennifer Owensby Sanza, who produced “The Teachings of Jon” about her brother and his challenges with Down syndrome, has advice for first-time filmmakers aiming to see their work on PBS. “Many producers make the mistake of rushing to their local PBS station, begging them to air their program,” she writes on The Independent. “STOP RIGHT THERE! Yes, it is important to find out if you have the support of your local station — you may want to partner with them as a presenting station down the road. But don’t air the program anywhere until you have exhausted EVERY national opportunity first (and there are several). Airing locally may disqualify your program for national broadcast.”
She also says that getting her doc onto pubTV “felt like walking through a minefield, blindfolded.”
Thankfully there are about 30+ experienced Station Relations folks to help. Most of them originally came out of stations. It can be a maze trying to do it on one´s own.
Independent producers, especially first-timers, are always welcome at NETA. Our program service tries to be a friendly, low-hassle partner in getting diverse, new content to public TV stations everywhere.
Maryanne / NETA