South Florida PBS film-maker project


In an effort to bolster the local film industry, South Florida PBS saw an opportunity to partner with local film commissions and nonprofit arts organizations to help elevate awareness about the unique stories and storytellers in our community.

The first three seasons of film-maker have been incredibly successful – they attracted new audiences to South Florida PBS while offering unprecedented exposure for the filmmakers. In the cultural melting pot that is South Florida, the program has brought diverse stories, ideas and viewpoints to the forefront. Of the 70+ filmmakers who have received support through this program, 60% were led by minority directors and nearly 40% of the films by female directors. The filmmakers ranged in age from 18 to 70 years old. Six of the films have been nominated for regional Emmy awards, and two received the prestigious Emmy. In the first three seasons of film-maker, the series was broadcast both locally (to 6.3 million viewers served by SFPBS) and nationally with distribution by NETA (the National Educational Telecommunications Association) covering 72% of the country.

Key components of the film∙maker initiative include:
• Dedicated, prime-time broadcast: broadcasting short and long-form independent film to over 6.3 million TV households
• Presence across multiple digital platforms: optional distribution on mobile, Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV, associated with the South Florida PBS brand
• Online showcase of South Florida independent filmmakers: featuring profiles and easy access to filmmaker portfolios and their social media channels
• Companion digital series: profiling the independent filmmaker experience, distributed locally by South Florida PBS
• Partnerships with local film festivals and film organizations: focus on driving attendance and awareness through media sponsorship and workshops
• Workshops sponsored by local film organizations
• Mentorships with South Florida PBS staff and established local filmmakers: based on SFPBS’ 65 years of experience and relationship building
• Acquisition and distribution opportunities
• Support for the nuts-and-bolts necessities of broadcasting independent film, including closed captioning, insurance and licensing rights