Starting tomorrow The Ninth Annual PBS Short Film Festival. Taryn J. Stewart gives us all we need to know about the event.

Monday is day one of the very entertaining Ninth Annual PBS Short Film Festival. The festival starts on July 13th and will feature 25 films and will come to an end on July 24th.

The films are all free and can be accessed on your local PBS website and stations digital platforms, including PBS.org, YouTube, and Facebook.

In conversation with Taryn J. Stewart, Sr. Manager, Mulitplatform Marketing with PBS Digital is the head of the PBS Short Film Festival initiative and gives everything that you need to know to be part of the festival. You will be able to vote for the films that you like plus there will be a number of great watch parties that viewers will be able to join for free and give your feedback.

The Facebook Watch parties will feature each of the films via the PBS Short Film Festival Facebook page. Viewers can also check out all 25 films on Thursday, July 25 at 5 p.m. ET via the PBS Facebook page.

In addition, a panel of seven jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the Juried Prize. This year’s jury members include Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, International Documentary Association; Mike Sargent, Founder, Black Film Critics Circle; Eric Gulliver, Producer, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE; Chloe Walters-Wallace, Documentary Lab Manager, Firelight Media & Films; Adnaan Wassey, Digital Media Executive, formerly of POV; Pamela A. Aguilar, Senior Director, General Audience Programming and Development, PBS; and Judith Vecchione, Executive Producer, WGBH Educational Foundation.

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE UNCUT INTERVIEW WITH TARYN ON STREAM ON

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 Films featured in the PBS Short Film Festival have been selected and provided by 18 public media partners and PBS member stations. This year’s lineup includes films from Black Public Media, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Independent Television Service (ITVS), Latino Public Broadcasting, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), POV, Reel South, Vision Maker Media and World Channel, as well as PBS local member stations, Alabama Public Television (APTV), Illinois Public Media, KQED, KLRU-TV Austin PBS, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), MPT Digital Studios, WNET (New York) and WSIU (Illinois).

FAMILY

“Maria”

Public Media Partner: National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

Facebook Watch Party: Monday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Set against the devastation of a recent hurricane, a young woman’s mental health is pushed to the edge when she returns home to care for her suicidal father.

“Joyride”

Public Media Partner: Latino Public Broadcasting

Facebook Watch Party: Monday, July 13 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Teenage Latina sisters break their grandmother out of her assisted living facility for one last joyride.

“In This Family”

Public Media Partner: Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)

Facebook Watch Party: Tuesday, July 14 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Ten years after being outed by his teacher, a gay man revisits raw audio recordings of his Filipino family’s reactions.

“To Infinity”

Public Media Partner: Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB)

Facebook Watch Party: Tuesday, July 14 at 9:30 a.m. ET

A dying father helps his young daughter carry an imaginary mission into space in order to reunite her with her mother; which leads to an unimaginable revelation.

RACE

“Preston’s Gone”

Public Media Partner Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB)

Facebook Watch Party: Wednesday, July 15 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Preston Thornton, an Army veteran, was experiencing paranoid delusions on August 2, 2017. After being convinced to call the Veteran’s Crisis line by his sister, two deputies came to transport Preston to a veteran’s hospital. The tragedy that followed could have been prevented. Using the body-worn footage from the officers, the film asks how a veteran ended up dead. The answers lead to an issue larger than Preston or the deputies, a systemic problem with mental health crises in the state of Louisiana and beyond.

“Celestia Morgan”

Public Media Partner: Alabama Public Television (APTV)

Facebook Watch Party: Wednesday, July 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Birmingham based conceptual photographer Celestia Morgan uses image to exercise and amplify her voice. Morgan’s latest project draws on a family’s experience with redlining, which inspired her to create work challenging assumptions about the communities around us.

“History of White People in America”

Public Media Partner:  World Channel

Facebook Watch Party: Wednesday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET

An African husband and English wife sing about the fate of their future as new laws render their love illegal.

“A Night at the Garden”

Public Media Partner: POV

Facebook Watch Party: Thursday, July 16 at 9:00 a.m. ET

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism — an event largely forgotten from American history. “A Night at the Garden” uses striking archival fragments recorded that night to transport modern audiences into this gathering and shine a light on the disturbing fallibility of seemingly decent people.

“Embers”

Public Media Station: KLRU-TV Austin PBS

Facebook Watch Party: Thursday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Two mothers with sons in trouble at school face a racist high school administration.

“We Gon’ Be Alright”

Public Media Partner: Independent Television Service (ITVS)

Facebook Watch Party: Thursday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Jeff Chang visits East Palo Alto, a historically Black and Latino community in the heart of Silicon Valley, to hang out with rapper, dancer and performer Isaiah Phillips a.k.a. Randy McPhly, who appeared in Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” video. They talk about the domino effects of gentrification and displacement, the re-segregating of an area where the rents have been rising dramatically, and why people of color feel like they’re not part of the future.

ENVIRONMENT

“The Seed Saver”

Public Media Partner: Independent Television Service (ITVS)

Facebook Watch Party: Friday, July 17 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Explore the philosophy and appreciation of cooking and the art and science of growing food. In this film, a young agricultural innovator, Kristyn Leach, dives deep into the process of growing grains and explores her Korean heritage with other Korean American farmers. Along the way, Kristyn helps viewers discover the challenges young agriculturalists face and expands the idea of who a modern American farmer is today.

“One Way”

Public Media Partner: WNET (New York)

Facebook Watch Party: Friday, July 17 at 9:30 a.m. ET

A man decides he needs to get away from his overheated office to a colder climate.

“Standing Above the Clouds”

Public Media Partner: Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)

Facebook Watch Party: Friday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Follow Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope.

CULTURE

“Paddle Together”

Public Media Partner: Illinois Public Media

Facebook Watch Party: Saturday, July 18 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Breast cancer survivors find support and friendship in a unique sport: dragon boat racing.

“Edwin”

Public Media Station: KLRU-TV Austin PBS

Facebook Watch Party: Saturday, July 18 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Edwin Debrow Jr. murdered a cab driver when he was 12. He was sentenced to 40 years. Today he’s walking out.

“Knocking Down the Fences”

Public Media Partner: Reel South

Facebook Watch Party: Saturday, July 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET

This is the story of a superstar athlete and why the sports industry hasn’t put her on your radar. AJ Andrews is the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, an award given to the best fielders in baseball for decades. But winning the Gold Glove did not change the fact that Andrews earns less than $15k a year in an industry more willing to pay female athletes to model than to play their sport.

“You Know the Drill”

Public Media Partner: Illinois Public Media

Facebook Watch Party: Sunday, July 19 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Most American teens and their parents worry a shooting could happen at their school. While some administrators claim active shooter drills help prepare students, a child psychologist questions whether these drills might cause more harm than good.

“How Turfing Became Synonymous with Oakland”

Public Media Station: KQED (Northern California)

Facebook Watch Party: Sunday, July 19 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Turf dancers combine abrupt, angular movements with graceful footwork.

HUMANITY

“Quilt Fever”

Public Media Partner: Reel South

Facebook Watch Party: Monday, July 20 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Quilt week in Paducah, Kentucky draws all walks of life and the main show in town creates a patchwork of stories ready to be shared.

“Birth of Afrobeat”

Public Media Partner: Black Public Media

Facebook Watch Party: Monday, July 20 at 9:30 a.m. ET

A new perspective on the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, also known as “My Friend Fela,” is told through conversations with his close friend and official biographer, Afro-Cuban Carlos Moore. The accompanying, live-action animated short, “Birth of Afrobeat,” tells how Nigerian drummer Tony Allen and his partner Fela Kuti created the Afrobeat genre.

“Sweetheart Dancers”

Public Media Partner: Vision Maker Media

Facebook Watch Party: Monday, July 20 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Sean and Adrian, a Two-Spirit couple, are determined to rewrite the rules of Native American culture through their participation in the “Sweetheart Dance.” This celebratory contest is held at powwows across the country primarily for men and women couples, until now.

“Do Not Disturb”

Public Media Station: WSIU (Illinois)

Facebook Watch Party: Tuesday, July 21 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Do Not Disturb touches on the dangers and possible outcomes of texting while driving.

“Happy Hounds”

Public Media Partner: MPT Digital Studios

Facebook Watch Party: Tuesday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Linda Domer facilitates Happy Hounds prison dog program at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Maryland.

“All Inclusive”

Public Media Partner: POV

Facebook Watch Party: Tuesday, July 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Stunning, surreal and precisely composed, the views of life on board a palatial cruise ship in Corina Schwingruber Ilic’s documentary yield a pointed commentary on luxury, excess and what some people consider fun.

“Beep”

Public Media Partner: National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

Facebook Watch Party: Wednesday, July 22 at 9:00 a.m. ET

A music-loving old man spends his final days fixing machines until he finds a mysterious little robot who wants to fix him.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PBS MEDIA TEAM FOR THEIR HELP IN MAKING THIS STORY AND PODCAST HAPPEN.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.