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PBS Preview: Six New 'Makers' Documentaries Focus on Groundbreaking Women

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 23, 2014 at 3:51PM

PBS announces a new fall "Makers" series spotlighting groundbreaking women in six areas: Comedy, Hollywood, Space, Politics, Business and War.
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Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay

At the semi-annual Television Critics Association conference ending Wednesday, PBS announced that their next "Makers" series is focusing on groundbreaking women. Set to air six Tuesday nights this fall between September 30 and November 4, these one-hour "Makers" docs will spotlight women in six spheres of influence—comedy, Hollywood, space, business, politics, and war. I participated in Rory Kennedy and Linda Goldstein Knowlton's doc about Women in Hollywood.

They're among the top filmmakers producing and directing episodes of this six-part series that expands on the three-hour PBS documentary on the women's movement, "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," which premiered in February 2013 and drew more than 4.3 million viewers. This new doc series probes women's impact on American culture and life via intimate interviews with trailblazers--some famous, some not--about what it was like to be pioneers in their fields.

“MAKERS is not just a media project, it is a movement,” said Dyllan McGee, Founder and Executive Producer of MAKERS. “Each documentary in this six-part series examines the impact of the women’s movement on six fields once largely closed to women. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media reports that since 1946, gender inequality on screen has remained largely unchanged and unchecked and our goal at MAKERS is to help change that statistic.”

This broadcast collaboration with AOL's multi-platform initiative aims to assemble the largest collection of women’s stories ever, including the growing collection of over 250 original interviews online at MAKERS.com. This new "Makers" series will be available for streaming on PBS.org and MAKERS.com after their PBS broadcast.

Here's the full line-up of documentaries:

This article is related to: TV, Television, Television, Television Critics Association Awards, Ava DuVernay, Lena Dunham, Documentary, Documentaries, Sarah Silverman


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.