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Who We Are

Indie Caucus is a national, independent group of filmmakers who believe in the public mission of public media.  It is dedicated to strengthening our collective voice both within and outside of the public media system.

As a group we keep tabs on events related to indies and public media, and can quickly activate the national community when a crisis arises.  We aim to be a voice that represents independent filmmakers to our broadcast, programming and funding partners in public media.

Members of the Indie Caucus Steering Committee are independent producers who meet regularly, who can intervene behind the scenes, and who are pledged to activate their networks when a large outcry and action is needed.


Steering Committee

Claire Aguilar (for the International Documentary Association), Steve Bognar, Angelica Das, Giovanna Chesler, S. Leo Chiang, Heather Courtney, Johanna Hamilton, Tim Horsburgh, Byron Hurt, Ciara Lacy, Brad Lichtenstein, Paco De Onis, Dawn Porter, Gordon Quinn, Julia Reichert, Yoruba Richen, Bernardo Ruiz, Pamela Yates.

Why we exist

In late 2011, PBS moved the flagship documentary series, Independent Lens and POV, to a marginalized slot on the schedule.  Ratings plunged. Independent filmmakers, organized initially by Kartemquin Films and then by an ad hoc group of indies nationally, rose up.

Within a few weeks over 1000 people had signed on to an open letter to PBS, which demanded a more worthy, respectful time slot.  The group called itself “PBS NEEDS INDIES.”

Shortly thereafter it was announced by PBS that these two series would be moved to a much more auspicious time, Monday nights.  It seemed victory was ours.  The ad hoc group disbanded.

In the last two years, there have been new challenges in the world of public broadcasting.  Too often, the filmmakers have found themselves struggling alone.  At times, our institutional public media partners could have benefitted from allies.  As a result, the founders of Indie Caucus have joined together to create a more permanent group, recognized and respected by PBS, ITVS and POV but independent of them.


Our Beliefs

  • Public media is "public", a commons, a trust.  It is free to all.  We believe it is part of  our responsibility to make it an extension of democracy.

  • Diversity is essential to the functioning of public media in a democracy.

  • Engagement with audience is a hallmark of our work. We are passionate about storytelling and believe in its power to make a difference.


What are you working on now? What do you want to happen?

  • Scheduling in major markets, such as WETA in Washington, D.C. and WNET in New York, continues to be a concern.

  • Working with public media to assure diverse voices and innovative programming.

  • Reaching out to filmmakers throughout the country to expand the pool of talent working in public media.

  • Working with organizations representing diverse constituencies and public concerns to support public media's mission.

  • Acting as a resource for filmmakers such as when questions around ITVS contracting arise.

  • Monitoring to see when high impact issues arise and being prepared to spring into action.


How Can I Join? Take a leadership position

We welcome you to join Indie Caucus, as an independent filmmaker who is committed to the public mission of public media, and who wants to strengthen the voice of independent filmmakers in it.

If you are a filmmaker who would like to be considered for the steering committee, please contact


Pledge your support.

Sign our petition and become a supporter who believes in the public mission of public media.