ITVS and Independent Lens Filmmakers Honored with 2021 News & Documentary Emmy Awards

Posted on September 29, 2021
ITVS Wins 2 News & Doc Emmys graphic with Emmy Award

PBS’s award-winning documentary anthology series Independent Lens, in association with ITVS, today announced films released under its banner have been honored with two News and Documentary Emmy® Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).

We are so pleased to salute the producers of these documentaries, which aired on PBS in 2020. Please join us in congratulating the teams behind these Emmy-winning films: 

Belly of the Beast, Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary
Co-Producer: Black Public Media
Filmmaker: Erika Cohn
Two women investigate a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons and battle the Department of Corrections.

The film was commissioned through ITVS's Series and Special Projects initiative and was a recipient of the ITVS Diversity Development Fund. Belly of the Beast is also a part of Stories for Justice, presented by Independent Lens, a public media partnership to spark community conversations and boost the work of people on the front lines of justice reform.

Feels Good Man, Outstanding Research: Documentary
Filmmakers: Arthur Jones and Giorgio Angelini
When adorable, trippy indie comic character Pepe the Frog becomes an unwitting icon of hate, his creator fights to bring Pepe back from the darkness.

“We’re exceptionally proud to have supported the talented films and filmmakers behind these exceptional Emmy-awarded documentaries," said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. "During these turbulent times, these documentaries are a beacon for audiences looking for in-depth and authentic stories that illuminate critical issues like the forced sterilization of incarcerated women and the unexpected forces shaping our cultural and political landscapes.”

We also celebrate S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun's Our Time Machine, which was nominated for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary, aired on POV, and was supported by ITVS's Open Call initiative; and Rewind, by Sasha Joseph Neulinger which was nominated for three Emmys (Outstanding Social Issue Documentary; Outstanding Direction: Documentary; Outstanding Editing: Documentary), and aired on Independent Lens.

The 42nd Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards honored programs out of more than 2200 submissions that originally premiered in the calendar-year 2020, and were judged by a pool of over 800 peer professionals from across the television and streaming/digital media news and documentary industry.

The complete list of nominees is also available on the National Television Academy's website:


From our blog

  1. Independent Lens Raises Awareness of Harms Caused by Kentucky's Persistent Felony Offender Law

    June 30, 2022

    Independent Lens and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Louisville Courier Journal (LCJ) raised awareness of Kentucky's Persistent Felony Offender (PFO) through a collaboration between independent filmmakers and journalists. The investigative series drew a link between the law's enhanced sentencing terms to the state’s high and growing prison

  2. Independent Lens Releases Stories for Justice Impact Report

    June 1, 2022

    Documentary storytelling increased understanding about the inequities in the U.S. justice system.

  3. The Supervising Producer Partnership: How CJ Hunt Found the Arc for "Neutral Ground" While Working with ITVS

    April 12, 2022

    How do filmmakers and ITVS supervising producers work together in their back-and-forth partnership?To best explain CJ Hunt's partnership with ITVS, we wanted to have him in the same room with three-time Emmy-nominated ITVS Supervising Producer Shana Swanson to explore what it meant to work together as funder and maker. Hunt made his feature film debut