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WQED Multimedia brings you Community Cinema, a free documentary screening series on topics important to our community, region, and world. Pittsburgh's Community Cinema provides an opportunity to view films from the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, prior to their release on television.

Pittsburgh's Community Cinema is an educational forum to explore and discuss the many important and timely social issues featured in the films. Pittsburgh's Community Cinema gives you a chance to share and act. Community Cinema is a lens that sharpens our world view and we're bringing it to you with our community partner, the Girls Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

PBS Online Film Festival

This summer, watch 25 short films guaranteed to amaze, move and excite you. The Online Film Festival returns with a collection of stories only PBS can tell. Watch. Vote. Share. Pick your favorites.

Visit the PBS Online Film Festival Website.

The PBS Online Film Festival is partially funded by
The National Endowment for the Arts.

Previous Showings


Wednesday, October 16, 2013 from 6:00,
followed by panel discussion
Kaufmann Center of Hill House

Pressing issues in education today are explored through the eyes of a diverse array of Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States in this eye-opening documentary on the challenges facing both the students and their families. The Girls Hour of this two-hour series is part of the Women and Girls Lead campaign. The Graduates/Los Graduados explores obstacles to educational achievement along with viable solutions: gangs, bullying, citizenship status, teen pregnancy, zero tolerance, homelessness, and poverty.

by Bernardo Ruiz


December 12, 2013 from 6:00,
followed by panel discussion
Union Project

The divisive battle over illegal immigration in Arizona that came to a head with Senate Bill 1070 frames this tense documentary that tracks multiple perspectives - activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ranchers, and others - as America eyes the results.
More Info >

by Carlos Sandoval & Catherine Tambini

American Promise

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
WQED Multimedia, Hillman Conference Room

A documentary 14 years in the making, American Promise provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class Black families in Brooklyn as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons. The provocative, intimate film presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. A panel discussion will follow the screening. This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent non-fiction film series on PBS . The film, by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, premiers on PBS on February 3.


February 26, 2014 from 6:00 PM - Ellis School

Dating from the aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their young shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration.

by Cristina Ibarra


Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6-8 pm
Goodwill Industries, 118 52nd Street, Lawrenceville, (near Butler & Stanton)

Medora, Indiana is a once-booming community beset by a crippled economy and a dwindling population. This documentary follows the town's down-but-not-out varsity basketball team over a season, capturing the players' stories on and off the court - as the team's struggle to compete parallels the town's fight for survival.
More Info

by Andrew Cohn & Davy Rothbart


Saturday, April 12, 2014, 12-2 pm
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland
In conjunction with the exhibition: RACE: Are We So Different?

The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the famed boxer's toughest bout of all: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. The film explores Ali's exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.
More Info

by Bill Siegel


Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:30-7:30 pm
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland
In conjunction with the exhibition: RACE: Are We So Different?

Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black takes viewers into the pews, the streets, and kitchen tables as it looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue. Part of the Women and Girls Lead campaign.

The panel includes Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, founder of JUDAH Fellowship which is the only affirming, Black church in Pittsburgh; La’Tasha D. Mayes, Founder and Executive Director of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice; and Deryck Tines, pastor of ONEchurch, a religious artist, and a Gospel musician based in Pittsburgh who performs internationally.
More Info | Register Now

by Yoruba Richen

ITVS Independent Lens Women and Girls Lead

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WQED is proud to partner with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover important health topics. "Living With Mental Illness" explores diagnosis, treatment and ending the stigma associated with behavioral health issues. The "Men & Cancer" and "Women & Cancer" series reports on early detection and the latest treatment of cancers most commonly associated with men and women.


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