Documentaries

Volunteers: A Call to Serve
A WQED Documentary

Western Pennsylvania has a rich history of volunteerism. This documentary focuses on three local volunteers who give their time in three different ways: John Edward Hutchinson of the Greensburg VFD is believed to be the nations oldest-living volunteer fire chief; Former Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch combines athletics and academics in a highly-successful program for at-risk youth; Linda Lafferty organizes Blessings in a Backpack in Wilkinsburg, providing food for students who might not have a meal waiting at home. 

A Christmas Cookie Story

For many Western Pennsylvanians, a day of cookie baking is as celebratory as the holidays. This holiday documentary features a pizzelle-making church group, gingerbread house artists, one of the area’s busiest cookie bakeries, a woman who donates her cookies as a goodwill gesture, and Pittsburgh’s popular cookie tour.

Hope After Heroin: The Epidemic in Our Backyard

This program explores the opioid crisis in Western Pennsylvania. People who have experienced addiction, either themselves or through a loved one, share their stories of struggle, stigma and loss. But they also show how they've managed to use their pain as a catalyst for change, providing hope for others.

Pittsburgh's Melting Pot Mission

The melting pot of the early 1900s helped build Pittsburgh.  But today, city leaders struggle to attract and retain a working class immigrant population. Beyond the immigrants, how does the region integrate the growing number of refugees?

Finding Elizabeth's Soldiers

This sequel to "Portraits for the Home Front" explores efforts to find homes for dozens of sketches found among artist Elizabeth Black's memorabilia. Through detailed searches, detective work and the kindness of volunteer genealogists, WQED is working to reunite the sketches with the soldiers or their survivors.

Renewal and Reality: Rebuilding Braddock

Braddock, Pennsylvania was once a vibrant steel town with a population of more than 20,000. Today, fewer than 2200 people live there. Enter a team of community leaders and investors determined to spark new life.

Bedtime Story: The Troubling Truth About Teens & Sleep

The program follows leading sleep researchers as they create a "sleep hygiene" regime for teenagers and visits the University of Pittsburgh’s Sleep Lab for a look at the research that shows how lack of sleep affects teens and behavior.

The Comedy Confluence

Pittsburgh is widely known for re-inventing itself: from steel giant to a leader in medicine, technology and education. Now you can add laughter to the list. The city is gaining a national reputation for its contributions to comedy.

Remake Learning: Network of Success

The Remake Learning movement is a network of educators, artists, entrepreneurs, mentors, and community leaders. They’re working to re-imagine and re-envision the way education works.

Building Hollywood East

Movie making in Pittsburgh boomed in recent years. But now that so many other states have film tax credits, production here is starting to slow. So how does Pittsburgh make movies a sustainable industry?

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