Most Popular Film at PBS Online Film Festival
BT Lives in the Stitch
Since its launch in 2012, this festival has showcased diverse films from member stations, producers, and public media partners. The PBS Online Film Festival is part of a multi-platform initiative to increase the reach and visibility of independent filmmakers, and to provide a showcase for diverse storytelling that both inspires and engages.
This year, the winner of the "Most Popular Film" went to a film Illinois Public Media proudly presented from Chicago filmmaker Katie Prentiss Onsager of Small Forces, BT Lives in the Stitch. This film follows North Lawndale College Prep located on the south side of Chicago in a neighborhood notable more for urban blight than quality education. Then teacher, Dorothea Tobin introduced the BT Lives in the Stitch program to students, creating a much needed after-school program as well as an avid knitting circle amongst an unlikely group of teens.
According to the film festival, "the film captured the hearts of many viewers and sparked conversation on social media. Some people wanted to share personal stories of therapeutic knitting groups, others wanted to praise educators who think outside the box, and, further, some wanted to acknowledge that more schools should try to offer programs like this. Some viewers were even inspired to personally support the program."
Illinois Public Media presents
Illinois Public Media presented two films to be featured among the festival's 25 short-form independent films this year. Both films are from Chicago filmmaker Katie Prentiss Onsager of Small Forces:
BT Lives in the Stitch: North Lawndale College Prep is a high school located on the south side of Chicago, in a neighborhood notable more for urban blight than quality education. Then, teacher Dorothea Tobin introduced the BT Lives in the Stitch program, creating a much needed after-school program as well as an avid knitting circle amongst an unlikely group of teens. View this film here.
Heroine of Hope: Like cities and towns across the nation, Cincinnati, Ohio is struggling with an ever-growing opioid crisis. “Momma” Scarlet Hudson, a former corporate executive, takes to the city streets at night, building relationships with women caught in the interconnected systems of addiction and prostitution, offering them a healing home, unconditional love, and a chance for redemption. View this film here.
Where to watch
The festival will run from July 15 – 26 and be available via PBS and Illinois Public Media/WILL-TV digital platforms, including PBS.org. As in previous years, films will also be available to stream on YouTube and Facebook.
How to vote
Starting July 15, you can watch, share, and vote for your favorites to win this year’s Most Popular Film Award. To view the official voting rules, click here. A panel of jurors will also select their favorite film as the Juried Prize Winner.
Host a Viewing Party
Invite friends and family to stream this year’s films with you! To download a handy Viewing Party Kit — with tips on how to throw a successful viewing party, including tasty summer recipes — click here.