WILL Pressroom

Two independent films presented by Illinois Public Media featured in PBS Online Film Festival

PBS Online Film Festival. Watch. Vote. Share. Festival begins July 15.

Illinois Public Media is a proud partner in the 8th Annual PBS Online Film Festival, coming July 15-26, 2019. Since its launch in 2012, this festival has showcased diverse films from member stations, producers, and public media partners.

This year, Illinois Public Media is pleased to present two films from Chicago filmmaker Katie Prentiss Onsager of Small Forces to be featured among the festival’s 25 short-form independent films. These films are as follows:

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.

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.

“Short films are rarely given the attention they deserve, even though they can make a big impact, convey a mood, and introduce us to amazing characters,” said Moss Bresnahan, CEO and president of Illinois Public Media. “Illinois Public Media takes great pride in presenting Katie’s unique and moving films to PBS audiences in Illinois and beyond.”

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.

“These 25 films presented by filmmakers from across the country illuminate themes of kindness, bravery and extraordinary resilience,” said Ira Rubenstein, chief digital and marketing officer at PBS. “As America’s home for documentary film, we’re hopeful that the unique and powerful stories, reflective of so many of the communities that PBS serves, will encourage engagement and contribute to the growing narratives online around identity and its complexities.”

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. Viewers can watch, share, and vote for their 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.

For updates on the festival, follow #PBSFilmFest on Twitter or visit http://www.pbs.org/filmfestival.