Indie Films

PBS Short Film Festival

Now entering its 10th year, the PBS Short Film Festival is a celebration of independent films and filmmaking. Join us in exploring an incredible selection of 25 captivating films about identity, society, culture, family, race, and humanity in this annual showcase of powerful and unexpected stories.

Coup d’Etat Math

8m 32s

This animated short film depicts four stories that speak to the complex equation of each immigrant’s journey. Purposely ambiguous in place and time, each story builds upon the other—like battle raps of struggle—a fight to be born, to survive, to find a place and to go on in the face of immeasurable loss. Not everything adds up evenly or neatly, and that’s the point.

Episodes

  • Kapaemahu: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Kapaemahu

    S2021 E25 - 8m 35s

    Long ago, four extraordinary beings of dual male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii and imbued their powers in four giant boulders. The stones still stand on Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden — until now.

  • For Our Girls

    S2021 E24 - 10m 37s

    The film is a love letter to Black daughters — acknowledging the sacred, and at times, tense relationship mothers and daughters share as they face challenges and accept each other’s flaws. “For Our Daughters” is the first episode of WORLD Channel’s The Conversation series, three films that revisits topics explored in Conversations on Race.

  • For Our Girls: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    For Our Girls

    S2021 E24 - 10m 37s

    The film is a love letter to Black daughters — acknowledging the sacred, and at times, tense relationship mothers and daughters share as they face challenges and accept each other’s flaws. “For Our Daughters” is the first episode of WORLD Channel’s The Conversation series, three films that revisits topics explored in Conversations on Race.

  • Learning to Breathe

    S2021 E23 - 9m 56s

    The film catches up with young Black men who were part of the 2015 New York Times digital short film, “A Conversation about Growing UpBlack.” In “Learning to Breathe” these young men reflect on who they are now, and how their perspectives on race, justice, and social inequity inequality have changed.

  • Without a Whisper: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Without a Whisper

    S2021 E22 - 26m 48s

    Explore the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Mohawk Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner shake the foundation of the established history of the women’s rights movement in the US joining forces to shed light on the hidden history of the influence of Haudenosaunee Women on the women’s rights movement.

  • Highway Mike: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Highway Mike

    S2021 E21 - 9m 37s

    Highway Mike is a short form documentary about Mike, who is an Outreach worker with the Washington Heights Corner Project. There, he volunteers to distribute clean supplies to prevent overdoses. Mike received the nickname Highway Mike after panhandling along various highways in New York City while dealing with a drug addiction and homelessness. He now uses his knowledge to help others.

  • A Call Away: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Call Away

    S2021 E20 - 9m 18s

    Oklahoma is one of 26 states with a “failure to protect” law, which prosecutes parents who fail to prevent child abuse. However, the ACLU and other groups say this law disproportionately criminalizes women, who are often victims of domestic abuse themselves. A Call Away tells the story of Clorinda Archuleta, a mother of twin boys, both of whom suffered severe injuries as infants.

  • Deadly Jails: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Deadly Jails

    S2021 E19 - 13m 28s

    Christina Dawn Tahhahwah of the Comanche Nation suffered from mental illness and died in an Oklahoma jail. Brittany Weide, who was bipolar and suffered from addiction, after being incarcerated for sleeping outside and carrying illegal drugs, committed suicide in her cell. Like many states, Oklahoma has no mechanisms in place for handling or treating incarcerated people with mental illness.

  • Mildred: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mildred

    S2021 E18 - 5m 52s

    Twelve-year-old Mildred must lead her family through the hardships of Depression-Era America. Can a girl so young meet the challenges that lay ahead?

  • Grab My Hand: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Grab My Hand

    S2021 E17 - 5m 22s

    A personal story of grief and a message to all to cherish every moment while we can.

  • The Love Bugs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Love Bugs

    S2021 E16 - 31m 55s

    Over 60 years, Lois and Charlie O’Brien, renowned entomologists, traveled to more than 67 countries, amassing the world’s largest private collection of insects.

  • Guest of Honor: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Guest of Honor

    S2021 E15 - 12m 4s

    Guest of Honor is a multi award winning heartfelt drama written by Lisa Belcher& Lukas Hassel, directed by Lisa Belcher, produced by Lisa Belcher and Christian Olteanu. It has played over 30 festivals and received 23 awards. The film was selected by the American Heart Association to support their cause, and has just received an offer for foreign sales and domestic distribution.

Extras + Features

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.