'POV' Producer Wins $1 Million MacArthur Foundation Award

American Promise

U.S.A. (Directors: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson)

This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.

StoryCorps also was included among 13 recipients of the annual MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

American Documentary, producer of POV, a nonfiction film series on PBS, was announced as a recipient of a $1 million award from the MacArthur Foundation. 

"Documentary filmmakers are instrumental in providing a window into the lives, beliefs and policies that impact our lives," said American Documentary | POV executive vp/co-executive producer Cynthia Lopez. "We appreciate MacArthur’s investment in the documentary form and its potential to spark public dialogue and make our communities better places to live."

FILM REVIEW: American Promise

POV's Diverse Voices Project recently co-produced American Promise, a film that spotlights the education of two African-American boys over 13 years. The film screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival. American Documentary | POV also has co-produced Food Inc. (2008) and Where Soldiers Come From (2011).

The nonprofit organization said that the $1 million award would be used in part to "complete an infrastructure upgrade."

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which also awards annual "genius" grants, long has funded American Documentary | POV. In February 2011, the foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to the production company over a three-year period. In 2008, it announced a grant of the same amount for three-year funding. 

American Documentary | POV was among 13 recipients of the annual MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Another recipient was StoryCorps, which records interviews with "everyday people" and features them in weekly NPR broadcasts.