2017 PBS Online Film Festival Station Application

The time is now — PBS Digital seeks member stations to participate in the 2017 PBS Online Film Festival. Now in its sixth year, the festival features diverse and surprising stories that only PBS, its member stations and producing partners can tell. This year the film festival will take place over a 2-week period from July 17 – 28th.

To be considered, stations need to complete this short application below.

Note: this application is meant to gauge interest; please do not submit films at this point. 


The application deadline is has passed. Survey is now closed.

The PBS Online Film Festival represents a unique opportunity for any station looking for ways to deepen their involvement with online original content, local independent producers, and to engage its community in new ways.

For the 2017 PBS Online Film Festival, members of the PBS Digital team will review the applications; stations will be chosen based on its commitment to independent film, relationships with filmmakers within the community – including universities, and available on-air/online promotional resources.

After the PBS Digital team reviews this year’s applications, selected stations will submit up to 6 short independent films (3-15 minutes long) to be reviewed by the PBS Digital selection committee; the committee will then choose the films to be showcased in the festival. Participants are also required to ensure that all films submitted have rights cleared for streaming on al PBS digital platforms. In addition, for 2017, we are asking that 3rd party rights are cleared as well. In upcoming weeks, PBS Digital will provide more guidelines and best practices to participating stations.

The 2016 festival featured short independent films (non-fiction and fiction), presented by these partners – CAAM, Independent Television Service (ITVS), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) , National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), POV and StoryCorps. In addition, the following station partners participated: Alaska Public Media, KLRU, KQED, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Texas Tech University Public Media, Twin Cities Public Television(TPT), UNC-TV, Vision Maker Media and WPBT2 (South Florida).

You can watch films from past online film festivals on online on pbs.org and station sites, through your favorite PBS streaming device and also on the PBS channel on YouTube


If you have any questions about participating in the 2017 PBS Online Film Festival, email Taryn Stewart.


"From a filmmaker perspective, we have also been extremely grateful for the exposure that our film received because of the Online Film Festival. It's very humbling and encouraging to know that the stories from an isolated place like West Texas, still resonate and speak to the human experience across the country. "

— Reagan Doyal, Education Content Coordinator, KTTZ-Texas Tech, 2016 Festival Partner


"The PBS Online Film Festival widened the audience for my short film, My Dear Americans, and also gave visibility to the film's characters that often exist at the periphery of American society.  Because the film was on the PBS website, it initiated a deeper dialogue in the public sphere about identity, the immigrant experience, and nationality.  For such a small film to make such an impact would not have been possible if it were not for the PBS Online Film Festival.  Without doubt, the online platform is a much-needed space for short filmmakers to showcase their work.  It is also equally necessary for the audience because it gives them access to independent short form cinema and narratives that are often underrepresented in the mainstream.  PBS' support of my work has been a blessing and an opportunity for which I'm in deep gratitude." 

— Filmmaker Arpita Kumar, 2014 Festival Winner


"In the past we have struggled to educate the film community on the opportunities of working with our station and the film festival now acts as a tangible benefit. I have continued relationships with filmmakers and have helped them navigate their options for funding and distribution within public media. The filmmaking community is very close knit and as word spreads about KLRU and our opportunities for them, awareness of public media grows as a result."

— Sara Robertson, VP Production & Technology, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, 2013-2015 Festival Partner


"The model of the PBS Online Film Festival, to recruit content via its partner media arts organizations, is a great platform for letting new voices into a trusted media institution that has been around for several decades…We are thrilled to offer our support of the continued existence of the PBS Online Film Festival because it provides our producers an entry into a vital arts distribution system, but also because it is an innovative idea whose time has come, several times over"

— Nonso Christian Ugbode, Director of Digital Initiatives, National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), 2012-2015 Festival Partner


“The PBS Online Film Festival as a whole opened eyes with key community leaders who now understand that WCVE has the means to elevate a local initiative to a national level.”

— John Felton, General Manager, WCVE Richmond, 2013 Festival Partner


“The festival helped us reach a new audience since college aged students are not our primary viewers/visitors.”

— Brenda Brkusic, Executive Producer, PBS SoCal, 2013 Festival Partner