|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||13|
|No. of episodes||306 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Sally Jo Fifer|
|Running time||60-90 minutes|
|Original release||August 9, 1999 – Present|
Independent Lens is a weekly television series airing on PBS presenting documentary films made by independent filmmakers. Past seasons of Independent Lens have been presented by hosts Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Terrence Howard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, America Ferrera, and Mary-Louise Parker. Stanley Tucci returned for his second stint as host for the 2013-2014 season.
The series began in 1999 and for three years aired 10 episodes each fall season. In 2002, PBS announced that in 2003 the series would relaunch and expand to 29 primetime episodes a year. The 2014-2015 season is regarded as the 13th season for the series.
Independent Lens has won six Primetime Emmy Awards and 16 films have won News & Documentary Emmy Awards. In 2012, "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?" won for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking; in 2007, A Lion in the House won for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking; and A Lion's Trail won in 2006 for Outstanding Cultural and Artistic Programming. Three other films won for Best Documentary: Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life in 2008, Be Good, Smile Pretty in 2004, and Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle in 2000. As well, five Independent Lens films garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006), The Weather Underground (2004), Waste Land (2010), Hell and Back Again (2011), and How to Survive a Plague (2012). Other awards conferred upon Independent Lens films include the George Foster Peabody Award, International Documentary Association Documentary Awards, Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, and Sundance Film Festival Awards.
Independent Lens gives out an annual Audience Award. The TV viewing audience is invited to rate each episode of the series (through online voting), and an award is given to each season's winner. Winners of the Audience Award have included:
- 2003 Heart of the Sea
- 2004 Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew
- 2005 On a Roll
- 2006 The Devil's Miner
- 2007 China Blue
- 2008 Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula
- 2009 Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene
- 2010 Mine
- 2011 Two Spirits
- 2012 Strong! and Have You Heard from Johannesburg?
- 2013 The Revisionaries
- 2014 Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
- 2015 "Kumu Hina"
- "Introducing Our Illustrious New Host, Mary-Louise Parker!" (on September 20, 2011)
- “Independent Lens Announces New Season Lineup” (on September 4, 2013)
- "'Independent Lens' From ITVS Re-Launches; Expands to 29 Weeks". 2002-07-26. Archived from the original on 2002-08-03.
- Peabody Awards for Independent Lens
- Independent Lens - About the Audience Award (retrieved June 3, 2009).