America ReFramed public documentary series focuses on U.S. social evolution

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 11-09-2012

With 300 million people and 3,000 miles between its two coasts, the United States is a pretty diverse place. To pay homage to that, the America Series documentary launch on PBS aims to catalogue the nation's continuing evolution.

Presented by American Documentary and public television's WORLD Channel, the series consists of 26 independent films, collectively called America ReFramed. These weekly 60 or 90 minute independent films take an unfiltered look at relevant domestic topics (healthcare, immigration, the workplace, and politics) with personal storytelling.
From contemporary life on Native American reservations to stories of recovery on the Gulf, from hardships and revitalisation in towns big and small to stories from city streets across the country, these independent, personal and opinionated films document many different social transformations at work in the nation.
"This show has been curated in a way to give our viewers what we hope will be a snapshot of a transforming American life," said Chris Hastings, executive producer and editorial manager for the WORLD Channel. "We are expanding our mission of diverse story-telling in public media by acquiring films where the camera focuses on places and demographics that truly offer the contemporary American story. We are proud to bring these amazing films to such a large forum for discussion. Our goal is to deliver content that has a purposeful mission, and the feature stories of America ReFramed fulfill that promise."
Broadcast on the WORLD channel, America ReFramed can be seen on public television stations nationwide. The series rundown as currently slated for the first three months, starting in September, with more titles to be announced soon. A sampling:
Chisholm '72 tells the story of the first black woman to run for President in 1972.
Street Fight covers the turbulent campaign of young graduate running for Newark, New Jersey mayor against the four-term incumbent.
La Americana involves an immigrant coming to America to support her disabled daughter back in Colombia.
Trust addresses the issue of urban poverty through Chicago inner-city youth who have faced abuse and trauma and use art and theatre as a form of therapy.
Skydancer is a story of the Mohawk tribe in upstate New York and their involvement in the construction of modern skyscrapers.
Medicine Game pursues the story of two brothers from the Onodaga Nation and their struggle to live up to family's expectations while paying lacrosse for Syracuse University.
Meat Hooked depicts how the American culture interacts with food, specifically meat and how it relates to different heritages.
The series is hosted by Natasha Del Toro, an independent documentary producer and journalist who has produced videos for public television's, The Daily,, and PBS' FRONTLINE World, covering a range of topics, including the environment, immigration and politics. Born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in North Carolina, she feels she's a healthy mix of Hispanic and Southern, which proves to be beneficial when reporting on different backgrounds and covering the growing population of Hispanics in the United States, she said.