BALLERINA BOYS: Directors Chana Gazit and Martie Barylick on new AMERICAN MASTERS documentary – Exclusive Interview

Trocks performing "Swan Lake" in AMERICAN MASTERS - BALLERINA BOYS | ©2021 PBS

BALLERINA BOYS, a documentary about the all-male comedy ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, airs on AMERICAN MASTERS on PBS Friday, June 4. Founded in 1974, the Trocks, as they are affectionately known, put a humorous spin on classical ballets, with company members performing the female roles in drag. BALLERINA BOYS is directed and produced by Martie Barylick and Chana Gazit. Gazit has been a documentary filmmaker for thirty-five years. Among her multiple awards wins are Emmys for 2005’s SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA, THE PILL on PBS’s 1988 AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and 1991’s HONORABLE NATIONS. Barylick, who […]Read On »

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LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO: Artistic Director Tory Dobrin on new documentary – Exclusive Interview

Dancer Duane Gosa in AMERICAN MASTERS - BALLERINA BOYS | ©2021 PBS

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, often just called the Trocks, have been entertaining audiences since 1974. The Trocks are an all-male dance troupe that performs classical ballets – SWAN LAKE, GISELLE, etc. – in drag, with a comedic attitude and exquisite technical skill. AMERICAN MASTERS on PBS is presenting a documentary about the Trocks, BALLERINA BOYS, on Friday, June 4. Tory Dobrin, the current artistic director of the Ballets Trockadero, previously danced with the company himself (his ballerina name was Margot Lowenoktaine) from 1980 through the mid-‘90s. A California native who moved to New York, Dobrin talks in an […]Read On »

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LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE: Cinematographer and co-host Bob Poole on new PBS docu-series – Part 2 – Exclusive Interview

Cameraman Bob Poole in LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE | ©2021 PBS/Clare Jones

In Part 2 of our exclusive interview with wildlife cinematographer Bob Poole, he talks more about the new three-part PBS documentary series LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE, which begins Wednesday, May 19 and continues on successive Wednesdays. With Dr. M. Sanjayan, Poole cohosts LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE, which revolves around a manmade drinking pool set up for the wildlife in Africa’s Mwiba Wildlife Reserve. A camera blind was constructed inside the waterhole, enabling the filmmakers to get unique footage of animals without disturbing them. ASSIGNMENT X: LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE is broken into three seasons: dry, hot, and rainy. Are there […]Read On »

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LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE: Cinematographer and co-host Bob Poole on Africa-set docu-series – Part 1 – Exclusive Interview

LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE | ©2021 PBS

LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE is a documentary series that runs on three successive Wednesdays on PBS, beginning May 19. It chronicles what happens when an artificial waterhole is created inside Africa’s Mwiba Wildlife Reserve in Tanzania. A filming blind is constructed within the waterhole. The animals don’t see the equipment, and the camera operators work remotely. This allows the wildlife to drink without fear, which in turn allows viewers a unique vantage point on Mwiba’s native creatures. LIFE AT THE WATERHOLE covers a year at the title location, through the dry season, the hot season, and the rainy season. It […]Read On »

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ROADKILL: Actor Hugh Laurie and creator David Hare on new miniseries – Interview

Hugh Laurie in ROADKILL | ©2020 PBS

ROADKILL is a four-part British drama, premiering on PBS Masterpiece Sunday, November 1. Hugh Laurie (HOUSE M.D., THE NIGHT MANAGER) stars as English politician Peter Laurence, who is trying outmaneuver a scandal without any regret or remorse. ROADKILL is created and written by David Hare, an Oscar nominee for his screenplays for THE READER and THE HOURS. Both Hare and Laurie take part in a virtual Q&A as part of PBS’s portion of the Summer 2020 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour. This article is derived from that session. What motivated Hare to write ROADKILL? “Oh, golly, that’s such a […]Read On »

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FRONTLINE: THE CHOICE 2020: Producer Michael Kirk on the new PBS documentary – Exclusive Interview

FRONTLINE: THE CHOICE 2020 | ©2020 PBS

FRONTLINE will present THE CHOICE 2020 on PBS, Tuesday September 22. The two-hour program is an exploration of the backgrounds, shaping forces and leadership styles of U.S. presidential candidates President Donald J. Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden. Michael Kirk, who has received sixteen Emmy Awards (and many more nominations) for his work as a producer, director, writer, and telejournalist, has been with FRONTLINE since its inception. As part of PBS’s portion of this summer’s virtual Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, he gives Assignment X an exclusive interview about his work with FRONTLINE and THE CHOICE 2020. ASSIGNMENT X: […]Read On »

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OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT – The scoop on the new PBS documentary – Part 2 – Exclusive Interview

Octopus touches its reflection in glass tank. Anchorage, Alaska from NATURE - OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT| ©2019 Passion Planet/Quinton Smith

In Part 2 of our exclusive interview with documentary filmmaker Anna Fitch, Dr. David Scheel, his daughter Laurel Scheel, they talk more the PBS: NATURE film “Octopus: Making Contact,” airing Wednesday, October 2. The discussion includes both the octopus Heidi, who spent a year in a huge tank in the Scheels’ living room, and octopuses in general. AX: Regarding the life span of an octopus, there was another documentary where the implication was that octopus mortality in the wild is that something happens to physically exhaust them – in the case of females, it’s often giving birth – and that […]Read On »

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OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT – The scoop on the new PBS documentary – Part 1 – Exclusive Interview

Octopus hanging at water surface reaching towards the camera. Anchorage, Alaska in NATURE - OCTOPUS: MAKING CONTACT ©2019 Passion Planet/Quinton Smith

PBS NATURE’s film “Octopus: Making Contact” airs on Wednesday, October 2. The documentary, from director Anna Fitch, examines a number of aspects of the octopus, including its singular evolution: unlike vertebrates, the sea creature has evolved with its esophagus in its brain. “Octopus: Making Contact” also visits Octopolis, in a bay off of Australia’s Sydney Harbor, where normally solitary octopuses live in a colony. (Octopi, it’s explained during a PBS Q&A session for the program, is a Latin affectation adopted by some scientists in the early twentieth century; it’s not necessarily the right word for more than one octopus.) Mostly, […]Read On »

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FRONTLINE: SEX TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA filmmakers chat about new documentary – Exclusive Interview

Several Phoenix Vice detectives make contact with a woman to determine if she is a trafficking victim in FRONTLINE - SEX TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA | ©2019 PBS

PBS’s Tuesday-night documentary series FRONTLINE deals with a variety of complex, sobering issues. On May 28, FRONTLINE presents “Sex Trafficking in America.” As FRONTLINE executive producer Raney Aronson Rath describes it, “Sex Trafficking in America” explores “a hidden epidemic. It’s happening across the country in every state, at alarming rates. And children and teenagers who are online are increasingly at risk. Our team has spent almost three years embedded with an undercover police unit in Phoenix, Arizona, that is trying to tackle this dangerous issue.” The “Sex Trafficking in America” investigative team is headed up by the award-winning duo director […]Read On »

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MASTERPIECE: LES MISERABLES: Actor and executive producer David Oyelowo on the new PBS series – Exclusive Interview

David Oyelowo, Lily Collins, Dominic West in MASTERPIECE: LES MISERABLES | ©2019 BBC/Lookout Point/David Oyelowo

The new six-part drama LES MISERABLES on PBS MASTERPIECE, currently airing Sunday nights (it will repeat at an earlier hour in June), after premiering earlier this year in the U.K. on BBC1. David Oyelowo (pronounced “oh-YELLOW-oh”) plays the fanatical Inspector Javert. Oyelowo is also an executive producer on this non-musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s massive 1862 novel set in France as revolution is brewing. Reformed convict Jean Valjean (Dominic West), a genuinely good man, devotes his life to helping others, but Javert is determined to track him down. Oyelowo, originally from Oxford, England, was a regular on the British espionage […]Read On »

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