10 Locally Produced Documentaries to Stream on VPM Passport
VPM is a trusted producer and presenter of award-winning documentaries, seamlessly showcasing locally-produced programs alongside national PBS documentaries. Our mission to educate, entertain and inspire drives us to continue to provide programs that connect you to what matters. Have you seen these local productions?
100 years ago, U.S. women gained the right to vote. Celebrate and reflect upon the complexities of this milestone, as historians and modern activists illuminate the struggles and triumphs of Virginia women fighting to secure their right to vote during the Jim Crow era. It’s a story that encapsulates our nation’s long history of voting restrictions and racial injustice.
When George H.W. Bush became president, he was met with one foreign policy crisis after another: the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union collapsed, and American diplomacy entered a whole new era. “Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team” offers a unique look at the foreign policy legacy of President George H.W. Bush as told via the George H. W. Bush Presidential Oral History, the historical record and the accounts of the advisers who shaped it.
For refugees, loss and struggle are common themes, but so, too, are hope and resilience. In “Azadi: Freedom Through Storytelling,” Nour, Sakina, and Farahnaz, refugees from the war-torn Middle East and Central Asia, strive to build a normal life in their new home of Athens, Greece. As young women in a new country, there are multiple obstacles between them and a hopeful future, yet they choose resilience. The film follows the development of their knowledge of multimedia storytelling and weaves in footage the women shot themselves.
Across the Pacific (3-part documentary series)
After Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, aviators set their sights on a new goal: crossing the Pacific. “Across the Pacific” is a three-part documentary series about one of the great milestones in aviation history: the 1935 crossing of the Pacific Ocean by a Pan American Airways flying boat known as the “China Clipper.” Archival footage, photographs and sound recordings help bring to life this high-flying story about the early days of international commercial air travel.
In Virginia, youth “age out” of the foster care system when they turn 18. Many then face the responsibilities of adulthood without reliable housing, strong job prospects or supportive relationships. Take a peek into the lives of youth who were in The Possibilities Project, a privately funded program for 18- to 25-year-olds who have "aged out" of the traditional foster care system. Learn about the collaborative efforts of advocacy groups and families as they try to change the system to improve the lives of youth aging out of foster care.
Charlottesville (For mature audiences, TV-MA)
On August 11 and 12, 2017, the eyes of a nation were suddenly, unexpectedly focused on Charlottesville, Virginia. This documentary explores the events that led to the tragedies and grapples with the difficult question of how such acts could have occurred in modern America. Through first-hand accounts, “Charlottesville” offers local insight and perspective, prompting us to ask questions about who we are as a people, what we can learn from this experience and how we can come together as a country.
Today, dementia affects nearly 6 million Americans. The second in a series after “Alzheimer’s: The Caregiver’s Perspective,” this documentary showcases how people living with dementia can still live a full and meaningful life based on their abilities, not their disabilities. Innovative approaches in memory care communities have shown improvements in the well-being of residents as they're included, engaged and supported in social gatherings, clubs and everyday activities. A revolution is here where people living with dementia get the care they need.
For Americans of a certain age, the assassination of President Kennedy will be forever etched in their memory. Released in 2017, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of JFK’s birth, “This Is The House That Jack Built” chronicles his early years and examines his lasting legacy. This film touches on familiar themes of JFK’s life, his ascent to the presidency, his mistakes and triumphs. It also explores new and little-known stories, and why President John F. Kennedy is still relevant today.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education outlawed racial segregation in public schools. In response to the federal mandate to integrate, Virginia’s government led a movement called Massive Resistance that affected the lives of school children across most of the South, and left a permanent scar.
In January 1990, Lawrence Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, stood poised to become the governor of Virginia. That he was America’s first elected African-American governor made this an historic victory. That it happened in Virginia—home of the capital of the Confederacy—made it truly remarkable. Watch the fascinating story of this skilled legislator, lawyer and politician.
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