PBS Online Film Festival features Two Austin Films

Today, PBS announced the 25 short films that will be part of the third annual PBS Online Film Festival beginning June 16 – July 31. Austin filmmakers Joshua Riehl and Nidhi Reddy are among those featured in this year’s Festival for their films Digging for Water and The Yellow Wallpaper.

The films will be available for streaming across all PBS digital platforms, including PBS.org, Roku, Xbox, YouTube and PBS social media channels. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite film to win the “People’s Choice” award. For updates on the festival, follow #PBSolff on Twitter.

Digging for Water
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Joshua Riehl is filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, with a strong background in investigative journalism. Originally from just near Detroit, Michigan, he moved to Austin in 2009 to attend the University of Texas at Austin. He was a producer for PBS Frontline’s 2010 season premiere “Death by Fire” about the questionable execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. With an interest in criminal justice stories, he was Associate Producer for the 2013 SXSW Film Festival’s Audience Award winning documentary “An Unreal Dream” about the highly publicized case of Michael Morton’s wrongful conviction.

Digging for Water came out of three separate trips to Haiti over the course of 18 months and a longtime desire to visit the underdeveloped nation. Falling in love with the country and the people, Riehl intends to continue working in Haiti and  hopes to tell the story of dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s tortuous rule in the future.

The Yellow Wallpaper
Vote here for this film
Nidhi Reddy is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in both Mathematics and Radio-TV-Film.  Her short animation, The Yellow Wallpaper, was an official selection of the 2013 London Feminist Film Festival, 2013 Portobello Film Festival in London, 2014 Austin Film Society ShortCase, the 2013 Longhorn Showcase, and has won grand prizes in two student film festivals.

The PBS Online Film Festival showcases powerful stories from filmmakers across the country while providing an opportunity to reach an engaged and digitally savvy audience. Attracting more than 1 million video streams and over 50,000 votes in its first two years, the PBS Online Film Festival has become a popular annual online event.

The PBS Online Film Festival showcases diverse films from Independent Lens, POV and collaborations with public television producers including, Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), Wisconsin Media Lab and Vision Maker Media. This year, several locally-produced short films will be featured from PBS member stations including KQED (San Francisco), KLRU (Austin, TX), Alaska Public Media, Vermont PBS, Arkansas Educational Television (AETN), CET/ThinkTV(Cincinnati/Dayton), WCVE (Richmond, Virginia) and Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

“PBS and member stations are committed to experimenting with new platforms to reach diverse audiences with high-quality and engaging content,” said Ira Rubenstein, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS Digital. “PBS is the home for independent film, both online and on-air, and we’re proud that the Online Film Festival has become an annual celebration of unique films representing a diverse array of voices and viewpoints.”