May 20 – Only The Young Only the Young follows three unconventional Christian teenagers coming of age in a small Southern California town. Skateboarders Garrison and Kevin, and Garrison’s on-and-off girlfriend, Skye, wrestle with the eternal questions of youth: friendship, true love, and the promise of the future. Yet their lives are also touched by the distress signals of contemporary America foreclosed homes, abandoned businesses, and adults in financial trouble. As graduation approaches, these issues become shocking realities. With sun-drenched visuals, lyrical storytelling and a soul-music soundtrack, Only the Young embodies the innocence and candor of its youthful subjects—and of adolescence itself. Only the Young is a film by Jon Tippet and Elizabeth Mims.
June 17- Neurotypical Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas, and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world—the world of the non-autistic—revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human. Neurotypical is a film by Adam Larsen.
July 15 – Ping Pong Call this old age, extreme edition: Eight players with 703 years between them compete in the Over 80 World Table Tennis Championships in China’s Inner Mongolia. British players Terry, 81, who has been given a week to live, and Les, 91, a weightlifter and poet, are going for the gold. Inge, 89, from Germany, has used table tennis to paddle her way out of dementia. And Texan Lisa, 85, is playing for the first time. Ping Pong is a wonderfully unusual story of hope, regret, friendship, ambition, love—and sheer human tenacity in the face of aging and mortality. Ping Pong is a film by Hugh and Anson Hartford.
August 19 - Best Kept Secret At a public school in Newark, N.J., the staff answers the phone by saying, “You’ve reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark’s best-kept secret.” JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Once they graduate and leave the security of this nurturing place, their options for living independently will be few. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system. Best Kept Secret is a film by Samantha Buck.
September 16 – 56 Up In 1964, a group of British 7-year-olds were interviewed about their lives and dreams in a groundbreaking television documentary, Seven Up. Since then, in one of the greatest projects in television history, renowned director Michael Apted has returned to film the same subjects every seven years, tracking their ups and downs. POV, which presented the U.S. broadcast premiere of 49 Up in 2007, returns with 56 Up to find the group settling into middle age and surprisingly upbeat. Through marriage and childbirth, poverty and illness, the “kids” have come to terms with both hope and disappointment. 56 Up is a film by Michael Apted.
For more information on any of these films, to watch trailers, or to learn more about the POV series, visit http://www.pbs.org/pov/