RECAP Public TV 103: Planning Ahead and Preparing Your Film for Public Television


A Filmmaker’s Workshop presented by SIFTMedia 215 Collective and Independence Public Media Foundation which took place Thursday, December 9, 2021 (Virtual).

Sreedevi Sripathy will be leaving her post as Director of Programming and Production at WHYY TV at the end of 2021. We at SIFTMedia 215 are grateful for the purposeful way she has listened with our community and created space for regional filmmakers at WHYY TV 12. This farewell workshop was a chance for regional filmmakers to learn additional tips on how to navigate the regional and national public television system.

Sreedevi talked about:

  • The importance of a Letter of Interest for fundraising and when to ask for one
  • What are the benefits of broadcasting or streaming my film via the PBS system versus cable and VOD?
  • At what point in the production project should I submit my film to WHYY? 
  • Film lengths that fit in with WHYY programing schedules
  • WHYYTV Rate Scale for Paying Filmmakers for their work
  • What’s entailed in packaging your film for Public TV
  • Why a film would be deemed ineligible for Public TV
  • Expounding on her knowledge of PBS National Broadcasting
  • Introduction to  new WHYY programmer Willa Joynes 
  • And More…

A large part of the workshop was speaking with Producer/Filmmaker Malkia K. Lydia about her documentary WHAT’S IN A NAME. ( a short excerpt was screened) Sreedevi talked with her about her process forming relationships at WHYY and Independent Television Service (ITVS) along with the next steps for getting her feature length (56:46) on the Public TV broadcast schedule once completed.  Malkia is still looking for finishing funds and crew in Philly. 

The program also consisted of viewing  a trailer for THE LAST RESPONDER by Nikki Harmon, SIFT’s Program Director. This film is part of our #COVID1619 Project  and should get scheduled on WHYY-TV 12 before Sreedevi’s departure.  The below video excerpt of the evening only highlights  Sreedevi’s conversation with Malkia and some attendees questions.  The entire workshop will be available soon on our Vimeo Streaming Channel.

SreedeviSripathy_Photo (3) (1)Sreedevi is presently (until January 2022) the Director of Production and Programming WHYY-TV.  In her future endeavors she looks to continue championing Indie Filmmakers and be a conduit to Public Television Broadcasting. Previously she worked at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), as the Managing Director of Distribution and Content Management, working with independent filmmakers, public television distributors and digital partners on the distribution of independent documentaries representing underserved voices and audiences. She supported the presentation of the Emmy award winning weekly series Independent Lens on PBS and the international documentary series, Global Voices on the WORLD channel. Sreedevi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

Previous Public Television Workshop Excerpts:


About SIFTMedia 215 Collective, https://siftmedia215.org/ : The SIFTMedia 215 Collective is a cooperative that centers Black and Latinx women-identified independent media artists who work in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. As filmmakers, we seek to educate ourselves and the wider community by creating socially conscious, culturally relevant work that challenges mainstream narratives and structures. Our mission is to use our collective strength to amplify the work of and create meaningful opportunities for Black and Latinx Women content creators by providing a community of support to share resources, skills, and creative space.

About IPMF, https://independencemedia.org/ : IPMF seeks to build power with communities across Greater Philadelphia by investing in community-owned media and community-led media-making. We support work that amplifies voices, ideas, and solutions rarely heard in mainstream media.

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