On Thursday, Feb. 24, WORLD Channel series “America ReFramed” kicks off its landmark 10th season. The award-winning series launched in 2012 and for the past nine years has brought American audiences documentaries featuring compelling stories centering BIPOC culture and experiences. The series is a co-production of WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc. and is one of the signature series from WORLD Channel.

Producer Chris Hastings told the AmNews that the series came about because he and his fellow original co-executive producers wanted a series “that curated documentaries from diverse communities.” Though the other original executive producers moved on, Hastings has stayed on throughout.

The vast quantity of content from “America ReFramed” is documentary, a format that has become increasingly mainstream. “I think during a time of so many channels, so many streaming platforms,” stated Hastings, “as a Black man, I appreciate being able to sit down and see a representation of myself and my family. I think what’s happened and what continues to happen is that our marginalized communities are asking and demanding that we see better representation.” Hastings also suggested that this is what is driving the popularity of nonfiction content and compelling many other platforms to invest in BIPOC makers with BIPOC stories.

That in no small part is certainly driven by the changing demographics in America itself, posits Hastings. “If you look at the last census, America is changing,” he said. “In everything from new immigrants, new migrants, new Americans, to the LGBT community are very much a part of the fabric of our society now. Our voices are getting louder and saying that we want more out of American life and that includes the content that we consume, and our representation in media.”

Though Hastings states he loves all of the films that have aired under the “America ReFramed” umbrella, “Personal Statement,” directed by Edwin Martinez, resonates most for him. He explains, “It was a Brooklyn-based story about four teenagers who are applying to college and it was one of our first co-productions, meaning we helped finish it. The film went on to get an Emmy nomination but it really spoke to our mission in a way that I thought was authentic.” “Personal Statement” was directed by a Latino set in New York City and features Black, Latino and LGBT characters. Hastings explained, “Their story is of trying to figure out what the next steps are after high school for people of marginalized backgrounds. And so when I think about some of the films that I’m most proud of, I love them all, but that one speaks to our mission: being able to show what a transforming America is.”

Hastings says his goal over the next 10 years is to sustain what “America ReFramed” is doing. “As I say to my team internally, we had the right idea in 2012 and with everything that has happened in the past year or so, we are on the right side of history. For what it’s worth, mainstream media can shift from BIPOC stories at any moment but as far as I’m concerned, we’ve always been here. We want to continue to be here as a resource and a platform for those stories that sometimes get missed.”

Catch the season 10 premiere film from “America ReFramed,” “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on WORLD Channel and on WORLD Channel’s YouTube Channel.

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