The 11th Season of KQED’s Truly California Premieres October 25 with Last Day of Freedom

The new season of the Emmy Award–winning series includes four new documentaries and five shorts about life in California.

Sunday, October 25, at 6pm on KQED 9
Last Day of Freedom by Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman
When Bill realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime, he agonizes over calling the police, but stands by his brother through war, crime and capital punishment.
Stand Truly CA Shorts: State of Discovery 

Sunday, November 1, at 6pm on KQED 9
Stand by Melanie D’Andrea
An emotive street dance style called Krump helps a community in South Los Angeles take a stand against poverty, crime, and the destructive cycle of anger.

 Last Stop in Santa Rosa Last Stop in Santa Rosa by Elizabeth Lo
A hospice for dying animals offers an alternative to euthanasia and gives pets a new life. 
Full-Time Ministry Full-Time Ministry by Helen Hood Scheer
An ice sculptor and high-school art teacher, Paul shares the gospel in his own unique way.
Reborning Reborning by Yael Bridge & Helen Hood Scheer
Jean works meticulously on each of her dolls in the hopes that her creations will be so lifelike that they could pass for real babies.
SLOMO SLOMO by Josh Izenberg & Amanda Micheli
Once a highly successful neurologist, Dr. John Kitchin traded his lab coat and fast cars for a pair of roller blades. Now he is known only as Pacific Beach regular “SLOMO.”
Darwin - Hank Jones Sunday, November 8, at 6pm on KQED 9
Darwin by Nick Brandestini
Propelled from conventional society by tragic turns, the people of Darwin, CA (population 35) must find ways to coexist in a place without a government, a church, jobs, or children. ogether with their fellow outsiders and eccentrics, they enjoy the freedom of isolation in California’s Death Valley.
 Big Joy Sunday, November 15, at 6pm on KQED 9
Big Joy by Eric Slade, Stephen Silha & Dawn Logsdon
West Coast poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton (1913-1999) lived by the motto “follow your own weird.” His remarkable story spans the Beat generation, his escape to Europe during the McCarthy years and his ascendancy as a revered bard of sexual liberation.
First Friday Sunday, November 22, at 6pm on KQED 9
First Friday by N’Jeri Eaton & Mario Furloni
Oakland has been rated a Top-Five travel destination… and one of the five most dangerous cities in the U.S. Once a month, those two realities meet at First Friday.

KQED is proud to announce the 11th season of its Emmy Award-winning series, Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories, featuring independent documentaries about life in California. Truly CA’s signature diversity and quality of films is on display with its four documentaries and five shorts of Season 11, which are as wildly eclectic in style and content as the Golden State itself. The 11th season premieres on Sunday, October 25, at 6pm on KQED 9 and continues the following four Sundays at 6pm. For more information, film descriptions and previews of Truly CA films, please visit

The 11th season’s broadcast premiere is the award-winning documentary Last Day of Freedom. The powerful animated documentary film is a very personal exploration of how capital punishment impacts the families of those who are executed. It is directed & produced by Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman.

When Bill realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision- should he call the police? Last Day of Freedom is a richly animated personal narrative that tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice. Original music by Fred Frith.

Last Days of Freedom investigates the ways individuals manage power systems from the mundane to the extreme. The blending of animation and documentary forms in the film yields heart-wrenching results — challenging entrenched attitudes and moving beyond dehumanizing statistics to engender empathy and critical reflection.

The filmmaking team of Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman tell stories that bring to life larger issues of criminal justice and civic responsibility. They created all key animations on the 32 thousand drawings in Last Day of Freedom. Born in the UK and Israel respectively they now live in San Francisco. Their collaborative film and new media work has been exhibited and screened in Europe, Israel, Japan and the U.S. in museums and international festivals such as Art in General (NYC), The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Tokyo Zokei University Museum, (Japan) and international film festivals in the US, Canada, Japan, Israel, Germany, Italy, Finland, Poland, Croatia, and others.

The four documentaries and five shorts scheduled to premiere on KQED 9 as part of the 11th season of Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories are:

Sunday, October 25, at 6pm on KQED 9
Filmmakers: Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman
In this deeply personal animated short, Bill explores his attempt to do the “right” thing as familial bonds, mental illness and murder tug a close relationship in conflicting directions. Last Day of Freedom has won numerous awards, including the Jury Award for Best Short at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at Full Frame; the Justice for All Award at the (In) Justice Film Festival; and the audience award at SF DocFest.

Sunday, November 1, at 6pm on KQED 9
Truly CA Shorts: State of Discovery
Filmmaker: Melanie D’Andrea
A dance style from South Los Angeles, “krump” has taken street dance to a new level by adding percussive movements and providing a safe and cathartic way for at-risk youth to express their emotions. Stand follows a krump group called Demolition Crew, which has become a nexus for its community, offering an alternative to gangs and a healthy outlet for aggression. Krucial the Liberator, one of the crew’s leaders, says, “Krump was created to let out those harsher emotions.”
Filmmaker: Elizabeth Lo
An elderly couple in Santa Rosa runs a hospice for dying animals that creates an alternative to pet euthanasia. Without a voice to decide their own fates, these aging and disabled animals rely on humans to make the best choice for them.
Filmmaker: Helen Hood Scheer
Paul Germain works as a full-time minister… but not in a church.  An ice sculptor who also teaches art in a local public high school, Germain works to bring God into students’ lives by encouraging them to believe in their own artistic abilities. Like Jesus’ parables, Germain’s art is meant to represent God’s ability to turn the simple into the incredible.
Filmmakers: Yael Bridge & Helen Hood Scheer
A doll will never tell your secrets, betray your trust, or tell you that something you said was stupid. “Reborn” dolls, each hand-painted and crafted to look as much like a real baby as possible, have a small but devoted following among collectors. Reborning profiles “reborn” doll artist Jean Campbell, who has attracted buyers from all over the world with her meticulous work.
Filmmakers: Josh Izenberg & Amanda Micheli
Neurosurgeon Dr. John Kitchin had the kind of material wealth most of us only dream of — a 12-cylinder BMW, a Ferrari, an exotic animal farm. He also spent every waking hour working at an unfulfilling job. Then one day he decided to leave the rat race. Now known to the beach locals simply as Slomo, he traded his lab coat for a pair of rollerblades and his IRA for a taste of divinity.

Sunday, November 8, at 6pm on KQED 9
Filmmaker: Nick Brandestini
At the end of a rutted road in Death Valley, a once rowdy and violent mining town now hosts a community where government and commerce have evaporated. Despite its dusty and remote exterior, Darwin is teeming with life. There are those who stayed after the mines’ closure, like Monty, a retired miner who has found the artist within. Others have joined the community more recently, like Ryal and her partner Penny, two twenty-somethings who found refuge in the desert while Ryal undergoes the transition from female to male. Many in the town have struggled with drugs, crime and tragedy, but in Darwin, the townspeople take pride in the fact that they are judged not by their past sins, but by who they are today.

Sunday, November 15, at 6pm on KQED 9
Filmmaker: Eric Slade, Stephen Silha & Dawn Logsdon
A key player in the artistic renaissance of San Francisco after World War II, James Broughton fathered a child with film critic Pauline Kael, wrote poetry alongside Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, received an award from Jean Cocteau at Cannes, and went on to push the boundaries of artistic expression and sexual liberation. While celebrating the impact of Broughton’s art, Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton also explores his deeply intertwined creative and personal lives. Ultimately, Broughton’s experimental films and poetry helped free both his own spirit and that of a new generation, and at the young age of 61, he met the love of his life.

Sunday, November 22, at 6pm on KQED 9
Filmmakers: N’Jeri Eaton & Mario Furloni
What started as simple art crawl on the first Friday of every month has grown into a cross-cultural and intergenerational event drawing thousands of people to downtown Oakland for food, entertainment and every kind of art imaginable. The event’s popularity has fueled the city’s larger cultural and economic renaissance. But after a teenager was murdered during one of the events, the future of First Fridays is uncertain. First Friday follows several Oakland residents as they prepare for one evening’s event and confront the tension between gentrification and inequality.

KQED Public Television, the PBS member station that serves Northern California, is one of the country’s most popular public television stations. It brings the values of public media to homes around the Bay Area with Emmy Award–winning programming that inspires, informs and entertains, including Downton Abbey and Sherlock from MASTERPIECEAmerican ExperienceAmerican MastersGreat PerformancesPOVIndependent LensNOVA and Nature. KQED produces local series like Check, Please! Bay AreaKQED NEWSROOMSan Francisco OperaTruly CA and ImageMakers, as well as popular programs for national broadcast such as Film School ShortsEssential Pépin and QUEST. KQED also distributes programming to public media stations across the country including Roadtrip Nation and Joanne Weir’s Cooking School. For more information, please visit

Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories

Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories is KQED’s Emmy Award-winning showcase for independent documentaries about life in California. From the history of transgender activism in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District to a look at the transformation of the Mojave Desert’s Salton Sea from popular resort to an ecological disaster, Truly CA documentaries are as diverse in style and content as the Golden State itself.

The series also features online-only short-form documentaries under the banner Truly CA Shorts.

Truly CA airs Sundays at 6pm on KQED 9. For more information on the films and to view certain films online, please visit

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