Cara Mertes

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Cara Mertes is a long-time advocate for independent media artists, and an award-winning filmmaker, programmer, teacher and writer whose work has been featured widely in museums, festivals, on PBS and internationally. Joining P.O.V. in 2000 as Executive Director, she was responsible for all aspects of the organization. In that time, Mertes was nominated for 14 national News and Documentary Emmys, winning five. She has been recognized with three George Foster Peabody Awards, two duPont-Columbia Awards, and two Academy Award nominations as P.O.V.'s Executive Producer. In addition she was creator and Executive Producer of P.O.V.'s original online showcase, P.O.V.'s Borders, winner of a Webby Award, a Batten Journalism Award, an Online Journalism and Parents' Choice Award, and she has executive produced over 70 original web sites for the series' films. Prior to P.O.V., Mertes was the Executive Producer/Director/Writer of the award-winning SIGNAL TO NOISE: Life with Television, a groundbreaking three-hour PBS series examining the impact of television in everyday life. From 1988-1997, Mertes produced New Television for public television, an annual NEA-funded series featuring international experimental video and filmmakers. From 1988-1993, she programmed and produced Independent Focus for Thirteen/WNET New York, then the premier public television showcase for American independent video and film. Mertes has also been an adjunct professor, has advised and served on the boards of many nonprofit and media related organizations, and has been a speaker and panelist at numerous film schools, film festivals, and art centers. She graduated from Vassar College with honors in Film Studies and English, was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow in Curatorial Studies at the Whitney Independent Studies Program and attended Trinity College, Dublin. She is currently completing her Masters at Hunter College in Film and Media Studies with a specialization in independent documentary in public life. Mertes is a member of the Writer's Guild of America and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is now Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.