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Six new films about resilience debut this spring, including the story of Louis Armstrong’s secret daughter and an intimate look at the pandemic lives of four teens in Durham.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 3/9/2022 — PBS North Carolina announces the seventh season of Reel South, the nationally distributed PBS documentary series that explores life through a Southern lens. The season includes six new films that will premiere Thursdays, April 14 through May 19, at 10 PM on PBS NC. The films will also stream on the PBS video app and online at

The season opens with Little Satchmo, which examines the relationship between larger-than-life musician Louis Armstrong and the daughter we never knew. Additional films explore the natural burial movement in Tennessee, teen life during quarantine in Durham, a Florida woman’s battle to keep her pet alligator and Haitian bathroom attendants in Miami working to support loved ones back home. The season closes Thursday, May 19, with the story of the strong bond between an Arkansas community and an injured vulture named Adonis. 

“Season 7 of Reel South is a study in survival and belief,” says series producer Nick Price. “With a formidable cast of unforgettable women (and one enlightened mortician), six new films offer audiences a look past the specter of our present. Difficult jobs, anxious families and hardened communities shape their stories, but with an assured vision for a future of their own making, these Southerners offer a powerful argument for perseverance.” 

Reel South creator and executive producer Rachel Raney, who directs National Productions at PBS North Carolina, offers additional insight: “We created Reel South to dispel outdated and often offensive stereotypes about the American South but also to examine hard truths about our region. This new collection of films does both of those things––by centering the voices of strong Southerners committed to speaking their truths and changing their communities for the better.”

To kick off the new season of Reel South, PBS North Carolina will host an advance virtual screening of Little Satchmo on Wednesday, March 30, at 7 PM. A panel discussion with director John Alexander and Sharon Preston-Folta, daughter of Louis Armstrong, will follow the screening.

Schedule of Films

Little Satchmo 
Thursday, April 14, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, April 11) 
Directed by John Alexander (This Is Love
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong was an icon but for Sharon Preston-Folta he was the father she loved but could never reveal. In this adaptation of Preston-Folta’s memoir Little Satchmo, John Alexander explores Armstrong’s life and legacy through his private relationship with his daughter and attempts to correct a historical narrative reliant on caricature for too long.

Bury Me at Taylor Hollow 
Thursday, April 21, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, April 18) 
Directed by Orion Pahl 
Just outside Nashville, a mortician creates the state’s first natural burial ground. The film recounts his journey from mortuary traditionalist to environmentalist as he seeks to both conserve land and make a better resting place for his community.

Thursday, April 28, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, April 25)
Directed by Rodrigo Dorfman (¡FIESTA! Quinceañera)
Four spirited teenage sisters in a blended family languish and laugh at home in Durham, North Carolina, during the pandemic. Rodrigo Dorfman follows the sisters as they cope with the anxiety of their disrupted lives with humor, self-reflection and just enough mayhem to pass the time.

Seadrift (an encore presentation of a 2019 film)
Thursday, May 5, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, May 2)
Directed by Tim Tsai (Yakona)
In 1979 a fatal shooting of a white crab fisherman in Seadrift, Texas, ignites hostilities against Vietnamese refugee fishermen. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence against Vietnamese communities along the Gulf Coast. “We ask audiences to view this film again in context with today’s resurgence of anti-Asian violence across the South and the country,” says series producer Nick Price.

Florida Woman
Thursday, May 12, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, May 9)
Directed by Catie Skipp
Mary Thorn of Lakeland, Florida, battles media scrutiny and public outrage to save her pet alligator, Rambo. Director Catie Skipp peels back the curtain on the media’s unfair portrayal of the ex-pro wrestler turned animal lover, revealing the humanity behind the headlines.

Madame Pipi
Thursday, May 12, at 10:30 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, May 9)
Directed by Rachelle Salnave (La Belle Vie: The Good Life)
Emmy-winning filmmaker Rachelle Salnave follows the lives of the often-invisible Haitian bathroom attendants working in Miami’s hottest nightclubs. Their stories shed light on a world built on the backs of women of color in a city known for debauchery and diversity.

Broken Wings
Directed by Jonathan Sutak (Dons of Disco)
Thursday, May 19, at 10 PM (Streaming beginning Monday, May 16)
In Hot Springs, Arkansas, a one-winged vulture cared for by a down-on-her-luck waitress and her elderly British roommate captivates the town. This film asks, “How can a bird who devours the dead inspire the living?”

About Reel South

Reel South reveals the South’s proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives through the curation and distribution of feature-length and short documentaries. Reel South is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts and the Center for Asian American Media. It is distributed by PBS Plus.

About PBS North Carolina  

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, PBS North Carolina educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery and four over-the-air channels: PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state emergency services. To learn more about PBS North Carolina, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


Media Contacts: 
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications