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PBS Documentary Series ‘Independent Lens’ Announces Fall Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Ferguson Rises
Courtesy of Beck Media

PBS announced the fall slate of “Independent Lens,” the documentary anthology series presented by ITVS. The new season will premiere on October 11. 

The films cover a host of social justice topics, such as how racial injustice affects families, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, generational trauma in Indigenous communities and more. 

The first film in the lineup is “Cured,” directed by Patrick Sammon and Benett Singer. It focuses on the psychiatrists and activists central in the opposition of the 1970s idea that homosexuality was a mental illness. After that is Mobolaji Olambiwonnu’s Tribeca audience award-winning “Ferguson Rises” about a father and son organizing a movement after the police killing of Michael Brown Jr. 

Additional films in the slate include Jerry Risius and Beth Levison’s “Storm Lake,” about a family-run newspaper in Iowa struggling to keep its small town informed, and “Duty Free,” about filmmaker Sian-Pierre Regis taking his 75-year-old mother around the world while uncovering the impacts of economic ageism. The season will end with Geoff O’Gara’s “Home from School: The Children of Carlisle,” which follows the fraught and painful history of Native boarding schools.  

“Our films this fall honor individuals whose determination in the face of challenge reflect major issues impacting our nation and our world,” said Lois Vossen, executive producer of “Independent Lens.” “These films are intensely personal and yet speak to universal challenges. They show how there is possibility for progress against even the most intractable challenges, when people come together in hope and purpose.”

This fall, “Independent Lens” will also premiere additional programming from its “Stories for Justice” public media partnership with the goal of enabling community conversations and boosting the efforts of racial justice activists. PBS and ITVS call “Stories for Justice” a “multi-year commitment to bold storytelling about racial inequities in systems across America,” utilizing documentaries, docuseries, journalism and community-led engagement. The initiative launched last year with “Philly D.A.” and continues this fall with “Ferguson Rises.”

Watch the teaser below.