Indie Lens Pop-Up


Presa House Gallery is proud to partner for our second full season with Independent Television Service® (ITVS) to present the 2022 Indie Lens Pop-Up film series. This year’s season includes four new documentary films that fight for greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and a richer understanding of society today.

For 15 years, Indie Lens Pop-Up has ignited conversations on pressing issues, and this new season remains true to form. Films revolve around pressing and contemporary issues such as the decline of local journalism, the struggle for migrant rights in Texas border communities, the opioid crisis in America from the perspective of incarcerated women battling addiction, women’s rights as reported by India’s only all-female news network, and the challenges high school students in America face as they compete with one another to secure their spot at top universities. 

Indie Lens Pop-Up events bring communities together, providing them with a space to watch and discuss timely topics explored in the slate of films seen on Independent Lens, the award-winning PBS documentary anthology series presented by ITVS. In light of the uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, the screening series will include both in-person and virtual events for the first time. We hope you can join the conversation online or in person at a screening soon!

FREE IN-PERSON Screening | Friday, January 7, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Missing in Brooks County
Filmmakers: Jeff Bemiss, Lisa Molomot, and Jacob Bricca
Approximate running time: 60 min.

Eddie Canales runs the South Texas Human Rights Center, but the messages that strangers leave on Eddie’s phone speak to his unofficial role as a private detective. In a rural community where more migrants go missing than anywhere else in the United States, families of lost loved ones call for help. Omar and Michelle reach out for help finding Omar’s brother Homero Roman, a longtime but undocumented U.S. resident who was deported to Mexico after a traffic stop at age 27. Struggling to adjust in an unfamiliar country, Homero eventually tried to return to his home of two decades. He disappeared in Brooks County. When another man, Juan Maceda, goes missing, his family also turns to Eddie, describing a familiar predicament in Mexico—a choice between lifelong poverty or gang affiliation that compels migrants like Juan to cross the border. Follow Eddie as he engages with border patrol agents to unlock the mysteries and confront the agonizing facts of life and death in a South Texas town many miles north of the border.

Missing in Brooks County premieres on Independent Lens Monday, January 31, 2022, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.

FREE VIRTUAL Screening | Sunday, Feb 12, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Filmmakers: Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
Approximate running time: 60 min.

This intimate portrait dives into the heart of America’s opioid crisis through the reentry of three mothers imprisoned for drug-related crimes. As the women prepare to rejoin their families after years of incarceration, they enter an innovative prison program in Cleveland, Ohio where they lean each other to learn the skills it will take to get a job, stay sober, and win the trust of their kids. After facing alienation and addiction, the women begin to see the promise of reunion and redemption.

Apart Meet-Up premieres on Independent Lens Monday, Premieres February 21, 2022, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.

FREE IN-PERSON Screening | Saturday, March 16, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Writing with Fire
Filmmakers: Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
Approximate running time: 60 min.

In the midst of a crowded, patriarchal news landscape, the reporters with Khabar Lahariya – India’s only all-female news network – are taking it upon themselves to cover their country’s inequities with unflinching and intrepid determination. Armed only with their smartphones, these fearless journalists roam the state of Uttar Pradesh, exposing the country’s extremist Hindu leadership, rape culture, and rampant corruption that victimizes those without voice or power. They investigate the incompetence of the local police force, listen to and stand by victims of caste and gender violence, and challenge long-standing, harmful practices that lead to injustice and intimidation.

Writing with Fire follows this ambitious group of Dalit women—led by their chief reporter, Meera, one of the undaunted women from India’s lowest caste behind Khabar Lahariya. As the team switches from print to digital in order to stay relevant, they harness the power of online media and YouTube to reach audiences far beyond the confines of their social standing in order to broadcast abuses of patriarchy and government malfeasance. Their awe-inspiring efforts to redefine traditional notions of power, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, are redefining what it means to actually be powerful.

Writing with Fire premieres on Independent Lens Monday, March 28, 2022, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.

FREE IN-PERSON Screening | Saturday, April 9, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Try Harder!
Filmmaker: Debbie Lum
Approximate running time: 60 min.

San Francisco’s Lowell High, one of the best public schools in the country, draws high achievers—nearly 70% Asian Americans—from across the city into a fiercely competitive universe. The camera follows seniors through the hallways and into classrooms as the pressure intensifies to impress admissions officers at elite universities with their report cards, test scores, and overall awesomeness. The students proudly own their identity as nerds and tell their stories with candor and humor despite the stress. The film asks: How do these kids define their identities outside of acceptance letters? 

Try Harder! premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 2, 2022, tune in or stream on KLRN or your local PBS station or stream on PBS Video.