PBS Documentary Series ‘Independent Lens’ Reveals Fall Slate of Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Rodrigo Reyes’s “Sansón and Me” and Bernardo Ruiz’s” El Equipo” are among PBS’ Award-winning docuseries Independent Lens’ fall slate of documentary films. The portfolio of documentaries will showcase the stories of marginalized communities, with coverage surrounding timely topics including immigration, incarceration, human rights, the Muslim American experience and religious freedom, ITVS announced Tuesday.

Reyes’s “Sansón and Me,” which landed the best film award at the 2022 Sheffield DocFest, will kick off Independent Lens’ fall slate on Sept. 19. The documentary is set to spotlight the real story of a young immigrant’s journey (Sansón) from orphaned Mexican child to incarceration. While Sansón is currenting in prison and barred from doing interviews, his family steps in to provide insight on his story.

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Following is Ruiz’s” El Equipo,” which will premiere on Oct. 9. The documentary centers on the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated team who investigated Argentina’s “los desaparecidos,” aka “the disappeared,” which is a term given to those who went missing under the country’s military dictatorship from 1976-1983.

David Washburn’s “Three Chaplains” tells the stories of Rafael Lantigua, Khallid Shabazz and Saleha Jabeen, three military chaplains who have endured the challenges and inherent dangers of being the public face of Islam for the U.S. military. “Three Chaplains” premieres on Nov. 6.

Closing out the fall slate on Nov. 13 is Li Lu’s “A Town Called Victoria,” a three-part documentary that spotlights the stories of three Muslim Americans Abe Ajrami, Omar Rachid and Dr. Shahid Hashmi. Following the burning of their mosque in January 2017, the trio reckons with the travesty while reflecting on the journeys they took to find acceptance as Muslim Americans in a small, conservative Christian town in the U.S.

“This fall, Independent Lens partners with trusted co-producers, including VOCES and Reel South, to take an unflinching look at marginalized communities in the U.S. who meet hate and hardship with love and resilience,” said executive producer Lois Vossen. “Public media has earned the trust of audiences who are looking for documentaries that provide a multi-layered exploration of systemic issues, spark conversations, and encourage a deeper understanding of what’s happening in our communities.”

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