Next Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Event is Sat, Dec 10

Dec 2, 2016

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ravi and Geeta Patel with their parents.
Credit Courtesy of Four in a Billion Pictures / ITVS

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Educational Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595,; Lisa Tawil, ITVS, (415) 356-8383,

WSIU, Carbondale Public Library to Present Free Indie Lens Pop-Up Screening of “Meet the Patels”

Saturday, December 10 at 1:30pm at the Carbondale Library

Carbondale, ILIndie Lens Pop-Up, a community film and discussion series presented by ITVS, the PBS series Independent Lens, WSIU Public Broadcasting, and the Carbondale Public Library, are excited to present a free screening of Meet the Patels, a film by Geeta Patel and Ravi Patel, on Saturday, December 10 at 1:30pm at the Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main.

Soumik Pal, a doctoral student in the SIU College of Mass Communication & Media Arts, and fellow members of the Indian Student Association at SIU will share South Asian culture and experience after the screening.

Meet the Patels is a charming, real-life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an Indian American actor/comedian who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams – and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister, Geeta, in what started as a family vacation video, this warm and funny film reveals how, for a Patel, love is truly a family affair.

Fresh out of a breakup with the white girlfriend his parents didn't know about, and freaked out that he’s almost 30 and still single, Ravi goes on a family vacation to India, willing to do whatever it takes to find love — but there’s a catch: in his family, everyone has the last name Patel. Patels marry other Patels. It’s not incest – it just means they are from the same 50-square mile radius in India. As the marriages of his Patel family and friends all seem overwhelmingly happy, Ravi plunges into the foolproof Patel matchmaking system and embarks on a worldwide search for the perfect American Patel woman.

With unique animation and a soulful soundtrack, Meet the Patels premieres on Independent Lens and WSIU-TV on Monday, December 26 at 8pm.

Additional local Indie Lens Pop-Up film events will be held, as follows: The Bad Kids, Saturday, February 25 at 2:30pm; National Bird, Saturday, April 29 at 2:30pm; and Real Boy, Saturday, June 17 at 2:30pm.

Watch for schedule updates from WSIU on the air, online, and in the monthly WSIU program guide, Previews, or contact WSIU Outreach Coordinator, Beth Spezia, at (618) 453-5595,

Questions about Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings at the Carbondale Public Library should be directed to (618) 457-0345. Learn more about the community engagement series on WSIU’s local Indie Lens Pop-Up webpage at or visit the project website at                                                         

About the Film Directors

Ravi V. Patel (Director/Writer/Editor/Subject) made his directorial debut with Meet the Patels, which led to a writing/directing deal for a feature film adaptation for Fox Searchlight. As an actor, he is most recognized for his work on Scrubs, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Transformers, Powder Blue, The New Normal, Master of None, and the Fox series Grandfathered starring John Stamos. Ravi also serves as co-CEO of This Bar Saves Lives (TBSL), which he founded with actors Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, Kristen Bell, Jimmy Kimmel, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Kunal Nayyar, Alyssa Milano, Susan Sarandon, and many others. TBSL gives a life-saving meal packet to a child in need for every fruit and nut bar sold. Ravi also co-manages an investment group that focuses primarily on health, wellness, and social enterprises. Prior to joining the entertainment industry, Ravi was an investment banker and later founded the popular poker magazine All In. He graduated from The University of North Carolina with double majors in Economics and International Studies. In 2016, Ravi traveled as a guest of the U.S. State Department on a diplomatic film program to Egypt and Japan.

Geeta V. Patel (Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer) is known for her emotional, form-pushing, and nontraditional style that merges documentary and dramatic forms. Meet the Patels led to a writing/directing deal with Fox Searchlight for the feature film adaptation. She is also writer/director of the upcoming feature film Mouse, produced by Grant Hill (The Matrix, Tree of Life). Geeta made her directorial debut with the documentary war thriller, Project Kashmir, which led to directing fellowships at Sundance and Tribeca. She began her career as a writer’s assistant in TV and then served as associate screenwriter on feature films, including The Fast and the Furious and Blue Crush. A graduate in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University, Geeta was inspired to enter storytelling by Anthony Minghella, who she met while studying in Berlin. She has been a visiting artist in Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Bosnia and Japan though the U.S. State Department.

Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Can't attend in person? Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on our online Pop-Up events.

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS on select Monday nights at 9pm CST. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit Join the conversation at and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About the Carbondale Public Library

The Carbondale Public Library provides resources and services to support the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the Carbondale community. The library provides free services to all residents living within the city boundaries and is part of the Shawnee Library System.

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