WSIU, Carbondale Library Kick Off New Season of Indie Lens Pop-Up on Sat, Oct 15

Oct 4, 2016

William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal on an ABC News set during the 1968 conventions.
Credit ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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

WSIU, Carbondale Public Library Announce Premiere of New Season of Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Screenings; Film Series Begins on Saturday, October 15

Carbondale, ILWSIU Public Broadcasting, a public media service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the Carbondale Public Library, and Independent Lens announce the launch of a new season of Indie Lens Pop-Up, the neighborhood screening series that brings people together for community-driven conversations around films from the award-winning PBS series.

Over the past decade, over 6,150 Indie Lens Pop-Up events have brought more than 356,000 participants together to discuss issues that impact local communities. The screening series broke all attendance records last season with Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers, which drew 13,000 attendees to over 100 events, which included screenings hosted in Carbondale and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Independent Lens is thrilled to partner with WSIU to present Indie Lens Pop-Up in Carbondale,” said Duong-Chi Do, Director of Engagement & Impact at Independent Television Service (ITVS), producer of Independent Lens. “Our partners are at the heart of the program, and their impactful community work helps to serve our mission of bringing untold stories that have the power to engender positive social change to diverse and underserved audiences.”

The new season premieres Saturday, October 15 at 2:30pm at the Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main, and will feature a free screening and discussion of Best of Enemies, a film by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon. Best of Enemies captures the legendary 1968 debates between two famed intellectuals and ideological opposites: leftist Gore Vidal and neoconservative William F. Buckley. Their televised sparring shaped a new era of public discourse in the media, demarcating the moment TV’s political ambition shifted from narrative to spectacle.

Arielle Stephenson and Zach Moss, both members of the national award-winning SIU Debate team, will lead a discussion with the audience after the screening. Stephenson, a senior in Business Economics at SIU Carbondale, and Moss, a graduate student in Communications Studies, will make connections between the historic debates depicted in the film and our local experiences during this election season.

“WSIU is excited to partner once again with Independent Lens and the Carbondale Public Library to launch another season of local Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings,” said Beth Spezia, WSIU’s Educational Outreach Coordinator. “At a time where national conversations about important social issues seem to be overwhelmingly divided, our work with this program has provided a unique space for community members of diverse backgrounds and beliefs to come together and engage in dialogue with one another. We look forward to seeing both familiar and new faces at our community screenings this season, and introducing you to new award-winning Independent Lens documentaries.”

“The Carbondale Public Library is proud to continue our role as venue host for this important community engagement series,” said library director Diana Brawley Sussman. “Indie Lens Pop-Up invites people of all ages and backgrounds to come together to discuss today’s most pressing issues at a time in our nation’s history when civil dialogue is needed more than ever.”

The next Indie Lens Pop-Up film screening will be held at the library on Saturday, December 10 at 2:30pm and will feature the film Meet the Patels by Geeta V. Patel and Ravi Patel. This film tells the story of Ravi Patel, who is almost 30, an actor, and, worst of all to his traditional Hindu parents, still unmarried. After he breaks up with his white girlfriend, Ravi submits to his parents' wishes and allows them to play matchmaker. The true-life romantic comedy Meet the Patels explores the influences of culture and identity on the most intense, personal, and important part of one's life – love.

Additional film screenings planned for the spring of 2017 are in development. Watch for 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                                                                   

About 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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