The upcoming slate of films airing on Independent Lens on PBS this fall is just one part of an incredible season coming up that will last through the Spring in epic fashion. The fall documentary will be extremely timely, covering everything from how art and internet memes can get hijacked for political extremism to the perks and perils of supporting solar power.

“The new season of Independent Lens features a rich variety of films, each telling timely and fascinating stories that raise critically important questions that reflect the times in which we’re living,” said Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens. “This season we explore the most extreme, hateful corners of the internet, as well as what it takes for women to pursue public office. We see the horrors faced by female inmates in today’s correctional system, and exactly what and who is stifling the growth of renewable energy in this country. These impressive films delve deep into the most pressing issues facing our nation, through the eyes of some of the most talented and incisive documentary filmmakers working today.”

Here’s a sneak preview of the films airing in the fall, 2020:


Feels Good Man (October 19)

Matt Furle draws Pepe
Feels Good Man is the story of how artist Matt Furie, creator of a trippy, once-benign comic character named Pepe the Frog, fought an uphill battle to reclaim his iconic creation from those who turned it into a symbol of hate. An exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators, Feels Good Man is a thought-provoking, wild ride through an Internet that transformed an unlucky cartoon frog, and then the rest of the world. “[Director Arthur] Jones uses Furie’s story, and some gorgeous animation, as a wonderfully succinct window into the way social media has changed the country.” (SF Chronicle)

Represent (October 26)

Julie Cho, candidate for State Representative, attends a Korean American Association event.

Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections in the heart of the Midwest, three women take on entrenched local political networks in their fight to reshape politics on their own terms, in Hillary Bachelder’s nuanced, “fly-on-the-wall” documentary.  “Heading into the homestretch of this year’s election, Represent feels like a balm,” writes Monica Castillo on RogerEbert.com. “A reminder that, win or lose, there’s something to be gained by reigniting people’s interest in civil engagement.”

Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip (November 16)

Jonathan Scott sitting on roof with solar panels, from Power Trip

Solar energy evangelist and “Property Brother” Jonathan Scott journeys all across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to all. While traveling to learn both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom, Jonathan talks with conservatives fighting for solar freedom; he sits down with farmers struggling to make ends meet; engages coal workers desperate for a new, healthy means of making an income; the Navajo Nation who built a utility-scale solar plant; religious leaders who made a desperate attempt to help meet their community’s energy needs; and politicians at the forefront of the battle for energy freedom.

Belly of the Beast (November 23)

women in prison wearing orange jumpsuits lining up

Current and formerly incarcerated women challenge the criminal justice system and reveal human and reproductive rights violations presently occurring within women’s prisons in this film by Erika Cohn, director of The Judge and co-director of In Football We Trust. A “hugely important film” (The Daily Beast).

Stay tuned for more info on the films to follow in this incredibly powerful season of Independent Lens.