Indie Lens Pop-Up 2023

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 Independent Lens series, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations together to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation at an Indie Lens Pop-Up screening hosted by Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking in collaboration with Hawaiʻi Peoples Fund. 

Events flier.



Kelsey Peterson dancing in studio | Credit: Noah Forbes

Beneath the waters of Lake Superior, off the shore of Wisconsin, Kelsey Peterson underwent a transformation. On the eve of Independence Day 2012, she dove in and hit the lake bottom headfirst, suffering a life-altering spinal cord injury that takes away both function and sensation from the chest down, essentially robbing Kelsey of her self-identities as an athlete and dancer. Alongside peers and allies in the spinal cord injury community, she seeks to answer the question “Who am I now?” As she grapples with the ebb and flow of hope and acceptance, Kelsey talks to researchers and meets with people who belong to this community and who help give her the strength and the will to return to dance. When a cutting-edge clinical trial surfaces, it tests her expectations and her faith in the possibility of a cure, forcing her to evaluate the limits of her recovery—in body and spirit.

Time: Thursday October 20, 2022 - the Screening is going to be VIRTUAL. Please RSVP.

Screening starts at 5:30 pm followed by a audience driven conversation - link to join the conversation will be shared during screening.


Ronnie Grigg inside the Overdose Prevention Society site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside | Credit: Colin Askey

As the number of overdose deaths in Vancouver, Canada reaches an all-time high, the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS) opens its doors—a renegade safe injection site that primarily employs current or former drug users. Its staff and volunteers save lives and give hope to a marginalized community as the overdose crisis rages throughout Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The film follows Sarah, an activist who opened OPS without government approval, as she strives to raise awareness about the crisis; Trey, a graffiti artist and former heroin user who spends his days reversing overdoses and memorializing lost community members; Ronnie, a seasoned frontline worker nicknamed “Narcan Jesus,” struggling with burnout from the demanding work and witnessing so much loss; Norma, a much-loved Indigenous elder in the community, who cooks meals for the staff when she’s not administering naloxone; and Dana, an active fentanyl user who constantly saves lives at work while struggling with his own drug use. With loved ones dying in unprecedented numbers, the staff at OPS does whatever it takes to keep the doors open and find radical new ways out of the devastating but widely ignored crisis ravaging their community. Love in the Time of Fentanyl is an intimate, observational look beyond the stigma of injection drug users, revealing the courage of those facing tragedy in a neighborhood often referred to as ground zero of the overdose crisis.

Time: Friday February 3, 2023 - doors open at 5:15, screening starts at 5:30 pm followed community driven conversation

Location: Hub Coworking, 1050 Queen Street, 100, Honolulu, HI 96814

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A group of welfare mothers listen intently to an explanation of the state's latest move during a sit-in at the Columbia Point housing project | Credit: Boston Public Library Boston Herald, MediaNews Group, Inc.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas — until now. Storming Caesars Palace chronicles the life of Ruby Duncan, a cotton-picker who fights the welfare system and ends up a White House advisor. It all begins when she loses her job due to a workplace accident and goes on welfare, where she discovers firsthand the stigma and harassment by an overzealous welfare department. With Mary Wesley and Alversa Beals, Ruby creates a welfare rights group to fight for an adequate income, dignity, and justice. They, along with low-income mothers across the country, form the National Welfare Rights Organization with the support of George Wiley and Frances Fox Piven. Together they introduce a Universal Basic Income campaign in 1969, which, with feminist Gloria Steinem at their side, becomes part of the Democratic platform in 1972. When the Las Vegas mothers are slashed from the welfare rolls, they launch “Operation Nevada,” and lead an army 1,500 strong—including Ralph Abernathy and Jane Fonda—down the Strip into Caesars Palace, shutting it down. Later, Ruby founds Operation Life, one of the first women-led community corporations in the nation bringing medical services and meaningful jobs to her Westside neighborhood. From a boisterous protestor to a strategic organizer, Ruby wants lasting change, and President Carter appoints her to his Council on Economic Opportunity. Based on a groundbreaking book, Storming Caesars Palace spotlights an unsung leader and movement whose stand for America’s principles of justice, inclusion, and opportunity for all challenged notions of the “welfare queen” and continues to shape the calls for economic justice that ring today.

Time: Friday March 3, 2023 - doors open at 5:15, screening starts at 5:30 pm followed community driven conversation

Location: Hub Coworking, 1050 Queen Street, 100, Honolulu, HI 96814

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TV news crews surround Chol Soo Lee after he is released from prison on March 28, 1983. | Credit: Grant Din

Sentenced to death for a lurid 1973 San Francisco murder, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was set free after a pan-Asian solidarity movement of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Americans helped to overturn his conviction. After 10 years of fighting for his life inside San Quentin, Lee found himself in a new fight to rise to the expectations of the people who believed in him. On his journey from an inspiring icon to a swing-shift janitor struggling with drug addiction, Chol Soo Lee personifies the ravages of America’s prison industrial complex.

Time: Friday April 7, 2023, 2023 - doors open at 5:15, screening starts at 5:30 pm followed community driven conversation

Location: Hub Coworking, 1050 Queen Street, 100, Honolulu, HI 96814

FEBRUARY 3, 2023 Love in the Time of Fentanyl / By Colin Askey, Monika Navarro, Marc Serpa Francoeur, and Robinder Uppal

MARCH 3, 2023 Storming Caesars Palace / By Hazel Gurland-Pooler

APRIL 7, 2023 Free Chol Soo Lee / By Julie Ha, Eugene Yi, and Su Kim

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