NPT’s 2017-2018 Indie Lens Pop-Up Series Opens with John Coltrane Bio

NPT is partnering with Watkins College of Art to host a new season of free Indie Lens Pop-Up documentary screenings. All six screenings will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at Watkins College of Art (2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville TN 37228) and reservations are required. The first event of the new season takes place Oct. 12 and features John Scheinfeld’s Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary. Local film and music journalist Ron Wynn will moderate a panel discussion following the screening.

Selected from the 2017-2018 season of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, the films in NPT’s Indie Lens Pop-Up series include Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, an imagining of James Baldwin’s unfinished book, and Dolores, Peter Bratt’s profile of labor activist Dolores Huerta. Other films in the series cover the lives of artists and activists, industrial agriculture and historically black colleges and universities.

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations about what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. NPT’s Indie Lens Pop-Up 2017-18.


NPT’s 2017-2018 Indie Lens Pop-Up schedule:

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary by John Scheinfeld
Thursday, Oct. 12, 6 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician whose influence continues to this day. Denzel Washington voices the words of Coltrane.

Chasing Trane features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio (discovered in a California garage during production of this film), along with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and rare television appearances from around the world. Coltrane’s incredible story is told by the musicians who worked with him (Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Reggie Workman), musicians inspired by his fearless artistry and creative vision (Common, John Densmore, Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Kamasi Washington), Coltrane’s children and biographers, and well-known admirers such as President Bill Clinton and Dr. Cornel West.

I Am Not Your Negro
by Raoul Peck
Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

One of the most acclaimed films of the year and an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary, I Am Not Your Negro envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words, spoken by Samuel L. Jackson, and with a flood of rich archival material.

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities by Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams
Thursday, Feb. 8, 6 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

NPT’s Black History Month programming is sponsored by Baker Donelson.


Tell Them We Are Rising explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture, and identity. This film reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice.


Dolores by Peter Bratt
Thursday, March 22, 6:30 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

Coachella, CA: 1969. United Farm Workers Coachella March, Spring 1969. UFW leader, Dolores Huerta, organizing marchers on 2nd day of March Coachella. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock / The Image Works


With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt’s Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.

Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky
by Laura Dunn
Thursday, April 19, 6 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky is a portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of award-winning writer and farmer Wendell Berry, back home in his native Henry County, Kentucky.


Served Like a Girl by Lysa Heslov
Thursday, May 17, 6 p.m.
Watkins College of Art

Served Like a Girl provides a candid look at a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of homeless women veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffer from PTSD, sexual abuse, and other traumas. By entering into the “Ms. Veteran America” competition, these amazing ladies unexpectedly come full circle in a quest for healing and hope.

Learn about all of NPT’s events at

Independent Lens is an Emmy Award-winning weekly series airing on Monday nights at 9 p.m. on NPT. 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 @IndependentLens.

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