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Indie Lens Pop Up presents "Love in the Time of Fentanyl"

Love in the Time of Fentanyl Publicity Stills
Colin Askey
/
Colin Askey
Norma Vaillancourt in the alley behind the Overdose Prevention Society site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

As deaths in Vancouver, Canada, reach an all-time high, the Overdose Prevention Society—a renegade supervised drug consumption site that employs active and former drug users—opens its doors. This intimate documentary looks beyond the stigma of drug use to show how the organization’s staff and volunteers do whatever it takes to save lives while giving hope to a marginalized community.

Love in the Time of Fentanyl premieres on PBS’s INDEPENDENT LENS on February 13, 2022, at 9 p.m. CT. The film will also be available on the PBS Video app.

Join us at the Carbondale Public Library for a film screening and community conversation on Sunday, February 5, 2023. This event is free and open to the public.

WSIU and the Carbondale Public Library will host a screening and community conversation centered on the Independent Lens film Love in the Time of Fentanyl by filmmakers Colin Askey, Monika Navarro, Marc Serpa Francoeur, and Robinder Uppal.

Brent Van Ham of SIU School of Medicine will conduct NARCAN training after the film, conversation, and Q&A with the audience.

Individuals with disabilities are welcome. Call (618) 453-4344 to request accommodations.

Carbondale Public Library
405 West Main Street
Carbondale, IL 62901
618-457-0354

ABOUT THE FILM

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.

Colin Askey
Kailin See
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Kailin See
Colin Askey
INDIELENS_Headshot_MonikaNavarro.jpg
Ana Catalá
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Ana Catalá
Monika Navarro

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:

Colin Askey is a filmmaker who focuses on issue-driven content for harm reduction, drug policy, anti-poverty, and social justice organizations. Recent work includes Haven, an award-winning short documentary set in Vancouver about North America’s first prescription heroin therapy program.

Monika Navarro is an independent filmmaker and the Senior Director of Artist Programs at Firelight Media. Monika has 15 years of producing for public media, from her debut film Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas), which premiered on Independent Lens, to producing for World Channel, AmDoc, and the Peabody-award winning PBS series Latino Americans.

Marc Serpa Francoeur is a documentary filmmaker and interactive producer whose work builds on lifelong interests in immigration, diversity, and social justice issues. Co-founder of Lost Time Media with Robinder Uppal, in 2020 they released No Visible Trauma, which had its World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Robinder Uppal is a documentary filmmaker and interactive producer whose work builds on lifelong interests in immigration, diversity, and social justice issues. Co-founder of Lost Time Media with Marc Serpa Francoeur, in 2020 they released No Visible Trauma, which had its World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK  | TWITTER  | INSTAGRAM

Additional Resources

Download the Discussion Guide: Love in the Time of Fentanyl Discussion Guide

WSIU Film Events

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a WSIU media project that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Indie Lens Pop-Up features documentaries from the PBS hit series Independent Lens, draws local residents together to discuss newsworthy topics. Events are free and open to the public.

About Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together—virtually and in-person—for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS's INDEPENDENT LENS, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations together to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and community relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. For more information, visit pbs.org/independentlens/indie-lens-pop-up

About Independent Lens

INDEPENDENT LENS is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly PBS series airing Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from Acton Family Giving, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation: facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

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