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Indie Lens Pop-Up and NPT, partner with BIM to present free screening of, In Football We Trust

posted Jan 20, 2016, 12:01 PM by Joshua Love   [ updated Jan 20, 2016, 12:11 PM ]

Nashville, Tenn. – Despite overwhelming obstacles, Polynesians are 28 times more likely than any other ethnic group to make it in the NFL. This surprising statistic opens In Football We Trust, a film by Tony Vainuku and Ericka Cohn.

Indie Lens Pop-Up, presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Independent Lens and Nashville Public Television, offers a free advance screening of this documentary on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m., followed by a panel discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

NPT is partnering with Backfield in Motion for this screening. Backfield in Motion is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that combines academics and athletics to inspire 150 inner-city boys, ages 10-18 to reach their maximum potential and become significant contributors to society.

In Football We Trust takes viewers into the tightly-knit and complex Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the chief sources for the modern influx of Pacific Islander football players to the NFL. Shot over a four-year period with intimate access, the film follows four young Polynesian men striving to overcome gang violence and poverty through the promise of American football. Many Polynesian families view football as their ticket out of economic hardship, but In Football We Trust reveals those expectations to often be unrealistic and to place insurmountable pressure on these young players. In addition to the stories of the four young athletes, the film includes footage and interviews with current and former NFL players Troy Polamalu, Haloti Ngata, Star Lotulelei and Vai Sikahema.

Though the film concentrates on athletes of Polynesian descent, the film speaks to several issues confronting many young athletes and students, particularly those concerning staying out of trouble while attempting to finish high school and going on to successful collegiate experiences.

In Football We Trust premieres on NPT, 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, on the Independent Lens series.

WHAT: FREE screening of In Football We Trust, followed by a panel discussion

PRESENTERS: Nashville Public Television, ITVS Indie Lens Pop-Up

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23

WHERE: Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St., Nashville, TN 37219

For information and downloadable images, see: or

About the Filmmakers:
Tony Vainuku (director) comes from a culture of Pacific Island traditions and a family of athletes. His first career aspirations were as a budding professional football player from Salt Lake City, Utah. After high school, he spent some time in the corporate world before enrolling at Westminster College in Utah and graduating with a B.S. in business marketing. Vainuku then founded Soulprofile Productions, a multimedia company specializing in the creation of web ads, promotional video content and music production. In 2011, Vainuku founded and launched Soulpro, a lifestyle apparel brand built on the philosophy of Passion is Purpose®. Soulpro has grown across the western United States and been actively involved in collaborating with and promoting hundreds of musicians, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs.

Erika Cohn (producer and co-director) a native Utahan, grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival, where she first began her career. Religion and culture remain a recurring theme and her passion for social change the driving factor in her films. In 2008, Cohn traveled to Cambodia where she shot Giant Steps, a documentary about the reinstitution of art after Khmer Rouge rule, which aired on PBS. In 2010, Cohn was associate producer for the FRONTLINE/American Experience co-production God in America, a six-part historical series exploring the intersection of religion and public life in the nation. Cohn has received numerous accolades for her work, including a Directors Guild of America award for When the Voices Fade, a narrative profile of the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006, and was recently admitted into the CPB Producers Academy. Cohn attended Chapman University in California, where she graduated with degrees in film production and Middle Eastern Studies. She serves as a U.S. Ambassadorial Film Scholar to Israel.

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 Monday nights at 9 p.m. Central. 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: and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

About Nashville Public Television:
NPT, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve. Join the conversation at and on Twitter @npt8.

NPT’s Indie Lens Pop-Up series continues through May. Screenings are held at the Nashville Public Library’s main branch. Information about our 2015-2016 Indie Lens Pop-Up season can be found here: