American pubcaster PBS will provide the broadcast television premiere of acclaimed director Denali Tiller’s feature-length documentary Tre Maison Dasan when it debuts across its long-standing docustrand ‘Independent Lens’ next month.
With an estimated one in 14 American children growing up with a parent in prison, the 94-minute film will explore the plight of children with parents behind bars by following three Rhode Island boys, each navigating childhood and adolescence with an incarcerated parent.
Told through the children’s perspective, the documentary provides an up-close and unfiltered look at these children and their families. The boys featured include charismatic but troubled 13-year-old Tre, who hides his emotions behind a mask of tough talk; funny and charming 11-year-old Maison, who is on the autism spectrum; and Dasan, a shy and sensitive six-year-old.
The documentary is produced in association with Pilgrim Media Group, Shine Global, Chicken and Egg Pictures and Sustainable Films.
Andrew Freiband and Patty Quillin are executive producers, with Andrea van Beuren serving as co-executive producer. Producers are Tiller, Rebecca Stern and Craig Pilligan. Susan MacLaury, Albie Hecht and Sarba Das serve as co-producers.
“As Tre, Maison and Dasan taught me about their worlds, I recognized that there was a need for a film that allowed children to speak for themselves, to elevate their voices in a way that fully represented their lives as they experience them,” said Tiller in a statement. “Through this participatory process, the audience is led through the ups and downs of life itself — an experience that is both riveting and personal, hilarious and heartbreaking, and values the complexity and nuance of these boys’ different realities.”
Tre Maison Dasan premieres on PBS’s ‘Independent Lens’ on April 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and will be made available simultaneously for streaming online at pbs.org.