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Exclusive: Clip from Li Lu’s ‘A Town Called Victoria’

By IDA Editorial Staff

Attendees of the Victoria Islamic Center pray in a temporary building after an arson destroys their mosque.

Still from A Town Called Victoria. Attendees of the Victoria Islamic Center pray in a temporary building after arson destroys their mosque. Image credit: Halyna Hutchins, ASC. Courtesy of ITVS

Documentary is happy to debut an exclusive clip from Li Lu’s documentary series A Town Called Victoria, which will debut on Independent Lens as a co-presentation with Reel South on November 13 and 14, with streaming on PBS’s Youtube channel to follow. This observational documentary series follows the fallout from an act of arson against a mosque in small-town Texas, the community leaders’ work to rebuild the community, and the trial that follows.

On the clip, Lu writes, “this clip is from the beginning of Episode 3, ‘The Trial.’ The federal trial for suspected mosque arsonist Marq Vincent Perez has commenced, and Omar Rachid, a Victoria Islamic Center member, is worried about the makeup of the jury pool. Susannah Porr, a community member, observed the jury selection process and thinks several potential jurors might hold Islamophobic biases. This scene captures the anxiety of Victoria's Muslim community. If the jury does not convict, the future of the Victoria Islamic Center will be in question.”

A Town Called Victoria was workshopped in 2020 as part of Film Independent and IDA’s DocuClub LA works-in-progress screening series. The series is co-produced by the Center for Asian American Media and is a part of the Independent Lens Stories for Justice initiative, “which aims to spotlight films and series that foster further dialogue and reform around criminal justice in the United States,” and is also a part of the WNET Group's reporting initiative, “Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism, and Extremism.” Be on the lookout for “The Feedback” interview with Lu on the process of making the series, which will be published next week.