UA team wins prestigious Peabody Award

Allie Skaggs, El Inde Arizona

Two instructors from the University of Arizona won a prestigious Peabody
Award for a film about missing migrants in Texas.

Lisa Molomot, an adjunct in the UA School of Theatre, Film & Television and
the James E. Rogers College of Law, and Jacob Bricca, an associate
professor who teaches film editing, won the award for the documentary
“Missing in Brooks County.”

Courtesy UA School of Theatre, Film & Telelvision
Lisa Molomot

Molomot co-directed the documentary with Jeff Bemis and Bricca edited it.
Bricca and Molomot also were two of the film’s producers.

“Missing in Brooks County” chronicles the search by two families for loved
ones who went missing in the fields of rural Brooks County, Texas, site of a
large U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint 70 miles north of the
U.S.-Mexico border. The film also delves into the impact of decades-long
U.S. border policy.

Molomot said she is proud of the award but knows the impact of the
documentary goes far beyond winning a Peabody.

“These kinds of films can really show politicians, who rarely get down to the
border, what’s really happening. They are so far away from the border and
so far away from really understanding these kinds of situations,” said

The documentary, which they started making in early 2015, has been
screened around the world.

Courtesy UA School of Theatre, Film & Telelvision
Jacob Bricca

“When you can reach an audience that you normally wouldn’t have, and
really to see some kind of a shift happen just in the course of a couple of
hours, it is really amazing,” Molomot said.

“Missing in Brooks County” has been running on PBS since April 17 and will
continue to air until June 15, giving the film an even wider audience.
“We hope that this leads to more eyes on the film and then some kind of
change. The reason why we made this film was to have something shift in
this policy that’s causing all of these migrant deaths,” said Molomot. “It’s
been many decades now that this has been the case, and I feel like at a
certain point, we all need to wake up and reexamine something that’s just
not working and causing an incredible amount of harm.”

“Missing in Brooks County” was one of 60 documentaries nominated and one
of eight to win the Peabody Award, which has been honoring the most
powerful and moving stories in broadcasting and digital media for over 80
years. More than 3,000 products were submitted for consideration in 2023.
The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television was ranked
No. 6 nationally among public film schools by The Wrap, which released its
annual ranking of the Top 50 Film Schools in the U.S. in October. The school is ranked No. 25 overall in the country.

Still shot from “Missing in Brooks County” documentary, airing on PBS.

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