Film poster for "Missing In Brooks County" with close up of barbed wire and man in distance.
Film poster for "Missing In Brooks County" with close up of barbed wire and man in distance.


Regular price $559.00


Peabody Winner - 83rd Annual Peabody Awards | Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Finalist 2022 | 2022 American Library Association Notable Films for Adults list | RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online Nomination, Best Political Documentary - Critics Choice Documentary Award

Immigration Studies • Immigration Law • Border Studies • Anthropology • Geography • Human Rights • Latin American Studies • American Studies • Journalism • Forensic Science

Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 81 and 60 minutes​​ | Language: English and Spanish with English subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript and Study Guide | Directors: Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot | Producers: Jeff Bemiss, Jacob Bricca & Lisa Molomot

70 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border lies Brooks County, Texas - a haunted, inhospitable place where hundreds of migrants go missing every year attempting to circumvent the local Border Patrol checkpoint. MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY follows the journey of two families who arrive in Brooks County to look for their loved ones, only to find a mystery that deepens at every turn. A gripping drama, it is also a deeply humane portrait of the human rights workers, activists, and law enforcement agents who confront the life-and-death consequences of a broken immigration system.

Peabody Awards Jury
“It can be hard to see through the vitriol of the national debate surrounding the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, and it can be easy to gloss over the sheer scale of the human toll. With Independent Lens: Missing in Brooks County, Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss successfully do both with clarity, empathy, and grace.”

Dupont-Columbia Awards Jury
"With human perspectives often missed in immigration coverage, this beautifully crafted documentary offered a portrait of an ongoing crisis on the U.S./Mexico border that has cost 20,000 lives since 1994."

University of Arizona | Dr. Bill Simmons, Director, Human Rights Practice Program
"Even though I have been working on the migrant death issue for 18 years, this film moved me more than anything I have seen. It captures the human element of the families, the crossers, law enforcement, ranchers, and the aid workers all together in a way that I had not seen before.  This film is, in my mind, the definitive artwork on migrant deaths."

Yale University | Dr. Ángel A. Escamilla García, Department of Sociology
Missing in Brooks County is a powerful and brutal testimony of the human tragedy near the U.S. border. This film walks us through the wide range of actors involved in this tragedy, placing families at the center, as they desperately seek to know their missing family’s fate. It is a crude reminder of the human toll that immigration enforcement has on undocumented migrants, and that a tragedy occurs every day along the southern U.S. border.” 

Rice University | Dr. Molly Morgan, Department of Anthropology
“Teaching about the role of Forensic Anthropology in events when human rights have been abused is a key component of many Anthropology courses, but it is hard to find readings that capture the gravity of these difficult circumstances. Missing in Brooks County offers a powerful tool that allows students to learn straight from the words and experiences of those most directly impacted. This film conveys the complexity of the problems and the nature of the humanitarian crisis at the Mexico-U.S. border in a way that is both crushing and deeply beautiful.”

Texas State University | Dr. Kate Spradley, Biological Anthropologist
"The failure to properly investigate and identify the dead at our nation’s border is a culmination of systemic failures at multiple levels, creating a humanitarian crisis. Nothing can convey the reality of the situation in the same way as watching the new documentary Missing in Brooks County."

Arizona State University Gabriella Soto, Honors Faculty
"Missing in Brooks County captures the feeling of a moment in a still unfolding history with gutting clarity. Focusing on the tragic circumstances in which migrants die in transit as well as the individuals responding to this slow-moving mass casualty event, it shows how all are essentially set up to fail because the systems in place are inadequate and the deaths never stop. This film is a call to action."

Texas A&M University - Corpus ChristiDr. Sharon M. Derrick
"Molomot and Bemiss capture the very heart of the issues surrounding the plight of Hispanic men, women, and children striving for a new life in what they hope will be a safe, welcoming, and generous community in the U.S. Missing in Brooks County is heartbreaking in its honesty but also provides an uplifting message of understanding and a means to an important conversation. My students had never before heard this side of the story. That is why I invited Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss to speak in my course."

The Boston Globe
"This is not the first documentary about the immigration crisis, but it’s one of the most nuanced and disturbing. The filmmakers tell the stories with restraint, emphasizing the injustices, cruelty, and suffering without needless, manipulative exaggeration. They shift deftly among their subjects and present them with empathy and understated irony, building a suspenseful multi-narrative that is part detective story, part family tragedy, part critique of a dysfunctional immigrant policy."

Time Magazine | Jasmine Aguilera
"The filmmakers explore why this region can be particularly deadly for migrants and the flaws in local, state and federal systems that make it hard for human remains to be identified."

Democracy Now! | Amy Goodman
"[A]n astounding, heartrending, heartbreaking film"

USA Today
"A Must-See"

Video Librarian
"Harrowing ... 
The entire documentary is brilliantly shot and depicts immigration as a much more complicated issue than some make it out to be."

"This moving documentary follows two families who are searching for their missing loved ones ... [A] heartbreaking look at a complex situation."

For a full list, visit www.missinginbrookscounty.com

Peabody Winner (Documentary category) 83rd annual Peabody Awards
Best Southern Feature
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature | Ashland Independent Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature | Toronto Arthouse Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature | San Luis Obispo Film Festival
Best Documentary FeatureNewburyport Documentary Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature | Doc Boston Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature | Adirondack Film Festival
Best Documentary | Atlanta DocuFest
Best DocumentaryLost River Film Festival
Audience Choice Award, Best Feature Film | Tacoma Film Festival
Best Documentary L-Dub Film Festival
Best FeatureThin Line Documentary Film Festival
Audience Choice Award | San Luis Obispo Int. Film Festival
FinalistAlfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards
Nomination, Best Political DocumentaryCritics Choice Doc Awards

DOC NYC Film Festival
River Run International Film Festival
Northwest Fest
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
Cinematters NY Social Justice Film Festival
Global Health Film Festival (England)
Omaha Film Festival
San Diego Latino Film Festival
Red Dirt Film Festival
Dallas Docufest
Arizona International Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
XicanIndie Film Festival
Annapolis Film Festival
Foyle Film Festival
Sonoma International Film Festival
Salem Film Festival
ACT Human Rights Festival 
Fargo Film Festival

U.S. Border Patrol, Missing Migrant Program based in Washington, D.C. 
New Haven Docs Special Screening
Texas Christian University
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Colorado College
Texas State University
Arizona State University
UC Davis
University of Indianapolis
University of Arizona, D.C. Center
Texas A&M University

Producer, Director & Cinematographer of MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY


Jeff Bemiss is an award-winning writer/director who has worked in shorts, features and documentaries, Jeff's work has aired on network television and PBS. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California film school and the L.A. Sanford Meisner Academy. Originally trained in scripted filmmaking, Jeff's film THE BOOK AND THE ROSE was a semi-finalist for the Academy Award for best short film. Jeff shot and directed the award-winning short documentary COACHING COLBURN about a young man with Fragile-X Syndrome, which premiered at the prestigious Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Jeff is a Connecticut Artist Fellow and a Film Independent Fast Track Fellow. He freelances for disability and social activist clients and teaches film at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Producer, Director & Cinematographer of MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY


Lisa Molomot has directed and edited documentaries about the American Southwest in recent years including THE CLEANERS, and SOLEDAD. She has also focused on stories about education. Her award-winning film SCHOOL'S OUT has been an integral part of the movement for providing outdoor education for young children, and her recent short film TEACHING IN ARIZONA is an inside look at the teaching crisis in that state. A recent Fulbright Scholar, she teaches a course at the James E. Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona where she has worked with the Immigration Law Clinic for the past four years, has taught in the UA Human Rights Practice Graduate Program and is part of a network of human rights faculty.

Jacob Bricca, A.C.E. is an award-winning documentary editor, director, producer, and teacher. He has edited over a dozen feature docs including the international theatrical hit LOST IN LA MANCHA, the New Yorker Films theatrical release CON ARTIST, the Independent Lens Audience Award Winner JIMMY SCOTT: IF ONLY YOU KNEW and the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Award Winner THE BAD KIDS. His directing credits include PUREwhich premiered at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival and played at festivals from India to Brazil, and FINDING TATANKAwhich premiered at the 2014 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and screened at 18 venues including the Maysles Documentary Center in New York City. His most recent film, MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTYis co-produced by ITVS in association with Fork Films and Engel Entertainment and will have its broadcast premiere in late 2021 on PBS’s Independent Lens. A member of the American Cinema Editors, his book Documentary Editing: Principles and Practice was published by Focal Press in 2018 and contains interviews with seven of the top American documentary editors working today.  He is an Associate Professor and Head of the Film & Television Production Division at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television.


Storytellers featured in MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY

Eduardo Canales is a retired union organizer who came out of retirement to open the modest South Texas Human Rights Center to deal with the missing migrant crisis. Canales is the only humanitarian help available in Brooks County, and his phone never stops ringing with families desperate to find their missing loved ones.

Dr. Kate Spradley is a biological anthropologist at Texas State University. With her team of graduate students and colleague Krista Latham, Kate is trying to process the scores of bodies which were recently found buried in mass graves in Brooks County.

Omar Roman & Michelle Chinos continue to search for Omar's brother, Homero, who went missing after fleeing from Border Patrol.