MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY
MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY
MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY
MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY
AN INTIMATE LOOK AT THE MIGRANT DEATH CRISIS IN A SMALL TEXAS TOWN

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY

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BEST SOUTHERN FEATURE - Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival | BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Ashland Independent Film Festival | RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online

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.

University of Arizona | 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."

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 UniversityGabriella 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."

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"

Educational Media Reviews Online | Laura Jenemann, Boston University Libraries
Recommended "The strength of Missing in Brooks County is that its narrative is centered on Brooks County, and specifically, the migrants and individuals who are involved in border related issues ... Given how complex this one area of the U.S./Mexico border is, one gets a sense of the immensity of the challenges not only in this border, but in larger areas of U.S. migration."

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

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."

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."

Film International
"A sobering piece of film."

La Estatuilla
"Vital, empathetic and humane."

Unseen Films
"I was deeply affected by this film."

MountainFilm | Suzan Beraza, Festival Director
"MIBC is one of the very best films I've seen in years."

Film Threat
"Mezmerizing"

USA Today
"A Must-See"

For a full list, visit www.missinginbrookscounty.com

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

FESTIVALS
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

SCREENINGS
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

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH JEFF BEMISS

Producer, Co-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.

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH LISA MOLOMOT

Producer, Co-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.

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH JACOB BRICCA

Producer & Editor of MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY

Jacob Bricca, A.C.Eis 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.

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH 

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.