winner, best southern feature @ hot springs Doc ff!
WINNER, BEST DOC FEATURE @ LOST RIVER FF!
“It's the largest cemetery in the United States.“
- Sheriff Benny Martinez on Brooks County, TX
As the national debate over immigration policy simmers to a boil, its practical consequences are felt every day in Brooks County, Texas. Located 70 miles north of the border with Mexico, it is the site of an estimated 3000 deaths since 2008, as migrants try to circumvent the state's busiest interior immigration checkpoint and find themselves lost in the vast private ranch lands that surround it.
Missing in Brooks County follows the journey of two families who have come to Brooks County to look for their loved ones who went missing. As they search for answers, they encounter a haunted land where death is a part of everyday life. A gripping documentary mystery, it is also a deeply humane portrait of the law enforcement agents, human rights workers, and activists who come face to face with the life and death consequences of a broken system.
Missing in Brooks County is currently screening at film festivals across the country and will have its broadcast premiere on the PBS series Independent Lens in fall 2021.
"With slow, elegiac, and determined camera movements...and a soundtrack combining the buzz of cicadas and Ted Reichman’s mournful music score, this is a sobering piece of film about frustration with our nation’s systemic inhumanity. It [cries] out for answers and compassion."
– Elias Savada, Film International
"I was deeply affected by this film. There is something about it that has hung with me beyond many other similar films. I think largely it is because it doesn't give us all the answers, nor does it paint everyone as one thing or another... We are left to quietly draw our own conclusions."
– Steve Kopian, Unseen Films
"Missing in Brooks County is a vital, empathetic and humane film that seeks to shed light on the cruelty of US immigration policies through testimonies of loss and activism. The most important message of this documentary is that...love will always be there to combat pain and xenophobia."
– Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla
DOC NYC • Nov. 11-19, 2020
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival • Nov. 13-21, 2020
New Haven Documentary Film Festival Special Screening • Nov. 13-15, 2020
Lost River Film Festival • Nov. 6, 2020
United Nations Assoc. Film Festival • Oct. 19, 2020
Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival • Oct. 14-18, 2020
Lake Worth Playhouse • Oct. 11, 2020
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival • Oct. 9-17, 2020
Dallas Docufest • Oct. 4, 2020
has come to Brooks County to search for his missing cousin Juan who made the dangerous crossing from Mexico and was last seen at a local ranch. Moises won't leave Brooks County until he finds his young cousin.
OMAR ROMAN & MICHELLE CHINOS
have returned to Brooks County to find out what happened to Omar's brother, who went missing after fleeing from Border Patrol.
is a Border Patrol agent who goes out
on regular searches to find migrants
lost in the brush. He wonders aloud
about how to manage the emotional
toll his job takes on him.
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.
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.
is a respected veterinarian and avid hunter who tracks and detains migrant trespassers on his land. He and his wife founded a paramilitary group that patrols ranches in South Texas.
"2019 Among Deadliest Years for Migrants Trekking to US" – Sep 4, 2019, 2019
"One of the Deadliest Places on the Southwest Border" – April 18, 2019
Learn more about Border Patrol's 'Prevention Through Deterrence' policy.
Write your representatives about the issue.
Donate to the South Texas Human Rights Center, which provides humanitarian aid to migrants lost in Brooks County.
is an award-winning, Oscar-shortlisted writer/director who has worked in shorts, features and documentaries. His 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. Jeff is a Connecticut Artist Fellow and a Film Independent Fast Track Fellow. He freelances for disability and social activist clients and has taught film at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
has directed and edited documentaries about the American Southwest in recent years including Precious Knowledge, The Cleaners, and Soledad. She has also focused on stories about education. Her hugely popular 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.
JACOB BRICCA, A.C.E.
is an award-winning documentary editor who has worked on over a dozen features, including Lost in La Mancha (IFC Films) and the 2016 Sundance award winner The Bad Kids, now streaming on Netflix. He last worked with Molomot on her feature The Hill, which was broadcast on PBS. A member of the American Cinema Editors, he is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona's School of Theatre, Film & Television.
Missing in Brooks County is funded by ITVS, Fork Films, and Engel Entertainment, with additional funding from Perspective Fund, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the LEF Foundation, the University of Arizona Office of Research & Discovery, Human Rights POV, UA Hanson Film Institute, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, MountainFilm, and the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. Fiscal sponsorship by the International Documentary Association.