Author Archives: wildbluepixel

Nilima Abrams

Nilima Abrams

Nilima Abrams is a documentary filmmaker and social entrepreneur with extensive experience in India. As an undergraduate she integrated self-taught documentary filmmaking with coursework, and wrote an award-winning honors thesis on schools and media in India. She also made a film on child labor prevention in India, and went on to complete an MFA in documentary film at Stanford. She has taught kids filmmaking in India, as well as native Vermont and Somali refugee youth, in a summer camp she co-created. Nilima received a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a year in India filming for a feature film and guiding students on THE TENT VILLAGE. Nilima teaches social issue and cause marketing documentary film courses at the University of Vermont. Besides filmmaking, Nilima works in various media to make “good causes” accessible.

Poster for film LIFE INTERRUPTED, directed by Paula Mozen

Life Interrupted

(Paula Mozen, 2018)

TUE, MAR 19, 2024, 7pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE


Joining filmmaker Paula Mozen for post-screening discussion:

Co-presented by UA Hanson FilmTV Institute, with generous support from Arizona Oncology

In the United States, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

In LIFE INTERRUPTED, three breast cancer survivors, including the filmmaker herself, share their empowering stories of survival. They confront life-altering diagnoses, navigate their disease process and treatment, and rebuild their lives with dignity, humor, and strength.

In an interview with Rethink Breast Cancer, filmmaker Paula Mozen says: “This is the film I wished I could have seen when I was diagnosed with breast cancer… Hearing stories from articulate women who have travelled this road before is invaluable for navigating the treatments and keeping hope alive. Knowledge is power and the successful prevention and treatment of breast cancer depends on it.”

Paula had two lumpectomies, 38 weeks of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and then a double mastectomy. Her reconstruction took a difficult 3.5 years.



“LIFE INTERRUPTED allows a glimpse into the sorrow, tears and triumphs of this journey and the key role caregivers and health care professionals play. LIFE INTERRUPTED is raw and beautifully done. Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful film with our cancer community—and the world…Gilda’s Club is grateful for your time and generosity.”
—Laura Varon Brown, Executive Director & CEO, Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community

“A raw and intimate journey of three inspiring warriors battling breast cancer.”
—Deanna Lites, Health reporter, WWJ Newsradio 950 Detroit

“When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, everything you know is useless and everything you need to know is hard…Having a diagnosis of breast cancer, discussing the disease and its treatment side effects and understanding the impact of a diagnosis on the patient and loved ones are all aspects of the film… ‘Living’ with breast cancer is the challenge.”
—Pamela Priest Naeve, Director, Community Education,
Prevention Institute of California

This true-to-life film shines a light on the many facets of the breast cancer journey. It offers a fantastic balance of medical, personal, emotional, and psychological insights that are sure to help anyone looking for different types of support in dealing with this “equal-opportunity disease”.
Conquer Magazine

Ultimately, this is a story of survival, and viewers facing this diagnosis will be reassured by the participants’ honesty and courage in this award-winning film.

The Ethics of Filming and Photographing Human Remains and Other Sensitive Subject Matter

WED, SEP 27, 3:30-5:30pm

Visual journalists and documentary filmmakers face a host of questions regarding the ethical dimensions of their work. What does it mean to document someone else’s story? Does access to a community grant you special insight? What is the difference between a “subject” and a “participant” in visual journalism and documentary? What unique ethical considerations arise out of working with communities that have been historically marginalized? What is the difference between long-form or essay journalism and the “breaking” news approach taken by large news media outlets?

Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz and photographer and visuals editor, Roberto (Bear) Guerra, will share examples of their collaborative work on recent film projects El Equipo (2023), Latino Vote (2020) and Harvest Season (2018) as well as Guerra’s photographic work. They will share insights about the opportunities and challenges of integrating documentary film and still photography, as well as discuss ethical approaches to working on projects dealing with sensitive subject matter.


ROBERTO (BEAR) GUERRA is a photographer and the visuals editor of High Country News magazine. His photographic work has been published in the New York Times, Emergence Magazine, The Atlantic, Le Monde, University of Texas Press and many other outlets and organizations, and has been exhibited widely. He has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism, has been selected on multiple occasions for the American Photography annual and was a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. In his role as visuals editor at High Country News, he has helped guide the magazine to recognitions for art and design by the National Magazine Awards, the Indigenous Journalists Association, the Institute for Nonprofit News and American Photography. Bear is also a member editor of Diversify Photo, where he supports and mentors emerging photographers from communities underrepresented in the media industry.

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

(Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, 2022)

TUE, NOV 7, 2023, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

Co-presented with Lesbian Looks and Hanson FilmTV Institute

UA Co-sponsors: UA Poetry Center, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies

“The trip to Mars can only be understood through Black Americans.” Legendary poet Nikki Giovanni’s revelation is a launching pad to an inspiring exploration of her life and legacy. Through a collision of memories, moments in American history, live readings of her poetry, and impressions of space, Giovanni urges us to imagine a future where Black women lead, and equity is a reality.

Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (American Promise, The Changing Same) craft a vision fit for the radical imagination of Nikki Giovanni. Present-day Giovanni reckons with the inevitable passing of time, while an evocative melding of vérité and archival images act as openings into her mindscape, transcending time and place. Brewster and Stephenson’s approach is imaginative and dreamlike, akin to the way Giovanni’s words are hair-raising in their power to summon unrealized ways of seeing. The Afro-futuristic lens honors Giovanni’s complexity and transports us on a journey through Black liberation from the perspective of one of America’s most acclaimed and beloved writers, a profound artist and activist. Next stop, Mars.

JOE BREWSTER is a media-maker who believes in the healing power of stories. Brewster left his medical practice to create immersive, narrative, and documentary stories that provoke, challenge, and inspire. He is an Independent Spirit Award and four-time Emmy nominee, a jury prize winner at Tribeca and Sundance, and a Guggenheim fellow.

MICHÉLE STEPHENSON is a platform-agnostic artist who pulls from her Haitian and Panamanian roots to create stories centering the lived experiences of the Black diaspora. She is a Guggenheim fellow and Creative Capital artist. Stephenson lives in Brooklyn with her creative and life partner, Joe Brewster.

»Film website


Sundance 2023, Winner U.S. Grand Jury Prize, Documentary
Frameline 2023, Winner Jury Award, Outstanding Documentary Feature


‘Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project’ proves the power of poetry
—McKenna Neef, VOX Magazine

“Simply Majestic. A masterpiece”
—Jeanine T. Abraham, BLACK GIRL NERDS
»Full review

“An eloquent and engaging portrait”
—Lisa Kennedy, VARIETY

“Insightful, entertaining”
—Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES

“An inventive, imaginative documentary”

“Fierce, funny and captivating to watch.”

Jacob Bricca

Jacob Bricca

Jacob Bricca is an award-winning Tucson-based documentary editor, director, and teacher. He has edited over a dozen feature films 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 YOU ONLY KNEW and the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Award Winner THE BAD KIDS. His directorial credits include INDIES UNDER FIRE: THE BATTLE FOR THE AMERICAN BOOKSTORE, which won awards at the Newburyport Documentary Festival and the Santa Cruz Film Festival, PURE, which premiered at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, and FINDING TATANKA which premiered at the 2014 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is distributed by Passion River Films. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television, where he teaches classes on editing and documentary filmmaking. He is the author of Documentary Editing: Principles and Practice (Focal Press/Routledge, 2017).

Jean Carlomusto

Jean Carlomusto

Jean Carlomusto is a filmmaker, activist, and interactive media artist whose work explores the complex nature of unique individuals and marginalized populations. Her films are often unorthodox investigations of LGBT history and HIV/AIDS. Her work has been exhibited internationally in festivals, museums and on television. She produced and directed HBO’s Emmy nominated documentary, LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER (2015), which was featured at the Sundance Film Festival.

Jean was an early pioneer in the AIDS Activist video movement. In 1987, she started the Media Unit at Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She was a founding member of DIVA TV (a video affinity group of ACT UP) and a member of the Testing The Limits Video Collective. The numerous works that she collaborated on, included: Doctors, Liars and Women: AIDS Activists Say No To Cosmo, Target City Hall, Seize Control of the FDA, Testing the Limits:NYC, and Women and AIDS. Her powerful documentary SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC tells the story of how the safer sex movement was born and how HIV prevention movements continue today. The film premiered on Showtime on World AIDS Day, 2011.

Her 1991 film L is for the Way You Look was featured in the very first season of Lesbian Looks, in Fall 1993.

Matthew Cassel

Matthew Cassel

Matthew Cassel is an independent multimedia journalist and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He spent five years covering the Arab world with the Al Jazeera network. His 2013 award-winning film for AJE, IDENTITY AND EXILE: AN AMERICAN’S STRUGGLE WITH ZIONISM, focuses on his personal journey from his hometown Chicago to the Middle East, where he has lived for the past decade. Cassel is co-editor of Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices from Tunis to Damascus (Penguin, 2013), a collection of essays on the 2011 uprisings by writers from across the Arab world. Cassel speaks fluent Arabic and has spent much of the past two years focusing on the plight of refugees seeking asylum in the EU.

»Interview with Matthew Cassel

»Interview with filmmaker Matthew Cassel re making of The Journey

El Equipo

TUE SEP 26, 2023, 7pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

In Person: Joining filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz for post-screening discussion:

  • Robin Reineke (Assistant Professor, Southwest Center & School of Anthropology, University of Arizona)
  • Mirza Monterroso (Forensic Archeologist)
  • Dr. Bruce Anderson (Forensic Anthropologist for the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner)

UA Co-sponsors: Southwest Center, School of Anthropology, Center for Latin American Studies, Human Rights Practice Program, School of Journalism

Still from El Equipo: Argentine forensic anthropology team in their early years.

An unlikely collaboration between a forensic scientist from Texas and a group of Latin American students changes the course of forensic science and international human rights.

In 1984, legendary U.S. forensic anthropologist Dr. Clyde Snow traveled to Argentina to help uncover the fates of the estimated 30,000 people who were forcibly disappeared during the 1970s dictatorship. Unwilling to work with established scientists who had collaborated with the apparatus of the dictatorship, Snow set about to train a new group in the use of forensic anthropology.

He eventually met a group of medical and anthropology students – some as young as 19 – and the team was soon digging up an unmarked grave on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The group would go on not only to help establish accountability for the crimes committed under the Argentine military junta, but to initiate a decades-long relationship with investigative journalists working on parallel tracks to create a fact-based accounting of massacres and state-sponsored crimes in over 30 countries.


“A harrowing 40-year journey through the work of a resilient team of forensic scientists as they uncover and identify the victims of authoritarian regimes across Latin America and the world.”

»NBC News

»POV Magazine


Best Documentary Feature, Sebastopol Film Festival, 2023
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2023
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2023

»Bernardo Ruiz bio

March scene from AMERICA'S FAMILY (Anike Tourse, 2019)


(Anike Tourse, 2022)

TUE APR 4, 2023, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

Co-presented with Border Zones Film Series and Racial Justice Studio.

When ICE raids the Diaz family home on Thanksgiving, Mother Marisol is arrested and locked up in detention, son Koke is deported to Mexico, and Father Jorge flees for protective sanctuary in a local synagogue. The two American-born children, young attorney Emiliano and his teen sister Valentina (while also managing her epilepsy), race to do whatever they can to reunite the family while their parents and brother do what they must to get home.


“America’s Family is proof of something we need more of in modern cinema.”
— Federico Furzan, Movie Blogger

“An important call for change and respect.”
— Sabina Dana Plasse, Film Threat


Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award, Dances With Films 2022
Best Narrative Feature Award, Roxbury Film Festival 2022

»Anike Tourse bio

Heather Courtney

Heather Courtney, Filmmaker

Heather Courtney is a Guggenheim fellow and an Emmy-winning filmmaker. Her film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, won an Emmy, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award. The film received positive reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV. It made several Top 10 films of 2011 lists, including Salon’s Best Non-fiction, and was supported by many grants and fellowships including from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the United States Artists Fellowship, and POV/American Documentary. Heather was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab. She has directed and produced several other documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE and LOS TRABAJADORES/THE WORKERS, which both focused on immigration issues, and were broadcast nationally on PBS. She has been funded by ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, and the Austin Film Society, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship and an International Documentary Association award. Courtney’s film THE UNAFRAID (2018) co-directed with Anayansi Prado, received the Kathleen Bryan Edwards award for Human Rights at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and was the closing night film of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York.

Luisa Dantas

Luisa Dantas, filmmaker of Land of Opportunity

Brazilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas has worked on a wide array of documentary and fiction projects at the intersection of storytelling and social justice. Her most recent work, LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, chronicles the reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of those on the frontlines and asks the question: what kinds of cities do we want to (re)build in the 21st century? The transmedia project includes an award-winning feature film and groundbreaking interactive web platform produced in conjunction with a spectrum of national and local partners in six cities. Luisa also co-produced the acclaimed documentary, WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE, and directed and produced the web-series VOICES FROM THE GULF for Color of Change. She teaches screenwriting and documentary filmmaking at Tulane University. Luisa received her B.A. in English and Latin American studies from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University.

Luchina Fisher

Luchina Fisher is an award-winning director, writer and producer who works at the intersection of race, gender and identity. She is the founder and CEO of Little Light Productions. Her feature directorial debut MAMA GLORIA, about Chicago trans icon activist Gloria Allen, was nominated for a 2022 GLAAD Media Award. The film premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival and BFI Flare London; won numerous jury awards; and made its broadcast debut on World channel and PBS. Her short documentary Team Dream, executive produced by Queen Latifah, won the Audience Choice Award at the 2022 Chicago International Film Festival and Best Documentary Film at the 2022 TIDE Film Festival, qualified for Oscar consideration, and will air on BET. She recently co-directed her second feature about the barriers to Black homeownership, and her new documentary short THE DADS, about six dads of trans and LGBTQ kids on a weekend fishing trip, premiered at SXSW 2023.

Previously, Luchina co-executive produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed feature documentary BIRTHRIGHT: A WAR STORY, about the war on women’s reproductive health. It appeared in more than 70 theaters nationwide, qualified for Oscar consideration and streamed on Hulu. She has written and produced several nationally broadcast documentaries, including The American Presidency, with Bill Clinton. Her work has appeared on History, A&E, ESPN, ABC and Discovery and has been supported by Black Public Media, the Field Foundation, Firelight Media, National Endowment for the Humanities, Athena Film Festival, Brown Girl Doc Mafia, Sisters in Cinema, and the Queen Collective. Luchina is based in the New York City area and teaches documentary filmmaking at Yale.


DocScapes presents an evening of two films by Luchina Fisher

THE DADS (Luchina Fisher, 2023)
»Trailer on IMDb

MAMA GLORIA (Luchina Fisher, 2020)
»MAMA GLORIA website (trailer and more)

TUE, MAR 28, 7pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE
Tickets available day of screening

In Person: Filmmaker Luchina Fisher and Tucson artist José Trujillo, one of the fathers from THE DADS

Co-presented by Lesbian Looks, Hanson FilmTV Institute, Institute for LGBT Studies

DocScapes presents a Luchina Fisher double feature



(Luchina Fisher, 2023, USA, 10 mins, Not Rated)

»Trailer on IMDb

When five fathers of trans kids join Dennis Shepard, the father of slain gay college student Matthew Shepard, for a weekend fishing trip in rural Oklahoma, they find common purpose across races, generations and experiences.

Six dads gather in rural Oklahoma for a weekend fishing trip. As the men cast their rods into the river, share their catch over dinner, and swap stories beside the bonfire, we learn what has brought them to this scenic idyll: the love for their trans and LGBTQ children, their fears for their children’s safety, and the urgency to fight for the ground on which they all stand. The Dads is a quiet meditation on fatherhood, brotherhood and manhood amid the changing American landscape.


(Luchina Fisher, 2020, USA, 76 mins, Not Rated)

»MAMA GLORIA website (trailer and more)

An intimate portrait of Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen, who transitioned before Stonewall and went on to open a charm school for transgender youth in her 60s. The film shares her life and recollections of growing up on the south side with an extremely supportive family, her childhood realization that she was a girl and time spent in the drag ball scene.

»Interview with Luchina Fisher on The Moveable Fest

»Luchina Fisher bio

Image from Saeed documentary, THIS IS NOT ME


(Saeed Gholipour, 2022)

TUE, FEB 7, 2023, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

Co-presented by UA Hanson FilmTV Institute and DocScapes

Two trans men trying to free themselves from the pressure and practice of gender matching are the focus of THIS IS NOT ME, a documentary about transgender people in Iran, who are challenged by religion and the harsh laws of gender inequality.

As they seek to prove themselves in the religious community, one seeks to emigrate from Iran and the other is looking for gender reassignment.


»Review in ScreenDaily

Jen Gilomen

Jen Gilomen

Jen Gilomen is an award-winning documentary producer, director, and cinematographer who has created nationally and internationally distributed films, including Life on the Line (PBS, 2014), In My Shoes (Frameline, 2005), and Deep Down (Independent Lens, 2010), which was funded by ITVS and MacArthur Foundation, participated in the U.S. State Department’s American Documentary Showcase, and received an Emmy nomination in 2011. In 2015-16, Jen was a Supervising Producer and programmer at ITVS, where she oversaw a portfolio of over fifteen feature documentaries. She is a Member-Owner of New Day Films, a former board member of Working Films, and an Associate of the U.C. Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program.

Image from Ester Newton Made Me Gay


TUE, FEB 21, 2023, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

In Person: Jean Carlomusto and Esther Newton

Co-presented by Lesbian Looks, Hanson FilmTV Institute, Institute for LGBT Studies

ESTHER NEWTON MADE ME GAY explores the life and times of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton. Throughout her career, Esther was a pioneer—questioning and challenging status quo assumptions on gender, sexuality, and anthropological methods. Her work inspired generations of scholars to pursue research in what would eventually become the field of LGBTQ+ and Gender Studies.

The film tells her story of awakening to gay life in the 1950’s, the women’s liberation movement and lesbian-feminism, drag culture, and forging a butch identity which for her is now in conversation with trans-masculinity.

Keenly attuned to the cultural and societal forces that shaped her life, Esther guides us through an anthropology of herself, a study influenced by her love for a sport—competitive dog agility—that pairs her aging butch body with her beloved dog teammate on an obstacle course that is constantly changing.

In her persistent efforts to train her body back into shape after numerous health setbacks, we see the intense drive that has helped Esther navigate a lifetime of obstacles she faced in her quest to become who she wanted to be: a butch lesbian, scholar, and athlete.


“Jean Carlomusto makes her films with heart, with grace, and with integrity… her portrait of Esther Newton unveils a living, breathing human being, a masculine of center, femme-loving, dog-loving, brilliant and articulate woman.” — Janet Prolman, QUEER GURU

“This is an amazing documentary about history, huge achievements, relationships, and competence. It will make you emotional, enthralled, and excited. A true embodiment of strength and endurance. To see the world through Esther’s eyes is a true privilege.” — Casandra W, LESFLICKS

“Inspired by Margaret Mead and Gertrude Stein, Newton forged a path for queer studies in academia, writing about drag artists and gender roles. Esther Newton Made Me Gay celebrates the life, loves, and influence of this pioneering figure in queer studies.” — Garry M. Kramer, GAY CITY NEWS

“Through the frank recollections of Newton, now in her early 80s, Carlomusto takes in the dawn of gay liberation, infighting within the feminist movement, AIDS activism, and the history of the formation of the idyllic queer community of Fire Island’s Cherry Grove. Newton’s story is of a life well-lived, full of love affairs with interesting women.” — James Kleinmann, THE QUEER REVIEW


Filmmaker/Subject Collaboration and Oral History in a Queer Biographical Documentary

Presented by Jean Carlomusto
WED, FEB 22, 2023, 3-5pm

In this workshop, filmmaker Jean Carlomusto and pioneering anthropologist/oral historian/film protagonist Esther Newton will discuss their collaborative process in the making of ESTHER NEWTON MADE ME GAY—a biographical documentary situated within the larger narratives of history. Esther will draw from her insightful essay, “Queer Old Movie Star”, which explores her anthropological and critical insights on the process of being an elder film subject. Jean will compare different approaches she has used on other biographical works such as LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER (HBO). Interviewing and the use of oral history will be explored from the perspective of both the anthropologist and the documentarian.


James Klein

James Klein

James Klein has been an independent filmmaker since 1970. With his partner, Julia Reichert, he created such innovative documentaries as GROWING UP FEMALE, the first documentary about women from a feminist perspective which was selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress; UNION MAIDS, one of the first oral history films and an Academy Award nominee; METHADONE: AN AMERICAN WAY OF DEALING, which challenged government policies on heroin addiction; and SEEING RED, a film about American communists that was nominated for an Academy Award. Klein has also had a distinguished career as a film editor in the independent film community, including such films as SCOUT’S HONOR, about gay discrimination within the Boy Scouts; LION IN THE HOUSE, about kids and their families fighting cancer and a prime time Emmy winner; and the Academy Award nominated THE LAST TRUCK, about the closing of a GM truck factory. He is a founder of the social issue documentary film distribution co-op New Day Films, and retired Professor in the School of Theatre, Dance and Film at Wright State University.

Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi (Director/Producer) was a social justice advocate and filmmaker, writing and directing two PBS award winning films, “The Slanted Screen: Asian Men in Film & Television” and “You Don’t Know Jack Soo” and the acclaimed short film “Racial Facial,” a short film about the history of racism in the United States. Jeff’s previous film “Defender” was selected to premiere at a sold-out screening at the SF International Film Festival and won the Best Documentary film award at the Independent Television Festival in Vermont in 2017.

eff served as the elected Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco from 2002-2019 and worked as a deputy public defender and Chief Attorney in San Francisco for 15 years prior to his election. His office provided legal representation to over 20,000 people each year, mostly of color. Through his legal work and activism, Jeff was a strong advocate for the civil rights of all America.


(Jeff Adachi and Chihiro Wimbush, 2021)

SUN, MAY 15, 2022, 5pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

In Person: Followed by discussion with San Francisco Public Defenders Francisco Ugarte and Matt Gonzalez, and Pima County Justice For All campaign leaders Margo Cowan and Isabel Garcia, as well as filmmaker Chihiro Wimbush.

RICOCHET tells the story of the trial of an undocumented immigrant, Jose Inés Garcia Zaraté, for the accidental shooting of a young woman in San Francisco in July of 2015. The incident gains national attention when Donald Trump exploits it on the campaign trail, fueling the anti-immigration movement that propels him to the presidency. At the same time, the national media makes the story a referendum on San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy. So the stakes are high when the trial finally begins in Fall 2017, with the defense led by two San Francisco public defenders: Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez and Francisco Ugarte, head of the office’s Immigration Defense Unit.


Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice | DisOrient Asian American Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Documentary | CAAMFest
Opening Night Film | DisOrient Asian American Film Festival
Special Recognition for Best Editing | Thin Line Fest


“Their story is so heartbreaking, but the fact that it was used as an anti-immigrant stance, as opposed to an anti-gun stance is shows to me the power structures that are alive.”
– Miko Lee, Co-Host Apex Express

“Ricochet provides a framework to intelligently and rationally frame the question of how and why immigrants are often scapegoated and why this case became a vehicle for politicians such as President Trump to further their anti-immigration policies.”
– Jeff Adachi, Co-Director/Producer

»more info at the film website

Shefali Milczarek-Desai, Soledad and Rosie Ibarra Lopez of Lisa Molomot's documentary film SOLEDAD (2019)


(Lisa Molomot, 2019)

TUE, OCT 26, 2021, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema / FREE

In Person: Joining filmmaker Lisa Molomot for a post-screening discussion will be:

  • Asylum seeker Soledad
  • Clinical Law Professor and Director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic, Shefali Milczarek-Desai
  • Interpreter Rosie Ibarra Lopez
  • Psychologist Syd Arkowitz

Co-presented by UA Center for Latin American Studies, UA Hanson Film Institute, Human Rights Practice Program, College of Fine Arts

SOLEDAD tells the story of a young woman from Central America who was imprisoned in the Eloy Detention Facility when she sought asylum in the United States in 2017. Soledad set out on a perilous journey from her homeland after enduring horrific persecution where she was kidnapped, sex-trafficked, tortured and nearly killed.

Attorney Shefali Milczarek-Desai, who took the case pro bono, mobilized a dream team of professional women, all of whom agreed to work for free on the case. Together, they secured Soledad’s release from Eloy and ultimately prevailed on her asylum claim in a rare victory for an asylum seeker in the U.S.

»more info at the film website



(Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot, 2020)

FRI, SEP 10, 2021, 7:30pm

The Loft Cinema

In Person: Followed by Q&A with Co-director/Producer Lisa Molomot and Editor/Producer Jacob Bricca, along with a panel of immigration policy experts

Co-presented by UA School of Sociology, School of Theatre, Film & Television, Binational Migration Institute, Hanson Film Institute, College of Fine Arts

Missing in Brooks County follows the stories of two families searching for their loved ones who went missing in the fields of Brooks County, Texas after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. On their search they meet vigilante ranchers, human smugglers, humanitarian activists, and Border Patrol agents, all of whom are locked in a proxy version of the national immigration debate. They also discover a sobering truth: the deadliest part of the journey was far from the border. A gripping investigative documentary, Missing in Brooks County 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.


Best Southern Feature • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature • Doc Boston Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature • Ashland Ind. Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature • San Luis Obispo Int. Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature • Thin Line Festival


“One of the most nuanced and disturbing…films about the immigration crisis.”
– Boston Globe

“A crucial, empathetic and humane film that sheds light on the cruelty of United States’ immigration policies.”
– Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla

“One of the best films I’ve seen in years.”
– Suzan Beraza, Mountainfilm Festival Director

“The definitive artwork on migrant deaths.”
– Bill Simmons, University of Arizona Human Rights Practice Program

»more info at the film website


Daniel E. Martínez, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Sociology
Co-Director, Binational Migration Institute
University of Arizona

Daniel E. Martinez (PhD) is an associate professor in the School of Sociology and a co-director of the Binational Migration Institute at the University of Arizona. Dr. Martínez’s research and teaching interests include race and ethnicity, undocumented immigration, and criminology. He is particularly interested in the social and legal criminalization of undocumented migration. Dr. Martínez has also conducted extensive research on deportations and undocumented border crosser deaths along the US-Mexico border.

Geoff Boyce, PhD
Academic Director, Earlham College Border Studies Program
Research Associate, Binational Migration Institute, University of Arizona

Geoff Boyce (PhD) is Academic Director of the Earlham College Border Studies Program, an undergraduate liberal arts program that uses the U.S.-Mexico border region as a critical site for unpacking contemporary global realities. Dr. Boyce’s research and publications attend to the transnational dimensions of immigration and border policing, and their uneven dissemination of human vulnerability across scale.

Gabriella Soto, PhD
Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, The Honors College
Arizona State University

Gabriella Soto (PhD) is an anthropological archaeologist who studies how migrants, border agents, humanitarian activists, artists, land managers, and other stakeholders interact within the landscape of migration and contemporary security along the Mexico border in the U.S. Southwest. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2018, and after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Trinity College, she joined the faculty at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College as an Honors Faculty Fellow.

Perla Torres
Family Network Director
Colibri Center for Human Rights

Perla is Colibrí’s Family Network Director. She is originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, and migrated to the United States with her family in 1999 and was raised in Tucson, AZ. Perla earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Pre-law from the University of Arizona, where she focused on immigration law reforms and justice for migrant rights. Post-college, Perla has continued her focus on social services while serving as a Case Manager for the Office of Refugee Resettlement working in the reunification of unaccompanied minors along the U.S.-Mexico border with families who reside in the United States. She continued her work as the Children’s Specialist for the Guatemalan consulate in the Border Protection team. Perla continues her dedication to migrant rights as Colibrí’s Family Network Director. She will continue a legacy of work to build solidarity, community, a movement among families who have experienced loss at the border.

Sam Chambers, PhD

Researcher, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
University of Arizona

Sam Chambers (PhD) is a Researcher with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona. With the UA Binational Migration Institute, he examines the spatiotemporal patterns of border-crosser mortalities, the change in migration routes in response to border militarization, and the physiological impacts of extreme environments. In addition to his border studies, he researches population-level health effects of climate change, the spread of vector-borne disease among vulnerable populations, and the environmental impacts of energy development.

WORKSHOP: The Many Roles of the Documentary Producer

Presented by Jen Gilomen
February 28, 2020, 2-4pm

Join filmmaker Jen Gilomen, producer and director of photography for the new documentary film UNSETTLED: SEEKING REFUGE IN AMERICA (directed/produced by Tom Shepard) for a discussion about what it takes to produce an independent feature documentary. Producers wear many hats, and each film is different — which means the role of a producer is always morphing to fit the needs of each production. In addition to producing UNSETTLED, Gilomen has directed, produced, and shot several features and shorts, narratives and documentaries, many with LGBTQ+ themes. She has also produced corporate and nonprofit documentary content and acted as a Supervising Producer for a portfolio of films for public television. The workshop will cover producer roles, and delve into behind-the-scenes case studies in collaboration on Unsettled and other films Jen has produced.


Lisa Molomot

Lisa Molomot

Lisa Molomot is a documentary filmmaker living in Tucson, Arizona. She has been working in film for over 20 years, directing, filming and editing documentaries. Her award-winning feature THE HILL tells the story of an immigrant neighborhood in New Haven, CT and aired on America Reframed in 2015. Her award-winning shorts SCHOOL’S OUT and TEACHING IN ARIZONA have had hundreds of screenings and been featured on, in The Atlantic, and on NPR. Her most recent feature documentary, MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (2020), profiles law enforcement agents, human rights workers and activists who come face to face with the life and death consequences of our broken immigration system. The film is currently playing in select theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. After screening at over 50 film festivals in the past year, MIBC will be released on streaming platforms in the U.S. starting in November and will air on the PBS series Independent Lens.

Lisa teaches in the School of Theatre, Film & Television, the James E. Rogers School of Law, and the Human Rights Practice Program at the University of Arizona, and has also taught filmmaking at Yale University and Wesleyan University.