Lisa Molomot, Documentary Filmmaker
Since graduating from the American Film Institute, I have worked as a documentary director and producer. My films have aired on the PBS series Independent Lens and American Reframed and have been seen at film festivals around the world, including Sundance, SXSW, New Directors, New Films and DOC NYC.
My 2013 directing debut THE HILL, about the demolition of an African-American neighborhood in New Haven, CT, a city I lived for 12 years, premiered on America Reframed and won best documentary at Greenpoint Film Festival and received an honorable mention for the Paul Robeson Award.
My 2014 film SCHOOL’S OUT, about a forest kindergarten in Switzerland, premiered on the PBS series Natural Heroes, won best short at several film festivals, and was written about on Slate.com and in The Atlantic and National Geographic. With screenings at over 100 film festivals and public screenings around the world, SCHOOL’S OUT sparked a movement among early childhood educators to set up their own versions of an outdoor kindergarten.
My recent feature documentary MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY about the migrant death crisis along the U.S./Mexico border has won over 20 film festival awards, was nominated for an Critics Choice Documentary Award in 2021 and is a finalist for the Alfred I. Dupont Columbia University Award for outstanding journalism. The film received funding from PBS and is Executive Produced by Abigail Disney. The film was released theatrically in the summer of 2021 and aired on the PBS series Independent Lens in January 2022. It has continued to air on PBS stations around the country with over 2,200 broadcasts since January 2022.
I spent the spring of 2019 on a Fulbright Scholarship in Toronto working on the award-winning documentaries SAFE HAVEN (2020) about U.S. war resisters seeking asylum in Canada and SOLEDAD (2020) about a U.S. asylum case. Both films are currently screening around North America and available for purchase through the film collective New Day Films where I serve on the steering committee.
Some of my other films about the Southwest are the award-winning shorts TEACHING IN ARIZONA (2018) and THE CLEANERS (2017).
I have taught filmmaking at Yale University, Wesleyan University, Colorado College and Trinity College and currently teach at the School of Theatre, Film and Television, the Human Rights Practice Program and the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. I am also affiliate faculty of the Latin American Studies Program there.
I am currently working on a series of shorts documentaries and a feature about an archaeology project in Tucson, where I have been living with my family for the past 8 years.