MediaLab Documentary wins 2021 College Emmy

Pacific Lutheran University’s MediaLab was recently awarded a 2021 College Emmy for its documentary Eyes Above: Militarization of Sacred Land.

Shot in early 2020 and edited over the course of a year, the film won the College Emmy for the Northwest Chapter in the long-form non-fiction category, according to a press release.

It was the MediaLab’s 10th nomination and second-ever win.

The film, Eyes Above: Militarization of Sacred Land, discusses militarization and surveillance on the U.S.-Mexico border. The film focuses on members of the Tohono O’odham nation in Arizona who reside on the largest reservation of traditional lands in the U.S. and span across the border.

“We are honored and humbled by this award, but none of it would’ve been possible without the incredible stories of our interviewees,” said filmmaker Ben Leschensky. “The story of their struggle along the southern border should challenge all of us to be better and expect better out of our fellow humans.”

The film was produced and directed by Brennan LaBrie, Hallie Harper, Hanna McCauley, Sarah Ward, Raven Lirio, Emil Groseclose, Ben Leschensky, and Seley Nemish. MediaLab students Rosemary Bennett and Armanda Dupont comprised the film’s graphics team, with Dr. Kat Hoyt of PLU Communication Department serving as the adviser.

Eyes Above: Militarization of Sacred Land premiered on YouTube on April 1, 2021, and can be viewed here. For more information on the project and the team, visit here.


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