Aizawl: A journalist with roots in Lamka (Churachandpur), Manipur, has achieved a significant milestone by winning the prestigious Rocky Mountain Emmy for her documentary.
Makepeace Sitlhou received the esteemed award for her documentary titled “A Wall Runs Through It.” The recognition was granted to the team, which includes Trilce Estrada Olvera, Makepeace Sitlhou, and Hakob Karapetyan, in the College Non-Fiction Short Form category under the Student Production Awards.
The Rocky Mountain Emmy is a distinguished membership organisation that acknowledges outstanding television work with the coveted Emmy® Award.
At the time of receiving the award, Sitlhou was a fellow at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at Arizona State University. In an interview with EastMojo, she discussed the extensive effort put into the documentary, stating, “I and my team: journalists Trilce Estrada Olvera from Mexico and Hakob Karapetyan from Armenia, made this documentary in four months from January to April 2023.”
The documentary delves into the topic of shipping containers placed along the US-Mexico border by a former Arizona governor. The team dedicated months to studying the impact of a border wall constructed from shipping containers on the environment, wildlife movement, and the area’s political landscape. The documentary was screened on April 28, 2023.
For those interested, the documentary is available on the Cronkite News Channel, where it is described as follows, “Former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to build 10 miles of a double-stacked shipping container wall through federally protected land in Arizona came to an abrupt end almost as soon as it began. This is a story of how a citizen group brought down an international border wall, the first in four decades since the Berlin Wall.”
Sitlhou shared her initial reaction to the shipping container border, saying, “I had been following the shipping container border in the news since last year when they first appeared on the U.S.-Mexico border. My first reaction was of shock and awe that a shipping container border was actually built, like the one in the movie Army of the Dead (directed by Zack Snyder). Seeing the shipping containers for the first time in January, I thought it was bizarre and was in disbelief that a state government of the world’s most progressive and advanced democracy could actually do this.”
She added, “Speaking to locals from the area was even more interesting as many thought this could help curb human migration. But then I have seen this level of hysteria and unreasonable support for idiocy that has very grave consequences on weaker communities or the environment, literally everywhere.”
Sitlhou views the award as a way for her and her team to contribute to the cause, stating, “Me and my team are very thrilled to receive this award. As foreign students, we had been warmly welcomed by the local activists who had protested the container wall, and I feel like this Emmy win was a small way we could give back to their cause. As one journalist said in the documentary, it’s no easy feat to bring down an international boundary wall no matter how ridiculous it may look.”
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“Our aim was to pay an ode to their efforts as dissenting citizens and inspire (as we were) citizen groups around the world to rise and stand up against hateful campaigns that divide people and destroy the ecosystem,” she added.
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