Kuki journalist from Manipur wins Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for Documentary

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A journalist from Lamka, Manipur, has achieved a remarkable milestone by clinching the prestigious Rocky Mountain Emmy award for her documentary. Makepeace Sitlhou was bestowed with this prestigious honor for her documentary titled “A Wall Runs Through It.” The award was presented in the College Non-Fiction Short Form category as part of the Student Production Awards. The Rocky Mountain Emmy is a highly esteemed organization that acknowledges outstanding television work with the coveted Emmy® Award.

Makepeace Sitlhou was pursuing her journalism fellowship at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University when she received this accolade. In an interview with EastMojo, Sitlhou mentioned that her team, which included journalists Trilce Estrada Olvera from Mexico and Hakob Karapetyan from Armenia, dedicated four months from January to April 2023 to craft this documentary.

The documentary delves into the use of shipping containers as a border wall along the US-Mexico border, a project initiated by a former Arizona governor. The team invested months in comprehensive research to understand the environmental, wildlife, and political impacts of this barrier. Their documentary was unveiled to the public on April 28, 2023, and can now be viewed on the Cronkite News Channel.

“A Wall Runs Through It” narrates the story of former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey‘s endeavor to erect a 10-mile double-stacked shipping container wall on federally protected land in Arizona. The documentary sheds light on how a citizen group successfully halted the construction of this international border wall, marking the first such instance in four decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

documentaryUpon witnessing the shipping container border along the U.S.-Mexico border, Makepeace Sitlhou expressed her initial astonishment and disbelief. She had been following the news about it since its inception the previous year and likened it to something out of a movie, specifically mentioning “Army of the Dead” directed by Zack Snyder. She found it bizarre and couldn’t fathom that a state government in one of the world’s most progressive democracies had actually implemented such a barrier.

Furthermore, during her interactions with local residents in the area, she found it intriguing that some believed the shipping container border could deter human migration. However, she observed a recurring pattern of unwarranted enthusiasm for such ideas with dire consequences for vulnerable communities and the environment, a phenomenon she has witnessed in various places.

Makepeace Sitlhou and her team are thrilled about receiving the award, considering it as an opportunity to support the cause they documented. They were warmly received by local activists who had protested the container wall as foreign students, and they perceive this Emmy win as a way to give back to their cause. Sitlhou emphasized that, as one journalist mentioned in the documentary, dismantling an international border wall, no matter how absurd it may seem, is a formidable undertaking.

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