‘Witness at Tornillo’ Deemed Best Documentary At KC Film Festival

Apr 26, 2020


Activist Joshua Ruben stands outside the detention facility in Tornillo, Texas.
Credit Carbon Trace Productions

The Springfield-based nonprofit production company, Carbon Trace Productions, has won best documentary feature film at the Kansas City FilmFest International 2020. The documentary "Witness at Tornillo" is about one man's campaign against the United States' immigration policy along the US-Mexico border.

 66-year-old Josh Rubin, the subject of the film, sat alone in the Texas desert, feeling morally compelled to witness the family separation and child detention policies in the US immigration system. The US government eventually shut down the child detention facility at Tornillo. 

The film's director, Shane Franklin, said in a news release he hopes the documentary shows that individuals can make a difference.

The Kansas City FilmFest International receives entries from around the world, according to its website.


Carbon Trace has two official missions: one is to teach people how to make documentaries and the other is humanitarian service. The company started on the campus of MSU and students make up a large part of the crew on its projects. 


Andy Cline, the founder of Carbon Trace Productions, sat down with KSMU's Jennifer Moore in October 2019 to talk about Witness at Tornillo. Listen to that interview here.