BELOIT—A Beloit College alum who is an environmental lawyer by day and a filmmaker by night has won a second Emmy award for a recent nature documentary that’s been widely shown at film festivals around the world.
Tim Jacobson, who graduated from Beloit College in 1989, was honored at the 22nd Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards gala as producer of the nature documentary Decoding the Driftless. The film takes viewers on a journey covering Wisconsin’s unglaciated region, known as the Driftless Region and highlights the area’s natural beauty.
Most of the time, Jacobson is fighting for clean air and water on behalf of a thousand clients, the majority with polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination of drinking water wells from firefighting foam and others living next to hulking frac sand mines in western Wisconsin.
Jacobson has been deeply involved in advocating for environmental justice for nearly three decades, including serving a stint as president of Midwest Environmental Advocates, a public-interest law firm based in Madison.
The documentary has won numerous awards across film festivals in the U.S., Italy and United Kingdom since its 2020 debut at the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF).
“It’s not just the number of awards that’s significant,” Jacobson said. “It’s the varied types of awards, too. We’ve been recognized for top-notch content, an engaging story, the artistry of the cinematography, and for the positive humanitarian impact in promoting care for our precious Earth.”
This Emmy award comes seven years after Jacobson, along with Rob Nelson and George Howe, received an Emmy in Chicago in 2014 for the similarly-themed documentary short, Mysteries of the Driftless.
The documentary premiered last year on TV through PBS stations in 28 states.
Decoding the Driftless was produced through collaboration between two nonprofit organizations, Sustainable Driftless, Inc. and Untamed Science, Inc.