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Beloit College Alumni Wins Regional Emmy Award

Tim Jacobson, a Beloit College alum, has won a second Emmy award for his recent nature documentary “Decoding the Driftless” at the 22nd Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards Gala.

The film takes its viewers on an adventure through air over Wisconsin’s unglaciated region, otherwise known as the Driftless Region, as well as documenting the scenic beauty around it. 

On top of winning an Emmy, the film has also reached viewers outside of the midwest. The documentary has won several awards over the last few years from various places in the U.S., Italy, and the United Kingdom since it premiered at the Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) in 2020. After the film premiered PBS began to broadcast it in 28 states, including California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Alaska. The film continues to grow in viewers.

The Beloit Daily Mail quotes Jacobson regarding his recent Emmy winning award. “It’s not just the number of awards that’s significant. It’s the varied types of awards, too. We’ve been recognized for topnotch content, an engaging story, the artistry of the cinematography, and for the positive humanitarian impact in promoting care for our precious Earth.” 

“Decoding the Driftless” was produced in collaboration between two nonprofit organizations, Sustainable Driftless, Inc. and Untamed Science Inc.

Jacobson has also been recognized in the past for his work on his other documentary film “Mysteries of the Driftless,” released back in 2013. He worked as the Executive Producer on that film and that next year the film earned an Emmy Award from Chicago/Midwest NATAS for “Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Programs – Topical.”

Jacobson is not just a filmmaker and producer but is also an environmental lawyer. After graduating from Beloit College in 1989 he attended Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee where he earned his J.D. After practicing private law for 14 years he later became president of the law firm O’Flaherty Heim Egan, Ltd.

In 2006 he led a nonprofit land trust, Mississippi Valley Conservancy. Under his leadership, the organization earned recognition as “Land Trust of the Year” for the State of Wisconsin. As he worked for the conservancy he also began producing short nature documentaries here. 

When he is not filming he is fighting for clean air and water for his clients, lots of them who are struggling with polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination within their drinking water. Jacobson has demonstrated a deep involvement in advocating for environmental justice for almost three decades. He served as the president for the Midwestern Environmental Advocates, a public-interest law firm based in Madison. 

Jacobson and George Howe, another producer for this documentary, are both from the La Crosse area and have worked previously in other projects before. 

Some of Jacobson’s other works are “Voices in the Holy Land: 40 Years of MIlitary Occupation,” “Mysteries of the Driftless,” and his first novel “The Kurchatov Penetration,” which rocketed it’s way to number three on Amazon’s Best Sellers List for thrillers in May 2012. 

You can also catch Jacobson playing himself in the six-hour documentary “Amsterdam Stories USA” which features him leading a tour through nature in the Upper Mississippi River Valley and piloting an airplane.

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