'They Have Names': Documentary Highlights Shortcomings In Arizona's Child Welfare System

By Lauren Gilger, Kaely Monahan
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 12:47pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 9:34am

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Mary Jo Pitzl has been covering challenges in the state child welfare system since 2013.

The Arizona Republic reporter has seen personally how gaps in accountability and government resources have deeply impacted countless families as well as caseworkers. Now, she wants to share that with you, not through her writing alone, but through film.

With the help of her colleague videographer David Wallace, Pitzl has spent the last year and a half working on a documentary they’re calling “They Have Names.”

The Show sat down with her ahead of the release, and asked about the name: what it means and where it came from.

“They Have Names” debuted in front of a sold-out audience at Crescent Ballroom on Monday night, but there's still a chance to see the film. A second screening is now scheduled for Dec. 3.

Mary Jo Pitzl
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Mary Jo Pitzl in KJZZ's studio in 2018.

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