About Film

Memorial Day: When the Past is Our Greatest Present

May 26, 2018 Yesterday my friend Mark went to visit to visit my grandparents’ grave to put flowers there for Memorial Day. He sent me photos and got me thinking about my grandfather and how my relationship to Memorial Day continues to evolve. There was always a reverence I had for it, I suppose, but disconnected and fleeting. It mostly meant a long weekend, welcoming warmer weather, the end of a school year, a break from work, or maybe an opportunity to take a quick trip. Even after my grandfather died 21 years ago, a decorated WWII hero whom I grew up with and loved, Memorial Day still had continued to come and go in my life without much notice. These past five years working on projects about veterans and military families, about moral injury and community’s role in healing… this has certainly changed all that for me – but I have to wonder why it took all this to shift my perspective. I miss my grandfather at the most unexpected times; memories of him and my grandmother visiting for Sunday dinner; he was always armed with chocolate bars and new joke for my sister and me. I never knew…

National Association of Social Workers Honors Almost Sunrise with Best Documentary Award

AVASW interview with Almost Sunrise director Michael Collins from Spring 2017 Newsletter: A few months ago, AVASW President Mandy Kalins received an email from a producer for the documentary, Almost Sunrise, looking for a way to connect with VA social workers and high-light this film and bigger mission behind it. This award winning film is about two combat veterans who, diagnosed with severe PTSD, go on a 2,600 mile hike from Milwaukee, WI to Long Beach, CA. Their journey is one of self-discovery and inspiration as they discover peace through meditation and nature. The film also introduces the concept of “moral injury’ and its usefulness in understanding the reality that some veterans face upon returning from war. The film aims to raise awareness for Veteran suicide and encourage Veterans to seek treatment. After viewing the film, Mandy knew that this was something that VA social workers would really connect with and benefit from. Fresh off their recent win as the winner of the 2017 NASW Media Award for Film, Mandy asked the film’s director, Michael Collins a few questions about Almost Sunrise. Tell us the story about how you came up with the idea for the film. A few years…

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