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Veterans Day: FSU Student Veteran Film Festival - November 11th International Film Business

Festivals
by Paul Cohen
November 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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Kirby Dick (Center) director of 'The Invisible War'

This November 11th will be the third year of The Florida State University Student Veteran Film Festival (SVFF) . For the past three years I have been asked to be the executive advisor to this initiative to provide opportunity to curate on behalf of the College Of Motion Picture Arts, and at the request of my Dean Frank Patterson and the University President, Dr. Eric Barron, in support of our Student Veterans the annual featured motion picture presentation. This initiative provides a platform, utilizing cinema to engage conversation surrounding issues facing our returning student veterans returning from their service. The Collegiate Veterans Association leaders created the concept for this festival, and I have had the honor to participate in the opportunity. As the Executive Director of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture ArtsTorchlight Program, and Executive Advisor to the FSU SVFF,  I have been able to merge my independent film industry background with educational opportunities at the University with the vision of expanding learning opportunities through cinema.

Dir. Danfung Dennis

In year one the film selected to present was ”Hell and Back Again”, directed by Danfung Dennis, which went on to be nominated for an Oscar in 2011. Year two the SVFF presented “The Invisible War”, directed by Kirby Dick, which went on to be nominated for the Oscar in 2012. FSU President Eric Barron created an award that year to honor Kirby Dick for his filmmaking, the FSU Student Veteran Torchlight Award (described in the material provided). This year, the award will be presented to Sebastian Junger for his documentary, "Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Time of Tim Hetherington".

The Collegiate Veterans Association at Florida State University is one of the most universally known and well-respected student veteran groups in the nation. The university, the administration, and the student body have joined together in an effort to make Florida State University one of the most veteran friendly public universities, in the nation. Inherent in this goal is our effort to raise awareness and promote veteran’s issues. The Student Veteran Film Festival is one of our primary vehicles for achieving these goals.

Paul Cohen, Executive Director of The Florida State University College Of Motion Picture Arts Torchlight Program

The Student Veteran Film Festival is an annual event at the Florida State University that highlights veteran issues on campus, in the local community, and nationally. This event has a proud tradition of elegance, prestige, and creation of intense dialogue between filmmakers, students, and veterans.

The education and awareness that this event has been able to cultivate for issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma has been both significant and impactful. The inaugural event showcased the film ”Hell and Back Again” with the following year hosting “The Invisible War”. The nature of these films show that our student veterans are not afraid of having difficult conversations and are serious about impacting real, meaningful, change.

THIRD ANNUAL STUDENT VETERAN FILM FESTIVAL TO FEATURE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR AND FILM DIRECTOR SEBASTIAN JUNGER

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State University students will bring award-winning author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger and his critically acclaimed documentary film “Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington” to the 3rd Annual Student Veteran Film Festival on Monday, Nov. 11.

A collaborative effort among the Collegiate Veterans Association , Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association and College of Motion Picture Arts, the event will feature a discussion with Junger about the film, which traces Hetherington’s work across the world's battlefields to reveal what made him such a singular talent — and remarkable human being. The film also illuminates the incredible risks combat journalists face, at a time when they are dying with greater frequency in war zones.

“We are proud to screen this acclaimed film and host an event that facilitates discussion about what life is like in war-torn parts of the world, which Tim Hetherington captured so movingly through his images,” said Ryan Taylor, president of the FSU Collegiate Veterans Association.

Junger is a bestselling author (“The Perfect Storm,” “War”) who, with Hetherington, co-directed “Restrepo,” an Academy Award nominated documentary about an American combat outpost in Afghanistan.

Junger will also receive the “FSU Student Veteran Torchlight Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking” following the screening of the film. The award, which comes with a $25,000 honorarium, is given annually to a filmmaker who illuminates issues affecting veterans.

"As part of Florida State’s commitment to become the most veteran-friendly university in the nation, we are recognizing filmmakers who explore issues that affect military service members, veterans and their families,” said FSU President Eric J. Barron. “I am pleased to honor Sebastian Junger with this award for his poignant tribute to Tim Hetherington."

The film festival is intended to raise awareness of student-veterans’ issues and bridge the gap between veterans and the community. Paul Cohen, director of the College of Motion Picture Arts’ Torchlight program, secured the rights to screen “Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington.” The film, telecast and distributed by HBO, was screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The Student Veteran Film Festival will take place:

MONDAY, NOV. 11

3 – 7:30 P.M.

RUBY DIAMOND CONCERT HALL

222 S. COPELAND ST.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.


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