HUMANIST FILMS EDITS A VIDEO FOR PELICAN PRODUCTS ABOUT WARRIOR EXPEDITIONS

We were deeply honored to work with Pelican Products, editing a video that showcases Warrior Expeditions, a non-profit veterans organization. According to their site, they “provide veterans with everything they need to complete a long distance outdoor expedition at no cost to the veteran.” In the video, retired Navy SEAL Jonathan Grant explains that the organization “helps support veterans, combat veterans, give them an opportunity to do a through-hike and to experience what they call as ‘nature therapy,’ give them an opportunity to decompress, to hit the reset button, and another term they use is ‘walking off the war.’” Thank you to Pelican Products, Kevin Murphy, Hank Chacon, and Tuan Tran for this wonderful opportunity!

To watch the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKc1qqPrpu4&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about Pelican Products: 
http://www.pelican.com/us/en/

To learn more about Warrior Expeditions: 
https://warriorexpeditions.org/

“VISIONS OF WARRIORS” TO SCREEN AT THE LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY / EXPOSITION PARK BRANCH LIBRARY

“Visions of Warriors” will be screening at the Los Angeles Public Library / Exposition Park Branch on Thursday, 7/19/18 at 6:00 p.m. Based in Los Angeles, we’re very excited to screen our documentary at another branch of the expansive Los Angeles Public Library, which is an incredible resource for our community. On Saturday, 5/26/18 at 2:30 p.m., we’ll be screening our film at the Los Angeles Public Library / Van Nuys Branch. The library’s website states that it “provides free and easy access to information, ideas, books and technology that enrich, educate and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities.” In particular, it offers extensive services for veterans through four Veterans Resource Centers, located at the Central Library, Exposition Park Regional Branch, Mid Valley Regional Library, and the Van Nuys Branch Library. Thank you to Eugene Owens, Alberto Alvarez, Michelle Soong, Joyce Cooper, and the Los Angeles Public Library for organizing this great event!

Screening and Q&A with Ming Lai: 
Thursday, 7/19/18, 6:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Public Library / Exposition Park Branch Library
3900 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90062

323-290-3113
*The screening is open to the public and free of charge. 

To RSVP for the screening: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/234244470461425/

To learn more about the Los Angeles Public Library / Exposition Park Branch Library:
https://www.facebook.com/expoparkLAPL/

To learn more about the Los Angeles Public Library: 
https://www.lapl.org/

To learn more about the the Los Angeles Public Library’s Veterans Resources:
https://www.lapl.org/veterans

“VISIONS OF WARRIORS” TO SCREEN AT THE LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY / VAN NUYS BRANCH

“Visions of Warriors” will be screening at the Los Angeles Public Library / Van Nuys Branch on Saturday, 5/26/18 at 2:30 p.m. Because we’re based in Los Angeles, we’re very excited to work with the Los Angeles Public Library, which is an incredible resource for our community. According to their website, the library “provides free and easy access to information, ideas, books and technology that enrich, educate and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities.” In particular, it offers extensive services for veterans through four Veterans Resource Centers, located at the Central Library, Exposition Park Regional Branch, Mid Valley Regional Library, and the Van Nuys Branch Library. Thank you to Eric Kennedy, Michelle Soong, Joyce Cooper, and the Los Angeles Public Library for this wonderful opportunity!

Screening: 
Saturday, 5/26/18, 2:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Public Library / Van Nuys Branch Library
6250 Sylmar Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91401

818-756-8453
*The screening is open to the public and free of charge. 

To learn more about the Los Angeles Public Library:
https://www.lapl.org/

To learn more about the Los Angeles Public Library's Veterans Resources: 
https://www.lapl.org/veterans

“JOURNEY OF A PAPER SON” TO SCREEN AT THE CHINESE-AMERICAN MUSEUM OF CHICAGO

We’re excited to announce that our short film, “Journey of a Paper Son,” will be screening at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, 5/26/18, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. “Journey of a Paper Son” is about a father who reveals to his family that he’s a “paper son” (an illegal immigrant using fake papers). The film was an Official Selection of a dozen national film festivals. It won the Best Short Film Gold Angel Award at the Chinese American Film Festival. According to its site, the mission of the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago is to “promote the culture and history—through exhibitions, education, and research—of Chinese-Americans in the Midwest.” Thank you to Executive Director Mabel Menard and the museum for this huge honor. 

Screening and Skype Q&A with Ming Lai:
Saturday, 5/26/18, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Chinese-American Museum of Chicago
238 West 23rd Street
Chicago, IL 60616

312-949-1000

To learn reserve tickets to the screening:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/screening-of-journey-of-a-paper-son-tickets-44710780147

To learn more about "Journey of a Paper Son": 
https://www.humanistfilms.com/journeyofapaperson

To learn more about the Chinese American Museum of Chicago:
http://ccamuseum.org/

“VISIONS OF WARRIORS” TO SCREEN AT THE COLORADO PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION ASSOCIATION

The Colorado Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association will be screening “Visions of Warriors” at Windhorse Community Services in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday, 5/1/18 at 5:45 p.m. The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA) and in particular the Colorado PRA (COPRA) have been great supporters of our documentary. We had the huge honor of screening our film at PRA’s 40th Annual Wellness and Recovery Summit in Atlanta last year. Since then, COPRA has also screened our film in Denver. We’re excited to screen our film again in Colorado at Windhorse Community Services, which offers home-based treatment recovery options to the residents of Boulder. Thank you to Raymond Sedillo, COPRA, PRA, and Windhorse Community Services for their continued support.

Screening and Panel Discussion:
Tuesday, 5/1/18, 5:45 p.m.
Windhorse Community Services
1200 Yarmouth Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304


To learn more about the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association:
https://www.psychrehabassociation.org/

To learn more about Colorado Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoPRA/

To learn more about Windhorse Community Services:
https://windhorsecommunityservices.com/

“VISIONS OF WARRIORS” TO SCREEN AT THE CITY OF PALO ALTO / CUBBERLEY ARTIST STUDIO PROGRAM (CASP) OPEN STUDIO EVENT

We’re excited to announce that “Visions of Warriors” will be screening at the closing reception of the “Seeing Hope: Veteran Recovery Project. It’s not just for PTSD” Exhibition at the City of Palo Alto/Cubberley Artist Studio Program (CASP) Open Studio Event on Saturday, 11/18/17, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in Palo Alto, California. The exhibition, which runs from 11/4/17 to 11/18/17, showcases an inspiring collection of Hope Books, containing photography and prose created by veterans in the Veteran Photo Recovery Project. Both the screening and exhibition are part of a two-week-long Open Studio Event in honor of veterans, coinciding with Veterans Day. See the City of Palo Alto press release below for a complete schedule. According to their site, “The Cubberley Artist Studio Program (CASP) supports the vitality of the arts in Palo Alto by providing City-sponsored, affordable studio space for artists, building creative community and fostering public engagement with the arts and artists.” Thank you to Conrad Johnson, the Cubberley Artist Studio Program, and the City of Palo Alto for this huge honor. 

Screening and Q&A with Susan Quaglietti, Ryan Gardner, and Ming Lai:
Saturday, 11/18/17, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Cubberley Community Center
H-1 Lecture Room
4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303

650-329-2418
*The screening is open to the public and free of charge.  

To learn more:
www.cityofpaloalto.org/casp

Download a map of and directions to Cubberley Community Center.

Read a press release by the City of Palo Alto about this screening and the CASP Open Studio Event.

Helping Veterans Heal Mental Illness through Photography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Sonya Grigoruk, SG Public Relations
T: 213-810-1016, sonyagrpr@gmail.com
 

Helping Veterans Heal Mental Illness through Photography
New Film “Visions of Warriors” Follows The Veteran Photo
Recovery Project,
an Alternative Therapy Program at
Veterans Affairs Menlo Park

LOS ANGELES, November 11, 2017—The Veteran Photo Recovery Project (VPRP), an innovative art therapy program at the Veterans Affairs Menlo Park, utilizes photography to help veterans suffering from moral injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, and other mental illnesses by giving them a visual language and the tools to express themselves, an important step towards healing.

The project is documented in “Visions of Warriors,” a powerful new film released today from Los Angeles filmmaker Ming Lai. Ming spent three years following the efforts of Susan Quaglietti, an experienced nurse practitioner who founded the program, and documents her work with veterans including Mark Pinto, a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot during the Gulf War who became a Buddhist priest and then an artist.

“In 2018, the U.S. will be looking at the 17th year of war in Afghanistan with no end in sight,” said Lai. “The untold cost is the many veterans who return home suffering from mental illness, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST), and moral injury.”

During the Vietnam War, at least 18.7% of veterans developed PTSD (Dohrenwend et al., 2006). And during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, data suggests that 36.9% of veterans were diagnosed with a mental illness—21.8% with PTSD and 17.4% with depression (Seal et al., 2009). Approximately 22 veterans commit suicide each day.

Approximately one-half of the veterans who receive traditional evidence-based therapy still experience symptoms of mental illness. As result, many alternative therapies are being explored, including art therapy. 

“Using art such as photography is visually based and it can assist with expressing suppressed feelings associated with problems such as PTSD and MST,” said Quaglietti. “This type of therapeutic intervention can be highly beneficial for some veterans and some even believe that participating in this process may have saved their life.”

The VPRP supplements traditional therapy, helping veterans learn how to relax their body, focus their mind, be in the moment, appreciate beauty, capture their subject, and affirm life, using this process to express their feelings, tell their stories, and assist their recovery.

The film will be released on Veterans Day, and will be available through Amazon Video Direct, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo on Demand, and online at www.visionsofwarriors.com/store. The film received a generous grant from the Stanford Medicine & the Muse Program, premiered at the prestigious Vail Film Festival, and was selected for an Honorable Mention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2017 Voice Awards. To watch the trailer and learn more about Visions of Warriors including screenings in Palo Alto and other locations, please visit www.visionsofwarriors.com.

About Humanist Films
Humanist Films, LLC is a film and photography production company, based in Los Angeles. Founded by filmmaker and photographer Ming Lai, Humanist Films is less of a traditional production company than an innovative think tank, gathering the brightest minds to research, plan, create, and change. Our interdisciplinary work ranges from narrative and documentary films to commercials and corporate videos to fine art and documentary photography projects. The name of our company honors legendary director, Akira Kurosawa, who was praised for his humanist compassion and inspired us to become filmmakers. www.humanistfilms.com

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References:
Dohrenwend, B. P., Turner, J. B., Turse, N. A., Adams, B. G., Koenen, K. C., & Marshall, R. (2006). The psychological risks of Vietnam for US veterans: a revisit with new data and methods. Science, 313(5789), 979-982. doi: 10.1126/science.1128944

Seal, K. H., Thomas, J., Gima, K. S., Bertenthal, D., Maguen, S., & Marmar, C. R. (2009). Trends and risk factors for mental health diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care. American Journal of Public Health. 99(9), 1651-1658. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.150284

Toomey, R., Kang, H. K., Karlinsky, J., Baker, D. G., Vasterling, J. J., Alpern, R., ... & Eisen, S. A. (2007). Mental health of US Gulf War veterans 10 years after the war. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(5), 385-393. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.105.019539