Through Their Eyes: A Film About Horses Healing Veterans
Through Their Eyes: A Film About Horses Healing Veterans
Through Their Eyes will tell the powerful story of veterans working with horses to heal their invisible wounds of war.
Through Their Eyes will tell the powerful story of veterans working with horses to heal their invisible wounds of war. Read more
About this project
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” Jose Narosky
Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD. In 2011 the number of PTSD diagnosed cases rose by 50%. Many more cases are not diagnosed or treated. 18 veterans/soldiers commit suicide every day (Department of Veterans Affairs). For every American soldier killed in combat this year, 25 will commit suicide (NY Times). The unemployment rate for veterans is over 12%, larger than the general population average of 8.2%. 23 % of the homeless population are veterans.
“Through Their Eyes” will be a documentary film that tells the story of how equine therapy works and how it is allowing veterans to heal from PTSD, put the past behind them and return to their lives restored. Watching them overcome their struggles while working with horses in order to heal will be an inspiring, hopeful experience. Please help me make this film so we can get this story out there to as many people as possible.
As our soldiers return from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, they bring with them wounds they suffered in our service. The unseen wounds of war are just as debilitating and devastating as the ones we can see. Participating in war changes people in ways they couldn't haven't imagined and many veterans find themselves unable to leave the nightmare of what they've seen and heard and done behind.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an insidious psychological condition that is caused by exposure to constant risk, fear and uncertainty. It’s called a disorder but really it’s a normal reaction to experiencing traumatic events and unrelenting extreme stress. Veterans living with PTSD feel on edge all the time, sudden noises make them jump out of their skin, they suffer terrifying recurring nightmares and they avoid talking about their war experiences because they are too painful to recount and too horrible to share with someone who has not been to war.
Though traditional therapies have helped some to overcome this debilitating condition, many others have found no respite from the anguish they suffer every day.
Working with horses in an educational and therapeutic way began as a formalized practice about 20 years ago in an evolution of humankind's relationship with the horse. Now equine therapy is being increasingly used with veterans to help them heal from the psychological effects of warfare. And it’s working beautifully. By their sheer presence, horses are able to bring people into the present where all true healing takes place. Through their incredible energy and sensitivity, they have the ability to restore a person to balance. And through their non-judgmental, non-verbal communication, they can enable a person to speak from their hearts and unburden their souls. And it is an accessible treatment as veterans are able to participate in most programs at no cost to them. The every increasing number of practitioners and programs for veterans all around the country in urban, suburban, and country settings means more veterans can be reached.
The film will bring portray the story of the many challenges veterans face after returning from the battlefield as they try to reintegrate into civilian life, forever changed by their experiences of war. We’ll deal with the stigma of PTSD that keeps veterans from seeking help and the military culture that tells its soldiers to suck it up and not admit weakness. And people will never look at horses the same way again. We'll tell the story "Through Their Eyes”. And we need your help to do it.
HOW WE’LL SPEND THE MONEY
If we make our modest goal of $30,000, we will be able to begin pre-production to find our film’s subjects and start shooting. Our total budget for the film is $250,000 (it just takes a tremendous amount of time and talented people to make something good) so the more we raise on Kickstarter the more we will be able to do on the film (and not spend most of our time fundraising!). We are pursuing additional sources of funding in addition to the Kickstarter campaign but money raised here will, well, kick start the film!
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food and other creative fields. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL?
If we don’t raise the amount of our goal, we don’t get anything. Donors pledge amounts throughout the time period but don’t actually pay anything until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Make a contribution! And please spread the word. Everything you do will help! You can be a part of the team that gets this project off the ground!
Tell your friends about the project.
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CAN DONORS INCREASE PLEDGES ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN MADE?
Absolutely! If you have already donated, and are signed into your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive!
CAN I GIVE AN INCENTIVE AS A GIFT?
Yes, you can, it’s a wonderful idea. After the campaign, when we contact you for details on getting you your incentive, you can then give us the information for the person you wish to gift.
MORE INFO ABOUT SOME OF THE REWARDS
For more information about the Equine Guided Session, go to www.gallopventures.com or contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No riding experience is necessary, as the programs involve interacting with horses on foot in the paddock. Gallop Ventures is part of the rapidly growing field of “Equine Guided Education” (EGE) -- a dynamic method for empowering individuals, families and workgroups through on-the-ground workshops with horses. EGE draws upon the innate sensibilities of horses to explore relationships, communication skills, goal setting, teamwork and leadership with the ultimate goal of bringing about positive change and a greater sense of connection to the world and ourselves.
HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU?
You can reach me, Suzanne Warren, at email@example.com -feel free to email with questions and comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
Please visit the film’s website www.throughtheireyesthemovie.com. There are links there to sites about veterans, horses and equine therapy/education.
The film will follow several veterans as they begin the long process of healing from the psychic wounds of war with equine therapy. We’ll be able to see the changes in them and in their lives as they participate in the therapy process. It’s been said that being in war splits a person into two where they wall off their emotions and empathy in order to survive the experience. We’ll witness their struggles and their triumphs as they seek to put themselves back together, to reclaim their whole selves.
Various experts will be featured in the film too. Leading experts in PTSD will enlighten us about the nature of the disorder and we'll get a glimpse into the military culture that helps to create it. Buck Brannaman, renowned Natural Horsemanship guru (and focus of the recent documentary “Buck”, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award), has agreed to be interviewed for the film where he will share his insights and experiences of the horse’s power to make us better human beings. Other equine masters will share the history and remarkable story of this mythic, iconic creature’s long collaboration with humans. A lot of people associate horses with a wealthy lifestyle but it’s far from the truth. Millions of horse owners across the country are just regular people who happen to feel so strongly attracted to these creatures that they must have them in their lives even if it means doing without something they want or need for themselves.
The film, while utilizing interviews, will emphasize a quiet, contemplative, poetic approach to bring viewers into the essence of the story, creating a powerful emotional experience.
Silver Avenue Pictures will produce the documentary film “Through Their Eyes.” Suzanne Warren will produce, write and direct and David Nicholson will be the director of photography and editor.
Suzanne has been a producer, writer, and director for over twenty-six years and she’s a relentless perfectionist with a passion for details and devoted to telling an engaging, compelling story that aims to move people and make a difference. She was a writer on the film “Someplace With a Mountain” which premiered at the San Barbara Film international Festival and has aired on many PBS stations across the country. It told the story of a group of islanders living on atolls in the South Pacific that are threatened with rising sea levels due to climate change. This film has successfully attracted the attention and money of several prominent philanthropists who are going to help the islanders relocate!
David Nicholson brings a wealth of great ideas and fierce dedication to any project he undertakes. He’s currently working on the documentary “Life is Hard, Music is Good” for KSK records about West African music and culture. He has also worked on the documentary “Someplace With a Mountain” and has been the Program Director of The Nevada City Film Festival since 2005.
Many other talented individuals will join the team as the film production progresses.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
A Big Thank You and Shout Out to all who worked on the Trailer: Director of Photography and Editor, David Nicholson, cameraman Camen Hodges and Music Composer Justin Hunt. And also, my undying gratitude to the vets who were brave enough to honestly share with us their stories so you might know the truth.
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