A coalition of Columbus, Ohio, cultural institutions have joined forces to host a free virtual screening of the “National Veterans Film Festival Presents Series,” on Sept. 17 -26, 2021.

The 10-day event connects Americans to Veterans’ voices and stories by celebrating the contributions and resiliency of our nation’s Veterans.

Co-creator Jaymes Poling narrates the film,Modern Warrior LIVE. He spent three years in Afghanistan as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The autobiographical production details Poling’s time in the military and his subsequent transition back home through spoken word and music.

The film was shot during the pandemic in 2020 and includes dynamic performances by internationally acclaimed musician, Dominick Farinacci, along with a renowned cast of artists.

It features an appearance by Vietnam Veteran and news anchor, Leon Bibb.

Register here.

The filmed performance seeks to build dialogue between Veteran and civilian communities by educating, entertaining and empowering. The focus on post-traumatic growth aims to destigmatize the Veteran community through a deeper understanding of their experiences.

The show explores the psychological weights of war, the challenges of reintegration as a civilian and the potential for positive personal and communal growth.

A taped panel discussion will follow the screening and VA resources will be provided.

More that unites us than divides us

“There is so much more that unites Americans than divides us,” said Lt. General Michael Ferriter, U.S. Army (Retired), president and CEO of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “By screening films made by Veterans or that tell stories about Veterans, this festival can address their human experience and inspire a dialogue about what it means to serve our nation and commit to something larger than yourself.”

The screening series is a partnership of some of Ohio’s leading arts and culture organizations. They include the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Gateway Film Center, and the VA Ohio Health Care System – including Columbus, Chillicothe, and Cleveland Whole Health teams.

Film has great impact on our culture

“Sitting at the intersection of art, education, technology and politics, film is the art form that has been most influenced by Americans and that has had the greatest impact on our culture,” said Chris Hamel, president of Gateway Film Center. “Columbus is developing a great collection of annual film festivals and the National Veterans Film Festival is a needed addition.”

Registration for the free film screening and additional information about the National Veterans Film Festival can be found here.

Watch the trailer here.

Note: viewers using government-issued equipment will only be able to access the presentation through the Google Chrome browser.

By Heather P. Seymour is director of Whole Health Community Partnerships and Communications, VA Central Ohio Health Care System

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Published on Sep. 15, 2021

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