Boston International Kids Film Festival will re-show ‘Veteran Kids’ in a “Best of the Fest” showing!

In early November, “Veteran Kids” was shown at the Boston International Kids Film Festival 2016.

Now, they are going to show “Veteran Kids” again at a “Best of the Fest” event for the best films from the 3-day event for an 1.5 hour compilation on February 2nd, 2017  at the Capitol Theatre in Arlington, MA.

Come support the “Best of the Fest” by watching “Veteran Kids” on the big screen!  They will be screening eight of the best shorts and six of the best kids films.  More details on the ticket link below!

To support us and see the fest: Buy tickets here! 

Pictured below: Producer Susan Hackley with family and friends at the Nov 3-4 Boston International Kids Film Festival last fall!

“We Are Moving Stories” interviews producer of “Veteran Kids” and a Child’s Guide to War

What an exciting year for A Child’s Guide to War. We were selected for three film festivals, (Middle Coast, MY HERO and Boston Kids International) and now we’ve been interviewed and profiled by an organization called We are Moving Stories.   The organization broadcasts new voices in the arts, particularly women’s projects.

Read below the story they published!

Veteran Kids

The Impact of War on America’s Children and Families.

Interview with Producer and Director: Susan Hackley

Congratulations! Why did you make your film?

We made this short film, Veteran Kids, to show how our wars impact children in ways that are invisible to most Americans. Two million American children have a parent who has been to war. In our short film, children speak movingly about what it’s like when dad or mom goes to war. This will be part of a longer documentary film we are making for Public Television about the impact of war on America’s veteran children.

I was motivated to make this film by my own experience. My boyfriend served and died in Vietnam. I felt alone in my grief and unsupported. My son served in and returned home safely from the Iraq war. I vowed to do whatever I could to encourage better, more inclusive conversations about war. War is too important for any of our voices to be silenced.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

You should watch this film because it is honest and emotional. There are no adults – just children talking to each other about war. It’s not like anything you will have seen before. And it’s short – under six minutes!

How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

War and peace are universal themes. Everyone knows someone who has gone to war – maybe a great-uncle, brother, neighbor, or friend. And we all know how hard it can be to talk about war. How does someone who has never been to war talk to someone who has? How can a veteran talk to us about some of the awful things he saw in war? In our film, we give children the opportunity to talk about war in a way that models honesty and candor. Even for children whose parents haven’t been to war, our country has been at war their entire lives. What is it like to grow up with that? What are their questions?
In “Veteran Kids”, children with parents who went to war talk with children who have no experience of war and tell what it’s like. “Veteran Kids” was filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In “Veteran Kids”, children with parents who went to war talk with children who have no experience of war and tell what it’s like. “Veteran Kids” was filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana.

How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?

Our film is unscripted. One way that our project has evolved over the course of its development is that we are learning from people of all ages that war impacted them as a child. A child whose dad fought in Vietnam has a lot in common with a child whose mom is serving in Iraq. Also, we are moving towards making our documentary for Public Television rather than initial release in theatres. We believe that television will be a great way to start spreading our message about the impact of war on children.

What type of feedback have you received so far?

Along with film making, we are holding public conversations about war at universities and in communities so we get lots of feedback. Nearly everyone says how moving the children in the film are. Many people come forward and speak about how war has impacted them. The dad with PTSD. The grandfather who only spoke about his war experiences on his deathbed, carrying all that pain for decades. The friend who drinks too much. Also the proud stories of service and heroism. We know that civilians often want to connect with veterans in meaningful ways. We try to model what a loving and respectful conversation can be. There is a kind of taboo against talking about war, and we don’t think that’s healthy for any of us.

Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?

The feedback has pushed us to keep going, even when we are low on funds and tired. No one is doing what our project is doing, and we want to give children and others the opportunity to tell their stories in a nonpartisan way. After we filmed children talking honestly about what it’s like to have dad or mom be off at war, their parents and some grandparents said to us, “We had no idea they felt that way”.

What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?

A goal of our project, A Child’s Guide to War, www.achildsguidetowar.com, is to help Americans have honest and respectful conversations about war without partisanship. The films we are making are a catalyst for that discussion. A child of ten in another ten years can join the military and vote. If we don’t talk to them about war now they will not be prepared to make informed decisions later.
In “Veteran Kids”, children with parents who went to war talk with children who have no experience of war and tell what it’s like. “Veteran Kids” was filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In “Veteran Kids”, children with parents who went to war talk with children who have no experience of war and tell what it’s like. “Veteran Kids” was filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Whom do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?

We need people who believe in our project and mission who will support the film financially.

What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?

A wide gulf exists in America between those who have served in the military and their families and those who haven’t. We would like viewers to have greater appreciation for the families who have a parent off at war, particularly the children who can be impacted in many different ways. We would like viewers to think about the impact of war on their own children, whether there is a parent away at war or not. Americans often think that war only happens “over there”. We will show you that war affects all of us and particularly our children.

What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?

How are children affected when their mom or dad goes off to war?

Would you like to add anything else?

We want civilians to be included in discussions about military service and war, and we want soldiers, veterans, and their families to feel appreciated and supported by civilians. We believe that every American has an ownership role in our wars and our military.

What are the key creatives developing or working on now?

We are working on a longer program for Public Television that expands our telling of how our wars impact our children.

 

http://www.wearemovingstories.com/we-are-moving-stories-videos/2016/11/11/veteran-kids

“Veteran Kids” accepted to TWO Film Festivals this week!

We are excited to announce that A Child’s Guide to War’s short film “Veteran Kids” has been selected for two different film festivals this week, our third festival this year!

The first, Boston International Kids Film Festival (BIKFF) will be showing “Veteran Kids” at the Davis Square Theater in Somerville, MA at some point between November 3rd-5th this year. More details to follow!  BIKFF is a festival promoting both works by kids and for kids, inspiring the next generation of filmmakers. We are thrilled to be invited to participate this year.

You can read more about the Boston International Kids Film Festival here: Info on BIKFF 

 

The second festival is the MY HERO International Film Festival, a festival that is sponsored by the My Hero Project, an organization that is dedicated to recognizing and supporting unsung heroes in our communities.  The MY HERO International Film Festival will be promoting all the winners online, and a select number of winners will be presented between November 18-19 in Santa Monica, CA. Stay tuned for an update on October 11th to see if our film will also be screened in Santa Monica.

You can read more about the MY HERO International Film Festival here:  Info on My Hero IFF 

 

Interview with Professor Diane Levin: American Children & War

Join us in watching this thought-provoking new video on our YouTube channel, an Interview with Wheelock Professor Diane Levin!

Interviewed by Producer Susan Hackley, of a Child’s Guide to War, Professor Diane Levin talks about the impact of war on American children and how we can talk to them about it.

Diane Levin, Ph.D., is Professor of Education at Wheelock College and an international expert on early childhood education. Her professional expertise and interests focus on issues related to promoting children’s play, the impact of media and media violence, violence prevention, and peacebuilding with children in communities affected by war and conflict. For over 25 years, Levin has worked with early childhood professionals, parents and policy makers. She has published nine books, including From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Power of Early Childhood Initiatives and Teaching Young Children in Violent Times. She co-wrote The ‘So Far’ Guide for Helping Children and Youth Cope with the Deployment of a Parent in the Military Reserves.

You heard us talking about our event in Indiana this past week, “A Conversation about War” — so how did it go?

The event, co-hosted by film producer Susan Hackley, and Silouan Green, author and veteran, who works with veterans with PTSD, had some lively discussions with a broad range of community members with something to say about war and its impact.

Veterans of Vietnam, World War II and the Iraq War had a lot to say about the need for deeper conversations about war. The message overwhelmingly was that when we send our sons and daughters off to fight a war, we should know exactly what we are asking them to do. It can be pretty ugly, and we shouldn’t sanitize war to make ourselves feel better.

Stay tuned for more community events like this one and make your voice heard!


Silouan Green and Susan Hackley together at the event.

Kokomo Tribune profiles our event next Thursday! Read below!

Our open mike “A Conversation about War” with Producer and Director Susan Hackley and local Indiana veteran Silouan Green, will be hosting an event next Thursday, June 14th for a community gathering to talk about war.

Kokomo Tribune has picked up the story and it’s been posted on Stars and Stripes: Click here for the article 

We invite veterans, soldiers, liberals, conservatives, independents, pacifists, parents and siblings – and anyone else with something to say about war.

This is for everyone. We hope you will come.

  • Tuesday, June 14, 7 PM.
  • Inventrek Technology Park Auditorium
  • 700 East Firmin Street Kokomo, Indiana 46902

Have friends or family in Indiana? Let them know about this exciting event!

We’ve had great publicity from Stars and Stripes about our upcoming “Conversation about War” in Kokomo, Indiana. This is our kickoff event – the first of what we hope will be many conversations about war around the US.

How has war changed you? Join the open mike in Kokomo, Indiana on June 14th at 7pm. Details below.

Join us for a community gathering to talk about war. This event will be led by Silouan Green, veteran and author, and Susan Hackley, documentary film producer, and it is open to everyone free of charge. We invite veterans, soldiers, liberals, conservatives, independents, pacifists, parents and siblings – and anyone else with something to say about war.

When a nation goes to war, a nation should have a conversation on why we fight, how we fight, and what we do when the fighting stops and our troops come home. Never before have so few served relative to the general population, and to many Americans the wars are all but invisible.

This Conversation about War is our first step in making sure that all Americans can express their thoughts about war and ask questions in an environment of respect and curiosity. This is for everyone. We hope you will come.

Tuesday, June 14, 7 PM.

Inventrek Technology Park Auditorium
700 East Firmin Street
Kokomo, Indiana 46902

Have friends or family in Indiana? Let them know about this exciting event!


“Veteran Kids” accepted to Middle Coast Film Festival

We are excited to announce that “Veteran Kids”, the short documentary film that A Child’s Guide to War produced last fall, has been accepted to the Middle Coast Film Festival! The festival will be held in Bloomington, Indiana on July 28-30. ‘Veteran Kids’ will be shown in the “documentary shorts” selection. Tickets to the film festival are available here: www.middlecoastfest.com/buy-tickets

If you haven’t seen Veteran Kids yet, watch it here, and see why it was selected for the Middle Coast Film Festival:

Producer Susan Hackley makes poignant point regarding war at USIP presentation last week

Last Thursday at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Susan Hackley led a panel discussion on “War Changes Everyone: The Hidden Costs of War at Home and Abroad”. The mother of a Marine who fought in Iraq, Susan Hackley was joined by Iraqi Khitam Alkhaykanee, a program officer at USIP, and Rob DuBois, Navy SEAL who served in Iraq. “We need to put human faces on those affected by war, and that includes the children of Americans who served in Iraq, and the children of Iraq impacted by war,” Hackley commented.

(Top) Susan Hackley with co-presenters, Khitam Alkhaykanee and Rob DuBois

 

Susan Hackley presents at the United States Institute of Peace, with Navy SEAL Rob DuBois

Producer Susan Hackley and Navy SEAL Rob DuBois will be presenting “War Changes Everyone” at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. this Thursday, May 26th. The presentation will show “Veteran Kids,” (linked below) A Child’s Guide to War’s most recent project, and Hackley and DuBois will discuss the impact of war on all Americans and what we can do to bridge the civilian-military divide.

 

(United States Institute of Peace pictured below)

A Conversation about War: Producer Susan Hackley travels to Indiana to lead an event with Silouan Green, veteran and author

A Conversation about War

Join us for a community gathering to talk about war. This event will be led by Silouan Green, veteran and author, and Susan Hackley, documentary film producer, and it is open to everyone free of charge. We invite veterans, soldiers, liberals, conservatives, independents, pacifists, parents and siblings – and anyone else with something to say about war.

When a nation goes to war, a nation should have a conversation on why we fight, how we fight, and what we do when the fighting stops and our troops come home. Never before have so few served relative to the general population, and to many Americans the wars are all but invisible.

This Conversation about War is our first step in making sure that all Americans can express their thoughts about war and ask questions in an environment of respect and curiosity. This is for everyone. We hope you will come.

Tuesday, June 14, 7 PM.

Inventrek Technology Park Auditorium
700 East Firmin Street
Kokomo, Indiana 46902

Associate Producer and Advisory Board Member Martha Jackson speaks at the Fletcher School about “Veteran Kids”


Associate Producer Martha Jackson was invited to speak at The Fletcher School and present “Veteran Kids”, our short film about the impact of war on America’s 2 million children whose parent(s) have deployed to our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other presenters were two talented writers, Army Capt. Matthew Gallagher, author of “Kaboom” and Sara Novic, author of “Girl at War”. This “Words After War” event brought veterans and civilians together to examine the many impacts of war through literature and film.

In this photo, left to right: Capt. Matthew Gallagher, Martha Jackson, Sara Novic, and moderator Michael Baskin.

Producer Susan Hackley meets with Silouan Green, veteran and motivational speaker


Project New Hope transforms the lives of veterans through free retreats for veterans and their families – a “healthy environment to learn from others and expand their experiences to develop methods to move beyond negative impacts that may have resulted from deployments or service in America’s Armed Forces.”

“A Child’s Guide to War” project founder Susan Hackley is shown here at a recent retreat in Groton, MA, with Silouan Green, Marine veteran and motivational speaker and writer. Silouan and Susan are planning an event in Indiana – “A Conversation about War” that will be open to the public and that will welcome everyone!

Why should we care?

Why should we care about bridging the civilian – military divide? Producer and project founder Susan Hackley talks about her motivation for launching this project, going back to the Vietnam War and the early days of the Iraq War. Listen to her interview on the link below with transpartisan public policy expert Michael Ostrolenk

Click here to listen!

Join us Monday, December 7th, for “War Changes Everyone”

You are invited to “War Changes Everyone”, a discussion to be co-led by Producer and Project Director Susan Hackley and internationally-renowned photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

Monday, December 7th
4:30pm-6pm

Harvard University
Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

The talk is part of the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar Series on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The theme for this year’s Kelman Seminar is “Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media”.

In their work, Susan and Anastasia show how war has a profound impact on everyone, not just soldiers. Susan in her short film will show the impact of war on the children of American soldiers. Anastasia with her photographs will talk about the impact of war on Ukrainian women and others.

Read more about them & the event here: http://www.pon.harvard.edu/…/kelman-seminar-war-changes-ev…/