Wednesday, July 2, 2008

‘In Their Boots’ Series Kicks Off Tonight

As media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to decline, Brave New Films has stepped up its online efforts to help bring the war home.

The weekly web documentary series, “In Their Boots,” is funded by a grant from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact fund (IADIF), produced by Brave New Foundation (BNF), and will be live-streamed beginning tonight at 6 p.m. (CST).

The online show will broadcast a new episode every Wednesday and will feature Iraq and Afghanistan service men and women and their families, who share how their lives have been impacted by these ongoing wars.

Then, in a live forum the series host, Jan Bender, will interview the participants and lead a discussion that includes experts, service-providers and individual viewers in an interactive discussion of the issues raised. Bender is a veteran of the war in Iraq who served as a rifleman/combat correspondent in Iraq with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines from 2004 to 2005.

“In Their Boots” Trailer

The idea for the new series stemmed from a conversation between Jim Miller of BNF and a supporter, which Miller documents in an e-mail message sent out to other supporters:

Last summer I got a call from someone who had seen some of our past work. She started off being extremely complimentary about the issues we were bringing to light, marveling at how widely we were able to distribute our short videos to not only inform, but to motivate viewers to take action. She then asked if Brave New Foundation would be interested in taking on a large project to help amplify the stories of a group of Americans whose efforts and sacrifices weren't being acknowledged. She warned me that it would be a difficult task since it only directly affected less than 1% of the US population.

Being a bit headstrong (even in my middle age), I said that no task was too difficult. If there is an injustice, we could tackle it and help to make it right! But what she wanted was difficult. The task we took on was to tell the stories of servicemembers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over the past several months, as we gathered our staff and began to meet the men and women who have served, we knew that it would be a privilege to be able to share the stories of these servicemembers and their families so that the other 99% of the US population can better understand what is happening to our troops when they return from war.