21 February 2018

'In Their Boots' Event to Focus on Short Films Feb. 26

Two nationally recognized independent short films will be featured in a "In Their Boots Film Festival" presentation 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 26, on the Boone, Iowa campus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). A short Q&A session will follow, regarding the uses of the theatrical arts as a means of communicating experiences with the military.

A Facebook page for the event is here.

The event is co-sponsored by the DMACC-Boone student group In Their Boots 5k, and the Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect.

"Paws & Effect has a long-standing commitment to finding new ways to bring civilians and veterans closer together in mutual understanding and empathy, and the theatrical arts are a visceral, personal way to bring our stories to life," says Nicole Shumate, executive director for Paws & Effect. "We were proud to help bring The Telling Project to DMACC's Ankeny campus in 2012, and we're equally proud to partner with students at DMACC's Boone campus to put on this first-of-its-kind monthly civil-military film series."

Founded by DMACC psychology and sociology professor Sean Taylor in 2014, the In My Boots 5k is a student-run walk, run, and ruck event that promotes awareness and raises funds for area veteran-related charities. This year's event is scheduled for Sat., April 14 in Boone.

Established in 2006 and based in Des Moines, Paws & Effect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners. Its Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.

Based on a true story, and nominated for an Academy Award in the live-action short film category, the 25-minute "Day One" (2015) tells a day-in-the-life tale about a civilian language interpreter assigned to U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan. In her first day on the job, the main character encounters multiple physical, religious, and cultural challenges. For more information about the production, click here.

The 15-minute "A Marine's Guide to Fishing" (2011) tells a story of another first day on the job. On the first anniversary of getting blown up in Iraq, a U.S. Marine veteran returns to his civilian job repairing boat engines on the fishing docks of Southeastern Maine. Between peaceful scenery and open-arm welcomes, he confronts demons and his inner dialogue. The film was the result of a successful crowd-funding effort in 2010.

Following the presentation of the two films, 2012 "Telling: Des Moines" cast member and poet Randy Brown will facilitate a short Q&A session regarding different ways film and stage performances can help bridge gaps in understanding among military veterans and others.

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