Nicole Amelio-Casper

Nicole Amelio-Casper

Independent Filmmaker

Other Roles: Director, Producer, Editor

Areas of Focus: Documentaries

Organization: Amelio MediaLLC

Biography

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I began my filmmaking journey at American Forces Network (AFN) in Mannheim, Germany. As a producer, cinematagrapher and editor for both radio and TV I became passionate about producing stories that highlighted how the human spirit can and will triumph in the midst of adversity. It was an honor and privilege to be trained by soldiers and as well as civilians at AFN and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

I  produced a documentary that chronicles the experiences of several inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas. Immersed in a very unique program called the Brothers in Blue Re-entry program, these inmates not only receive an education and professional skills, but also develop invaluable character building skills. The Brothers change their behavior drastically and redefine their character as they move forward and plan for their lives after prison. In essence, Voices of Hope shows how they transform the very core of who they are.  

My second documentary is entitled, The Journey Back to Normal – A Look at Complementary Therapies to Combat PTSD. I am a veteran’s spouse and I am also freelance producer for ABC News National.  I spent over 2 decades traveling with my family in the military. There were many years of good times. There was so much excitement  moving from state to state and meeting new friends. Each community had its own tight knit military community. We even lived in Europe for almost 3 years which was such an adventure.  I am NOW a veteran spouse, – I was one of the many military spouses on the other side of the pond supporting my close girlfriends, my husband’s colleagues and friends and my husband as they endured deployments.  When they returned home with wounds, some were seen, some were unseen. Some came home with wounds so deep, they withdrew from others, and lost their a sense of normalcy.

These are the men and women with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

When we moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from Fort Bragg, North Carolina I felt more than compelled to film a documentary that would explore different therapies to heal veterans and others with PTSD. I started connecting with non-profits in the Kansas City area that offered complementary therapies for veterans. When I shared my vision  with the directors, they were on board right away to be part of this project.

 

After months of planning, my Journey began filming “The Journey Back to Normal – A Look at Complementary Therapies to Combat PTSD.”  This film sheds light on truly effective complementary therapies in which veterans are immersed, to combat the adverse effects of PTSD. The film documents how these therapies can aid in the healing process in a holistic way AND it shows how these community heroes step in and step up to help our warriors in their hour of need. It’s important to mention some VA facilities do offer complimentary therapy programs – but there is NOT enough funding.

 

Testimonies shared in the film are focused more on present positive experiences rather than their past trauma. It is truly a hope-filled film and it really shows how men and women exiting the military can have a second LIFE – service members have such a strong sense of identity through the military and it IS literally what defines them. When they exit the military, they not only have some issues, but some have an identity crisis as well. These therapies can really give them a 2nd life in more ways than one!

 

There is some reality woven into the film-the statistics I include in the film are a bit shocking, but I wanted to make sure the audience realizes the critical nature of this issue.

 

Our ultimate goal AND mission IS to create awareness about true healing through this film  – 

 

I filmed on location at 4 non- profit organizations founded by veterans and families who were connected in some way to the military and the veteran community.

The non-profit organizations are located in the Fort Leavenworth area and  in Dallastown, Pennsylvania. These outstanding non-profits are Camp Valor Outdoors, Horses and Heroes, Warriors Best Friend, and Equiteam Support Services. They provide outdoor recreation therapy, Eagala equine-assisted psychotherapy, canine therapy, and one other therapy I won’t reveal.  It is surprising to me and it may be for you too. Please contact them for more information on how to be part of their amazing programs! www.campvaloroutdoors.org, www.horsesandheroes.org, www.warriorsbestfriend.org, and www.equiteam.org