We are all getting swept up in a tidal wave of change called ‘progress.’ But somewhere among all this upgrading, updating, and modernizing, it might be a good idea to take a deep breath and check in on what’s being lost.

Life is moving forward so fast, both technologically and culturally, how do we stay attached to the roots that made us? That’s what Reconnecting Roots is all about— taking a moment to reflect on the heritage that’s still all around us. And use it to spark conversation across generations.

So we are committed to sharing the stories that can illuminate the past and guide us forward. 

Reconnecting Roots is a half hour docu-series about American history and progress. We liken it to a Ken Burns meets Bill Nye the Science Guy take on history, but Reconnecting Roots has a flavor all it’s own. In each episode we explore history, culture, & music and encourage the viewer to ask questions and desire to learn more. 

 
 
 

My name is Nicole Amelio-Casper and I am a veteran’s spouse. I am a documentary filmmaker and 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. We flew on military planes to different countries and sometimes we were the only family on the plane! The pilot would take my kids to cockpit – it was a C17 and if you know anything about military planes, they are mammoth. So We made a lot good memories. But then there were the deployments…

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.

Currently, medical professionals give antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and even Botox to alleviate PTSD symptoms.  However, sometimes masking the symptoms with medication doesn’t attack the issue(s) head on. And as many can attest, Veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam wars and are scarred with wounds that are hard to cope with and sometimes they fester inside; but once they do surface,  many veterans conceal the symptoms as they reintegrate with their families, and in their communities, and in the workplace. I know this to be true because of my conversations with those in the film and with many conversations with my close friends and military family.

THE VA generally does offer trauma focused psychotherapies such as Prolonged Exposure therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and others. The VA has incredible resources and the therapies. However, they may not be effective for everyone.  

This really hit home when one of my best friends in North Carolina who was in the Army for 24 years revealed to me she had PTSD. She told me her story – every single detail-from the moment of when the trauma occurred overseas, to what she copes with every day. She also stopped taking medication because there were negative side effects. My heart just went out to her and I wanted to help her and others like her in that very moment.

Wen 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

“The Journey Back to Normal – A Look at Complementary Therapies to Combat PTSD” 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. Testimonies that are shared by veterans are positive and do not focus so much on their PTSD and their trauma, but rather veterans speak on the effectiveness of these complementary therapies.

Many ask me why I wanted to film this documentary. My answer is this: 20 veterans a day. That is 20 veterans who commit suicide every day as well as active duty military. Over 6000 veterans committed suicide in 2018. 

I had friends who were married to soldiers with PTSD after coming home from war and I had close girl friends with PTSD who also served overseas. Their lives were broken. Some marriages ended and some lives ended because of PTSD. 

Our goal is to educate and enlighten the public and to save lives in our military and veteran communities and beyond! 

Website:  https://www.thejourneybacktonormal.com

Bina McLoughlin

“She was a queen by name and nature.”

“She was one hell of a woman.”

The Queen of the Connemara is the narrative account of one woman’s extraordinary life on the Maanturk mountains in Country Galway, Ireland. Dressed in flowing colorful shawls with dark black ringlets and a booming voice, Bina McLoughlin seems like a character from a different era – or straight out of a fairytale. Much more than a biography, Queen of the Connemara is an expose of a vivid life shrouded in mystery, magic and hidden money. . Bina was part shepherdess, storyteller, ballad singer, actress, local celebrity, animal lover, political aficionado and – some say – even a witch.

She was as loved as she was feared. A true enigmatic personality. ​

 

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won international praise for signing a peace agreement to end five decades of civil war that left some 260,000 people dead and 8 million displaced. His persistence transformed a country that was once the murder capital of the world into a global destination for investment and tourism. Port of Destiny tells the story of Santos’ path to peace: As Defense Minister he waged war on FARC, a terrorist guerrilla movement; as President, he brokered peace—but paid a steep political price. Featuring interviews with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, the films draws on deep access to its Colombian subjects to tell the story of how this former military hawk risked his career and his legacy to bring peace to his people.

SellersEaston Media, together with the film team of Emmy-award winning director Robert Abbott, traveled to Bogota, Colombia, and the formerly FARC-controlled surroundings to interview President Juan Manuel Santos, his family, political leaders on all sides of the spectrum, and victims of the 50 years of violence. Former President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair, also interviewed by SellersEaston, offer intimate perspectives on their friend and fellow statesman, and reflect on the lessons his struggle holds for other conflicts around the globe.

www.portofdestiny.com

Has Dream of Italy or Under The Tuscan Sun inspired you in your life? Has a trip to Italy changed your life? Here’s a chance to give back and pay it forward by supporting public television and the new special Dream of Italy: Under The Tuscan Sun.

The book and movie Under The Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes true story of renovating a villa in Tuscany – have captivated millions around the world. Mayes’ real life second act in life is the quintessential dream of Italy…Tens of thousands travel each year to the hilltop town of Cortona just to catch a peek at Bramasole, perhaps the most famous home in all of Italy. In this half-hour special, Dream of Italy host Kathy McCabe visits with Frances and her husband, for an exclusive tour of Bramasole, including the rarely seen interior. Ed even takes her into the olive grove for the harvest! Then Frances introduces Kathy and viewers to her Cortona, a place where visitors can feel an authentic sense of community in just a few days. The best thing about Cortona, the locals – Frances introduces Kathy to chef Silvia for a cooking lesson with local ingredients and master jeweler Sebastian demonstrates Tuscany’s gold-smithing tradition.

Fans love Dream of Italy and Under the Tuscan Sun and Mayes and McCabe make a powerhouse duo inspiring the traveler or just any viewer who aspires to make a dream come true, even later in life. This will be a cherished special for years to come as it will air and repeat on PBS/Create TV/online for at least four years.

Public television programming is made possible by YOU, corporate sponsors and individual donors. We can’t create this inspirational and informative programming without your support. Your tax-deductible donation of at least $2,500 will be acknowledged on-screen before and after every airing. 

$2500 Tax-Deductible Donation Includes Your Name on Screen Before/After Every Airing
BONUSES:
Copy of Under The Tuscan Sun book signed/personally dedicated by Frances Mayes
Bottle of Bramasole olive oil
One-year digital membership to Dream of Italy
Exclusive online preview screening months before special airs on broadcast.
Invitation to premiere party if one is thrown (each season we have had one so very likely).
Your name will appear something like this

$15,000 Tax-Deductible Donation Includes Six Seconds Total of Messaging Before/After Every Airing
BONUSES:
Copy of Under The Tuscan Sun book signed/personally dedicated by Frances Mayes
Bottle of Bramasole olive oil
One-year print membership to Dream of Italy
One-hour travel consultation with host Kathy McCabe
Exclusive online preview screening months before special airs on broadcast.
Invitation to premiere party if one is thrown (each season we have had one so very likely).
Your message will appear like one of these messages or simply as your name on screen for six seconds total.

If you would prefer to remain anonymous (no name on screen) with your donation, you may. If you would prefer to make your donation by check, email kathy@dreamofitaly.com for details.

Don’t Take That Receipt! is a public health and environmental justice campaign based around a humorous 3 minute video about BPA in receipts. Our mission is to educate vulnerable populations — those who work in stores and restaurants – and the general public, about the presence of bisphenol-A (BPA) (and bisphenol-S (BPS) in receipts. We also provide tips and assistance for reducing exposure and creating systems changes that benefit the health of workers and customers.

BPA and BPS are used to coat thermal receipt paper and rubs off onto skin with contact. Counterintuitively, using hand sanitizer increases the rate of absorption. These phenols can interfere with hormonal regulation and are associated with nearly a dozen health problems; they are most harmful to women, pregnant women, teens, and kids. Our goal is to educate about this widely unknown issue that affects nearly everyone. After creating a humorous video, an educational website and handouts, and an outreach strategy, we are now launching our campaign.

We will be addressing several audiences through this campaign:

Video and website: www.bpa-free.me

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM

Through the riveting stories of five American communities, Right to Harm exposes the devastating public health impact that factory farming has on many of our country’s most disadvantaged citizens. Known formally as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFOs – these facilities produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys the quality of life for nearby neighbors. Fed up with the lack of regulation, these citizens turned activists band together from across the country to demand justice.

Executive produced by legendary New York Times food author and activist, Mark Bittman.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher are the storytellers at Hourglass Films behind the 2016 documentary, Sustainable. The film was a passion project for them, combining their roles as food activists with their talents as documentary filmmakers. Sustainable was screened at 40+ film festivals around the world and won the 2016 Accolade Global Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement. Their past work includes the 2012 New York Emmy-nominated documentary Different is the New Normal, which aired nationally on PBS and was narrated by Michael J. Fox.

Learn more about the film at righttoharm.film

On the morning of April 22nd, 2008 two U.S. Marines, LCpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale, were standing gate watch in Ramadi, Iraq when a suicide truck bomber barreled toward their post. Haerter and Yale had six seconds to act, firing their weapons until the driver was brought to a halt. The truck exploded, killing both men, while sparing the lives of 150 Marines and Iraqi Police.

Less about glorifying warfare or the true event itself, the film aims to provide context to the unimaginable: to show these young men as everyday people put in extraordinary circumstances, and explain why there was never doubt in their actions and decisive sacrifice that fateful morning.

DONATE AND OWN THE FILM:
 
Donate to the production and receive an uncompressed 4K resolution digital download of the film. Your donation is tax-deductible.

Can he become the first Muslim governor in U.S. history?

This feature-length documentary film follows the journey of Abdul El-Sayed, a 33-year-old American Muslim doctor who decided to risk it all by running for governor of Michigan, a state key to Donald Trump’s stunning victory.

With exclusive behind-the-scenes access along with full editorial control, the documentary tracks the campaign through triumph, disappointment and danger as Abdul and his team try to reshape the public imagination of what’s possible in American politics.

LOGLINE:

Recipe For Disaster is the story of an ecological catastrophe in the making in four neighboring towns on the Massachusetts coast. As native scallops, mussels, clams, and protective eelgrass disappear under the explosive invasion of green crabs, scientists, local experts, and residents are scrambling to save the marsh from decimation.

DESCRIPTION:

When faced with an invasive species and the prospect of ecological devastation, residents along the New England coast are in search of a sustainable solution to save the marsh.

Recipe For Disaster tells the story of the little-known invasion that is threatening an entire New England ecosystem, and the struggle of local experts and residents to understand and prevent this catastrophe. Driven by the rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine, billions of green crabs have overrun the abundant natural marshes on coastal Massachusetts, decimating the populations of clams, scallops, mussels, and eelgrass that birds and fish depend upon to survive. In just a few short years of explosive population growth, the damage caused by green crabs has local residents and experts rushing to avert irreparable destruction with approaches such as transplanting eelgrass and paying fishermen to trap the crabs for compost.

The most promising solution, however, is popping up on gourmet restaurant menus in the form of green crab roe.

This short, powerful documentary film explores one aspect of the consequences of climate change that are echoed in coastal communities around the world, with stunning footage of the beautiful marshes and estuaries whose salvation may come on a dinner plate.

Running Time: 6:45

Format: Interviews and Verité style footage

Release Date: Fall 2018

A Production of Walker Creek Media, LLC

Contact: Nubar Alexanian Email: nubar@nubar.com Phone: 978-281-6152

www.walkercreekmedia.com