Florida State to host 2nd Annual Student Veteran Film Festival

Florida State University students will bring Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick and his critically acclaimed film “The Invisible War” to the 2nd Annual Student Veteran Film Festival on Monday, Nov. 12.

A collaborative effort between the Collegiate Veterans Association, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association and College of Motion Picture Arts, the event will feature a discussion with Dick, who directed “The Invisible War.” The film, an investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military, focuses on the challenges of women and men who have been victims and how they have fought back to enact policies to combat the problem.

“We are proud to screen this nationally recognized film and host an event that creates enlightened discussion about an issue that affects servicemen and women and our nation’s veterans,” said Ryan Taylor, president of the FSU Collegiate Veterans Association. “Our goal is to bring national attention to instances of rape and sexual assault that pervade not only the military but college campuses as well. We want to engage the issues instead of turning a blind eye.”

Dick will receive the inaugural “FSU Student Veteran Torchlight Award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking” prior to the screening of the film. The award, which comes with a $25,000 stipend, will be given annually to a filmmaker who illuminates issues affecting veterans.

“As part of Florida State’s commitment to become the most veteran-friendly and veteran-empowering public university in the nation, we would like to recognize filmmakers who have the courage to explore the full range of issues that affect military service members, veterans and their families,” said FSU President Eric J. Barron. “I am pleased to honor Kirby Dick with this inaugural award for his powerful film that has already changed the way the military investigates sexual assault. It is my hope that this award will encourage other filmmakers to seek out the stories that need to be told.”

The event, the nation’s only film festival devoted to raising awareness of veterans’ issues, is intended to bridge the gap between veterans and the community. Paul Cohen, executive director of the College of Motion Picture Arts’ Torchlight program, secured the rights to screen the “The Invisible War.”

“With the hard work of our students, the Student Veteran Film Festival is already developing a reputation for screening contemporary cinema that becomes the center of national discussion,” Cohen said. “This year’s festival represents a special opportunity for everyone in our community to participate in that discussion and to meet a revered filmmaker — and some of his subjects — of a very important film.”

The film, distributed by Cinedigm and Docudrama Films, won the Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; the Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking at the 2012 Human Rights Watch Film Festival; and the Silver Heart Award at the 2012 Dallas International Film Festival. It also has been nominated for an IDA Award for Best Feature.

The Nov. 12 festival will begin with a reception at 3 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. screening of the film where Dick will be presented with the Torchlight Award. After the screening, a panel will discuss the film. Panelists include Dick; Amy Ziering, one of the film’s producers; Army Sgt. Myla Haider and attorney Susan Burke, both featured in the film; and Terrance Coonan, director of Florida State’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. After the panel discussion, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the panelists.

The Student Veteran Film Festival will take place:
3 – 7:30 P.M.

Tickets are $13 for students and $33 for the general public. To purchase a ticket, visit http://vetfilmfest.fsu.edu/tickets/.

Kirby Dick Biography:

The son of a World War II Navy veteran, Dick was nominated for an Emmy for “Outrage” (released by Magnolia Pictures), a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of powerful, closeted politicians and the political and media institutions that protect them. In 2006, he directed “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” released by IFC Films. A breakthrough investigation of the highly secretive MPAA film ratings system, the film compelled the MPAA to make long overdue changes in the way it rates films.

Dick’s prior film, “Twist of Faith,” is the powerful story of a man confronting the trauma of his past sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. Produced for HBO, “Twist of Faith” received a 2004 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.