This Week’s Snag Films: Summercamp!

SUMMERCAMP! follows the day-to-day drama of 90 kids let loose in the woods at Swift Nature Camp in northern Wisconsin. Camp is a place where kids can be kids, where their home and school lives momentarily fade into the background as they go through the highs and lows of adolescent rituals: sing-alongs, talent shows, homesickness, counselor mutiny–and first love. Amidst group activities, showy arguments, and secret conversations, filmmakers Bradley Beesley and Sarah Price submerge themselves into this curious camp subculture, capturing a diverse array of adolescents from all economic and social backgrounds. Through the non-calloused eyes of kids, SUMMERCAMP! captures the raw emotional experiences that will endure with them for the rest of their lives.

Summercamp! – 90 kids let loose in the woods at Swift Nature Camp in northern Wisconsin. Watch free documentaries. Share documentary films.

This Week’s Snag Film: Into the Thunder Dragon

This week’s free documentary from Snag Films is Into the Thunder Dragon, and it’s is like no other film you’ve ever seen.

Bring a rare, wild sport: extreme unicycling … to a remote Himalayan kingdom: Bhutan … and you have a recipe for unbelievable adventure!  Get ready for a spell-binding road trip and an enchanting journey unicycling on perilous 1,000-year-old caravan trails through the mountains and valleys of Bhutan—along with an intimate look at its unique people and rich culture.

RESTREPO to Screen at AFI SilverDocs this Weekend

'Restrepo' film directors Sebastian Junger (left) and Tim Hetherington (right) at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Junger and Hetherington jointly directed, filmed and produced the movie 'Restrepo' from June 2007 to January 2010. Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, Kunar Province. 2007. (Photograph © Tim Hetherington)

In the DC area this weekend?  Then we hope you’ll check out RESTREPO, a film from Vanity Fair correspondents Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington being shown at AFI’s SilverDocs festival this Friday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 7:00pm.  Junger will be joined by Major Daniel Kearney at Friday’s screening; on Sunday Major Kearney will be joined by Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin.  Click here to purchase tickets!

RESTREPO is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo,” named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 94-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.

The directors have this to say about their experience: “The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs can be a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.”

Please join us at SilverDocs on Friday or Sunday and keep an eye on this blog for upcoming news on this powerful documentary!

Special Discount for “The Way We Get By” this 4th of July!

Our good friends from the award-winning documentary THE WAY WE GET BY are extending a special USO discount, just in time for the 4th of July.  Simply visit the online store and enter code USO 25 to receive 25% off your purchase of the film!

In case you’re not yet familiar with TWWGB, here’s a brief synopsis: “Beginning as a seemingly idiosyncratic story about troop greeters – a group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport to thank American soldiers departing and returning from Iraq, the film quickly turns into a moving, unsettling and compassionate story about aging, loneliness, war and mortality.

When its three subjects aren’t at the airport, they wrestle with their own problems: failing health, depression, mounting debt. Joan, a grandmother of eight, has a deep connection to the soldiers she meets. The sanguine Jerry keeps his spirits up even as his personal problems mount. And the veteran Bill, who clearly has trouble taking care of himself, finds himself contemplating his own death. Seeking out the telling detail rather than offering sweeping generalizations, the film carefully builds stories of heartbreak and redemption, reminding us how our culture casts our elders, and too often our soldiers, aside. More important, regardless of your politics, “The Way We Get By” celebrates three unsung heroes who share their love with strangers who need and deserve it.”

If you live in the DC area, be sure to meet filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly as they discuss the story behind the film and its online companion piece, the Returning Home Project at the AFI Silver Docs Festival.   They’ll be at the Cafritz Auditorium at 3:30 on Tuesday, June 22nd.  Can’t make it to DC?  Then check out iTunes, where the film also continues to enjoy a run as one of the Top 10 documentary rentals!

We love the story of these Maine troop greeters and know that what they do is replicated in airports all over the world wherever there are Troops leaving or coming back.  Let us know what you think of the film, and enjoy a special bonus scene below!

*****

At the end of THE WAY WE GET BY, Joan’s granddaughter Amy deploys to Iraq– in January 2008 with her Maine National Guard unit. Watch this bonus scene shot in January 2009 at the Bangor International Airport.

more about “The Way We Get By – BONUS SCENE #1“, posted with vodpod

This Week’s Snag Film: Paragliding Across America

Paragliding Across America – this weeks’ FREE documentary from Snag Films – tells the story of the first paragliding expedition attempting to cross the United States from coast to coast, California to North Carolina.

Will Gadd, holder of the world paragliding record for distance, leads the first paraglide expedition attempting to cross the United States from coast to coast, California to North Carolina.  An epic six-week thrill ride at altitudes as high as 17,000 ft., never knowing where they would land and what they would find on the ground, and always captive to the winds, storms and thermals.

So Very Far From Home – Watch the Documentary Film for Free

So Very Far From Home tells the stories upon which Steven Spielberg’s epic film Empire of the Sun was based, as told by the people who lived it.

So Very Far From Home tells the stories of American, British and Australian children sent to brutal, overcrowded prison camps in Japanese-occupied China during World War II.  While the war eventually ended, China still lives in their hearts today.

For Patricia Dunn Silver, it’s the memory of July 4, 1943 when a group of imprisoned parents and children defiantly sang the one song their Japanese captors had forbidden—The Star-Spangled Banner.  Shanghai was once seven year-old Ronald Morris’ playground, but during the war years hunger was his constant companion. For Pamela Masters, a brash British teenager, months of imprisonment brought her within seconds of taking her own life. The war meant it would be years before Mary Taylor Previte would see her parents again.

What happens when the only world you ever knew is gone, and “home” is a place you’ve never seen?

As always, watching this documentary is FREE courtesy of Snag Films.   This video can be viewed worldwide and we hope you’ll share it…