'Surviving Home' Aims to Build Bridges and Create 'Human Connection'


For filmmakers Matthew and Jillian Moul, "Surviving Home" serves one purpose: create connections.

Their 85-minute film-- screening Saturday as part of this week's GI Film Festival San Diego -- is described as "an intimate documentary that follows four U.S. military veterans from different generations over an eight-year period as they rebuild their lives after war."

Currently on the film festival circuit, "Surviving Home," Matthew Moul says, has opened his eyes to the plight of veterans: "We learned during the filmmaking process that many veterans feel isolated when they return home from military service, and our hope is that this film can be a first step in creating simple human connection and conversation."

Saturday's screening -- at 3:30 p.m. at UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center -- will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers, Matthew Moul says, and "we are lucky enough to be able to include local San Diego Army veteran Steven Padilla. Steven is a friend of Tracey Cooper-Harris, one of the veteran subjects whom we followed extensively in the film. Tracey has a previous commitment and can't come to San Diego, so Steven will participate in the Q&A in her place."

"As a trans-generational documentary, 'Surviving Home' tells the stories of veterans from World War II to current day," he adds. "In many ways, these men and women of different generations can complete each others' sentences. At the same time, the climate returning home after deployment is different for each of them, and each of their experiences as individuals is unique.

"One common thread is that so many veterans we met not only overcame their obstacles to survive at home, but they thrived, and they often did so by giving back and helping others."

"Surviving Home," released in 2017, won the Audience Award for best overall film at the 2018 Vail Film Festival, and it is nominated at GI Film Festival San Diego for Best Documentary Feature.

Winners will be announced Saturday.

GI Film Festival San Diego

When: Various times, through Sept. 30.

Where: Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, and UltraStar Cinemas, 7510 Hazard Center Drive, Mission Valley

Tickets: $8 to $10 for individual films; $120 for an all-access pass

This article is written by Michael James Rocha from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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