(9 minutes) Iraq/USA
Director: Tom Eldridge
Producer: Annalisa Hodgkins
Beyond Iraq follows young soldiers, severely injured during
the War in Iraq, as they find freedom and adventure in the Rocky Mountains.
Awaiting discharge from "medical hold," referred to by the veterans
as the "medical hole," the soldiers travel to Colorado to participate
in an adaptive winter sports program with Challenge Aspen. Bradley, one
of the young subjects of the documentary, had been hit by sniper fire
and his body was littered with shrapnel. He came to the program while
awaiting yet another surgery at his twelfth hospital to date. He and the
other veterans are at first skeptical of the Challenge Aspen program,
wary of causing more harm to their already severely injured bodies. They
soon find their fears are groundless as they enjoy the mountain sports,
encouraged and supported by the Challenge Aspen team. They return to their
lives of rehabilitation in hospitals with revitalized spirits and a new
sense of purpose. Uplifting and intriguing, Beyond Iraq includes awe-inspiring
footage of severely disabled veterans as they ski, snowboard, and sit-ski.
The footage is supplemented with discerning interviews that reveal how
these soldiers have changed through their experience of war in Iraq.
Tom Eldridge is the owner of the U.K.-based company iKandi Media.
He has worked in the television and film industry since 1999. He began
his career producing and directing award-winning snowboarding videos.
Tom has been the cameraman and editor for several U.K. reality TV shows
such as Sex in the Sticks, a twelve-part series The Tanner
Brothers, and Cruise Line. Tom won the Jury Award for outstanding
film and cinematography for the short documentary From Fear to Faith:
Ordinary People Extra Ordinary Lives at the Aspen Shorts Fest 2005.
Beyond Iraq was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival
2006. Tom is currently working on an observational documentary following
eighteen newly injured veterans of the war in Iraq as they take a white
water raft trip through the Grand Canyon.
Annalisa Hodgkins, Producer
937 Vito's Way
Carbondale, CO 81623
970 309 7588
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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