Last week, Benjamin Patton’s (Grandson of General Patton) ‘I was there’ organisation ran a film workshop together with DFW and Natal for IDF veterans suffering from PTSD. The workshop was held in Tel Aviv, Israel and ran for most of the week. The sessions were 5 hours long, culminating in a screening of the films created on the last day. I was privileged to attend the first and last days.
Day One- Monday 15 Feb:
Today was the first of the four day workshop with Ben Patton from ‘I was there’ and the Natal team. To say it was an awesome day is an understatement. I think it is such an important and extremely needed initiative for Israeli veterans. Every minute was a meaningful experience. As far as I could see the participants enjoyed their experience today and are excited to start film making.
During the session the participants had the chance to meet each other and share their stories which was extremely moving. The task of the day was to create short silent films that describe one emotion. This exercise allowed the participants to fall into the mindset of what it means to produce a film, while thinking creatively about how to depict a feeling silently. The short films created were poignant and very relatable. The aim of the task was to practice film making before the participants begin the main films of the workshop tomorrow.
We look forward to seeing what they come up with over the week!
Day Four- Thursday 18 Feb:
When I walked into the venue at 5:30pm, the pressure and excitement were tangible. With only half an hour to go before showtime, each group were frantically perfecting their last edits. The place soon became packed with family, friends and guests of the participants.
Four films were screened. Each film was packed with its own creativity, passion, and sense of achievement. They each told their own story and came straight from the heart. They were short glimpses into the memories of the participants. It was clear that each veteran had learnt from the experiences of each other. As an observer, they taught me mountains.
We at DFW could be a part of this incredible journey. We are looking forward to being part of the next workshop.