Documentary film series at Dedee Shattuck Gallery! Brought to you by the Westport Cultural Council.
Wednesday, August 16th, 7pm: Riding My Way Back: a short documentary that chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide. In 2010, Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker returned from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in addition to third-degree burns and nerve damage from a roadside bomb. At his most desperate and isolated, on 42 medications and suicidal, Aaron is introduced to the unlikeliest of saviors: a horse named Fred. Through caring for Fred and building mutual trust, Aaron begins the difficult process of reconnecting to the world around him and healing the terrible, invisible wounds of war that had nearly defeated him.
Our guest speaker is Julie Lovely, a life-long horsewoman and the Executive Director and founder of Wild Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Program in West Bridgewater, MA. Wild Hearts offers Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy along with "Wild Hearts Horses for Heroes" to help military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Julie holds two certifications from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship: Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, and Therapeutic Riding Instructor.
Wednesday, August 23rd, 7pm: “The Eagle Huntress” is a spellbinding documentary that follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes of female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity. Directed by Otto Bell, 2016. 1hr & 27min, English sub-titles.
Our Guest Speaker is Marla Isaac, director of the England Reptile & Raptor Exhibits in Taunton, MA. A naturalist and falconer she strives to bring an understanding of biodiversity by allowing people to meet fascinating animals placed in her care by state and federal wildlife agencies. As ambassadors of the wild, these birds demonstrate that we must preserve, protect and appreciate the wonders of nature and life itself.
Wednesday, August 30th, 7pm: “Dogs on the Inside”was filmed in a Massachusetts prison and follows evolving relationships between abandoned rescue dogs paired with prison inmates as they work together toward a second chance at a better life. Giving a voice to a forgotten dog and a forgotten man, the film is a life-affirming testament to the power of second chances. Directors: Brean Cunningham, Douglas Seirup, 2014 1hr & 7min.
Our guest speaker is Lindsay Doray, Development Manager for Second Chance Animal Shelter for the last seven years and actively involved prior to that, founded Project Good Dog over 2 years ago to help dogs that are behaviorally needy get the training they need so they are more adoptable. This program enables the shelter to have more capacity to help animals by providing a place for the harder to adopt dogs and also provides the dogs with training so that they are much more adoptable when they return. The program also has several benefits to the inmate handlers as well as the correctional facility where the animals are housed. Working with animals has always been her passion. Lindsay is a graduate of Worcester State with a Bachelors in Sociology.