Filmmaker explores PTSD, veterans


MANCHESTER >> In the face of disturbing statistics of U.S. military veteran suicides and an epidemic of PTSD, it's undeniable that America's soldiers are in the midst of a mental health crisis. "Thank You for your service" is a documentary that takes aim at society's superficial understanding of war trauma and the failed policies that result. Director Tom Donahue explores why the military was not better prepared for the impact of combat on our service members sent to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The film features interviews with Robert Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, General David Petraeus, Sebastian Junger, General Loree Sutton, General Peter Chiarelli, Duncan Niederauer, Karl Marlantes, Gary Sinise, Senator Patty Murray, Rudy Giuliani, Nicholas Kristof, Dexter Filkins.

Donahue will be in Manchester Center on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to attend a screening of "Thank You for your Service" at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Picture Shows Cinema a Q&A reception that follows at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6471 at 280 Depot Street in Manchester Center. He will talk about the film, the problems facing veterans and answer questions.

Prior to "Thanks You for your service," Tom Donahue directed HBO's "Casting By" which was nominated for an Emmy in 2014. It was hailed as one of the top five documentary films of 2013 by the National Board of Review and reviewed as "outstanding!" by legendary critic Leonard Maltin. Donahue is currently in production on a documentary about Constantine Stanislavsky and his legacy; and in post-production on "The Best is yet to Come," about actor/performer Robert Davi and his journey to put on a 100th birthday concert tribute to his idol, Frank Sinatra. Donahue has produced and edited numerous features and documentaries that, combined, have won over 25 awards at such prestigious festivals as Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, SXSW, Venice, San Sebastian and Tribeca.

The world premiere of "Thank You for your service" will be held on Friday, Nov. 13 at DOC NYC, the world's largest documentary film festival. Michael & Carolina Ellenbogen, partners at Village Picture Shows and Founders of the Manchester Screen Festival (MSF), made arrangements with Donahue and the film's producer, Ilan Arboleda, to present the film in Manchester, accompanied by the Director.

This Meet-the-Talent event is organized as a benefit for MSF, a Vermont based non-profit corporation. MSF is a screen arts festival that aims to bring film, video content, multi-media and interactive media creators together with media industry professionals and enthusiasts in Manchester, VT for business & social networking, education and entertainment each year starting in June 2017. A percentage of proceeds will also be donated to VFW of Manchester.

Tickets to the Wednesday, November 18th screening and Q&A reception with the director of "Thank You for your service," are $10 for Veterans with a valid U.S. Military ID and their family and $15 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased at Village Picture Shows box office at 263 Depot Street. For more information, call Michael at (802) 768-8498 or email him at


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