“VETERANS COMING HOME” TO PREMIERE JUNE 1 ON PBS.ORG
Starting June 1, Kindling Group and Wisconsin Public Television, in partnership with PBS Stories of Service, will premiere Veterans Coming Home, a 10-part digital-first series that aims to help veterans and communities understand the opportunities and challenges faced during the transition to civilian life and bridge the military-civilian divide. Veterans Coming Home is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with additional funding from Got Your Six.
The series explores themes common to veterans reintegrating to civilian life, including how veterans continue to seek the close bonds of a military unit after transitioning, as well as the value of sharing and expressing their stories through art and comedy, and the notion of public and community service in civilian life. The first two episodes visit a recruiter in Kansas City who has found her new tribe in a women’s roller derby team, and an activist and artist in New Orleans who was inspired by his veteran father.
New episodes, each four to six minutes long, will premiere twice a week through the Fourth of July and will be available to watch on PBS.org and across all platforms and devices that support PBS video streaming apps, including Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast, as well as Android, iOS, and Windows 10 mobile devices. In addition, the series will be available to all public media stations and featured across all partner networks and platforms, reaching more than 80 million Americans. The episodes will also be available as local broadcast interstitials and will air on the World Channel this fall.
“CPB-funded Veterans Coming Home is digital first with the potential to connect and engage with this new generation of veterans and their civilian peers,” said CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison. “We are hopeful that this series will promote a greater understanding of both military service and reentry into civilian life.”
The Veterans Coming Home project kicked off in March, when a team of photographers, writers, and filmmakers—both veteran and civilian—began traveling the country creating media across all formats in collaboration with local public media stations, sparking a dialogue about veterans’ lives and their communities and addressing the stereotypes that veterans and civilians hold about each other. Learn more about the team here.
Over the last few weeks, the team has shared highlights of their journey on social media ranging from visiting the Veterans Treatment Court in Phoenix, Arizona that ensures that Veterans who are convicted of crimes because of PTSD receive the proper treatment, to gathering surprising insights about war from middle school students in Sussex, Wisconsin.
In local communities, Veterans Coming Home partnering stations are capturing compelling content for local broadcast and online delivery, as well as for the project’s 10-part digital series that explores the military civilian divide. Stations are also bringing veterans and civilians together through town halls, screenings, and community-wide events to engage in meaningful conversation. Stations have already held numerous events and produced local content for social media, such as segments Twin Cities PBS released on Facebook profiling a civilian and a veteran who are both involved with national and local partner Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB). Dru is a veteran who had trouble reconnecting with the community and now finds friendship and support as a member of Minnesota’s Team RWB chapter. Emily a non-veteran, participates in Team RWB to help surround herself with a caring community and narrow the gap between veterans and civilians.
Additional recent and upcoming station programming and events include:
- Over Memorial Day weekend, Kansas City’s KCPT will co-produce and broadcast a live outdoor Memorial Day Concert honoring veterans and those currently serving. The event, which draws about 50,000 attendees and is watched by thousands more at home, will incorporate media pieces about veterans and veteran story collection.
- Also Memorial Day weekend, Nashville Public Television will release an online segment exploring how the military-civilian divide plays out among students at Middle Tennessee State University.
- On May 25 at 7 p.m. local time, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) aired a special edition of Louisiana Public Square. The episode included a panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities for veterans in Louisiana.
- On May 25, Wisconsin Public Television, in partnership with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Veterans Museum, and Memorial Union, hosted an event to preview Veterans Coming Home content and to preview Wisconsin Remembers, a traveling exhibit displaying photos of all 1,161 Wisconsinites listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- On June 1, WUCF in Orlando will release local content featuring Central Florida’s Michael Roggio, a former U.S. Navy rescue swimmer as he prepared to participate in the Invictus Games.
- On June 6, Mountain Lake PBS will host a community forum in the station studio, featuring live audience and a diverse guest panel of experts, veterans and civilians. The forum will be live streamed and recorded for broadcast on June 10.
- On June 7, LGBT veterans in San Francisco will tell their stories through drag, music, dancing and storytelling at “Ask/Tell” at SF Oasis. Partners include KQED, SF Oasis, Swords to Plowshares, and San Francisco Veterans Equity Center. And, on July 4, Veterans’ Family Day will invite military families with young children to enjoy a day of fun at Children’s Fairy Land to celebrate children and the power of storytelling.
- On June 17, Arizona PBS will host Arizona Roadmap to Veteran Employment, a live town hall event in their studio that will convene local experts with key stakeholders and veterans in Phoenix to discuss the needs and issues facing veterans and service members.
- On June 29, Twin Cities PBS will host a casual celebration for veterans and civilians to come together for a brief video screening and panel discussion with Team RWB, followed by a one mile walk to forge bonds while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- On August 16, in collaboration with local partners, CET will host a studio-based town hall with diverse speakers and audience participation inspired by project media pieces.
“Veterans Coming Home takes advantage of public media’s traditional strengths to convene community partners, engage veterans, chronicle their stories and reach significant audiences. These strengths are enhanced by the opportunity for stations to create a prominent online presence around veterans’ issues through local stories that reflect how national themes play out in our communities,” said Malcolm Brett, who oversees Wisconsin Public Television in his role as Director of Broadcast and Media Innovations, University of Wisconsin – Extension.
“Veterans Coming Home is exciting for us because it really stretches the boundaries of documentary storytelling and PBS programming,” said Danny Alpert, Executive Director of Chicago-based Kindling Group and Executive Producer of the digital series. “Already we are seeing the incredible power of being able to engage with audiences directly online and let their feedback inform our work so that our content gets stronger each week.”
Activating its extensive network of partners, Got Your 6 is the lead veteran’s organizational partner through Veteran Artist Program. Additional national distribution partners include VOX, The Mission Continues, Service Year Alliance, Team Rubicon, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, The YMCA, Veteran Artists Program, National Peace Corps Association, Service Women’s Action Network, Intersections International, Volunteers of America, Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light, Team Red, White & Blue, Veterans in Film and TV, Make the Connection and Veterans Crisis Line at U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University; USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families.
Audiences can follow the story and the team’s journey while participating in the conversation using the hashtag #VetsComingHome and by following Veterans Coming Home on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@vetscominghome), or visiting VeteransComingHome.org.
Veterans Coming Home is a part of a pipeline of programming offered by PBS with funding from CPB to celebrate our country’s military and veterans exploring the complex, authentic experiences of those who serve and have served. PBS programming for Memorial Day weekend includes the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (May 29), TED TALKS: WAR & PEACE (May 30), and POV OF MEN AND WAR (May 30).
“We know firsthand that storytelling can be a healing experience for our audiences, including members of the military community who have been impacted by the content seen on air and through the PBS Stories of Service platform,” said Ira Rubenstein, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital and Marketing for PBS. “We are honored to be a partner that can bring this important digital-first series to local communities as a means to help bridge the military-civilian divide that still exists nationwide.”
“COLLIDE’ GETS A NEW POSTER
After a heist goes terribly wrong, Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself on the run from a ruthless gang headed by mob boss Hagen (Anthony Hopkins). Now Casey has precious cargo that belongs to Hagen, who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Left with no choice, Casey calls his former employer and drug smuggler Geran (Ben Kingsley) to protect his long-time girlfriend Juliette before Hagen gets his hands on her. Casey sets out on an adrenaline-fueled car chase on the German highways to save the love of his life before it’s too late.
Internet Sensations Shane Dawson, Christian DelGrosso, Amanda Cerny and Richard Ryan Star In INTERNET FAMOUS – June 21
Maker Studios, the global leader in online short-form content, and Off The Dock, Lakeshore Entertainment’s digital studio, in association with Cinemand Productions and Entertainment 360, today announced that Internet Famous, the digital feature length mockumentary directed by filmmaker Michael Gallagher (“Totally Sketch”), and written by Gallagher and comedian Steve Greene (Real Life Trolling, The Wedding Ringer), will be available for download on iTunes on June 21.
The hilarious comedy stars Internet sensations Shane Dawson, Steve Greene, Wendy McColm, Amanda Cerny (Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, HBO’s Hello Ladies), Richard Ryan and Christian DelGrosso (in upcoming feature School Spirits and in the Maker Studios network), as well as Roger Bart (“Revenge”), John Michael Higgins (Pitch Perfect, Best in Show), Missi Pyle (Gone Girl, “Two and a Half Men”), Adam Busch (“Empire”) and Tony Cavalero (School of Rock).
Internet Famous follows the adventures of five fictional Internet personalities as they travel across the country to compete in a talent competition. The only problem is…they have no talent.