Daniel West knew he wanted to tell the story of Xsports4vets, a Missoula-based program that uses extreme sports like riverboarding, skydiving and rafting to help combat veterans recover from PTSD and readjust to civilian life. He just wasn't sure he could do it as a film.
The recent University of Montana photojournalism graduate and former public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army has never made a movie before, but he's just about done working as producer, director, cameraman and whatever else he needs to be to finish "A Brotherhood Forged," a feature-length documentary about the program.
"It's so simple and effective," says West of Xsports4vets. "I thought it needed to reach the largest audience possible, and a film was the most effective way."
West says his film will "explore the effects of the program not only from the veterans' perspectives but from the perspective of prominent mental health professionals familiar with the potentially revolutionary program." He shot most of the action footage last summer and the interviews over the last year. He's currently editing a rough cut.
West expects to premiere "A Brotherhood Reforged" in Missoula in April, and screen it at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, D.C., in May. He recently released a trailer for the film, which you can see here: