Roughly 60 to 85 percent of the 20,000 Texans who separate annually from military service do not have jobs waiting for them. Though many businesses say they support veterans, few have programs specifically focused on easing the transition from military to civilian life. However, one of Dallas Film’s premier educational initiatives – the non-partisan Veterans Institute for Film & Media (VIFM) – teaches veterans how to transfer their unique skillsets to jobs in media production and reintegrate into the civilian community.
“We are pleased to announce that VIFM is currently accepting applications for Film Basic Training, an introductory film and media production course that offers an innovative curriculum taught by engaged instructors and industry professionals,” said Maggy Croxville, director of the Institute and a former Marine.
Kimberly Wilson, a graduate from the inaugural VIFM Film Basic Training class, encourages any veteran with an interest in or passion for film, TV or digital content production to apply.
“I retired from the Army after serving nearly a quarter century and found it challenging to reconnect when I came back home,” said Wilson. “I was accepted into VIFM Film Basic Training and, although everything was new and unfamiliar, all the vets in the program quickly bonded into a team. It was the first time I sensed that my military experience would be a good fit for film and media production. Film Basic Training provided us with a safe place to learn how to make that transition.”
The next session of Film Basic Training begins the evening of May 6. The application deadline for this session is March 8. The three-month program is completely free of charge (except for a $20 application fee) to all honorably discharged United States veterans. Class size is limited to 12 students. VIFM is funded through donations from private philanthropists including Barb and Scott Weiszhaar and Maggy and David Croxville, as well as sustaining corporate sponsors Capital One, Mercury One and Hewlett-Packard.
“It’s our turn to serve those who have served on our behalf,” said Croxville. “We are honored to give our country’s veterans the chance to grow and learn in a field that offers opportunities all over the world; if you know how to tell a story, you can tell it anywhere.”
VIFM is the brainchild of Johnathan Brownlee, President and CEO of Dallas Film.
“The idea came to me a few years back while working on a film with a talented first assistant director,” said Brownlee. “When I learned that he and several other crewmembers were former military, I had a light bulb moment: the reason this was a particularly knowledgeable, competent and capable crew was, in fact, because of their military background. I wanted to create a program offering other veterans the opportunity to turn their military skills into successful media production careers, and I knew Dallas Film was the perfect place to accomplish this.”
Veterans interested in applying should visit http://vifm.us/application/. For questions or more information, please email Maggy Croxville, VIFM Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her by telephone at 972.695.3810 x5000.