WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire – Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans, their loved ones and their communities, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with film production company Herald Square Entertainment, LLC, to highlight public awareness of acute battlefield stress and resulting post-traumatic stress through the depiction of our troops in action in Afghanistan as shown in the feature motion picture “The Mullah’s Storm,” now in pre-production.
Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. It was founded in 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, one of the nation’s leading experts on the mental health needs of the military and veteran communities and a member of the 2012 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Currently, GAH is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the post-9/11 conflicts by providing counseling to veterans and their families. In addition to direct counseling services, GAH’s providers are working to reduce the stigma associated with mental health by participating in and leading education, training, and outreach efforts in schools and communities and around military bases.
“The Mullah’s Storm” is a feature motion picture based on the novel by Tom Young, a decorated Air National Guard flight engineer, recently retired. The book, published by GP Putnam Sons, New York, won the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal. The film will be directed by David Sardi, a 30-plus year Hollywood veteran and the recipient of the Directors Guild of America’s First AD award for his work on the Tom Cruise film “Born on The Fourth of July.”
“The Mullah’s Storm” is a realistic portrait of the sacrifice and dedication of our service men and women. The story revolves around flight engineer Major Michael Parson and Army translator Sgt. Sophia Gold, who, having been shot out of the sky by a terrorist rocket, escape into the mountains of Afghanistan with Gold’s “high value” detainee. With rescue helicopters grounded by weather, vengeful insurgents, led by a cunning, brutal Sandhurst-educated Pakistani agent, vow to free the detainee and behead Parson and Gold, while the incessant cold and snow threatens to freeze and bury them. Principal photography is scheduled for January 2015 in northern New Mexico. HSE is currently casting the lead roles of Parson and Gold in Hollywood with Jennifer Ricchiazzi, head of LaLa Casting.
“The Mullah’s Storm is a powerful story with compelling characters,” said Barbara Van Dahlen, Founder and President of Give An Hour. “It accurately portrays the intense stress of war and the psychological impact that such stress can have on those who serve our nation. Films like ‘The Mullah’s Storm’ provide opportunities to raise awareness about the invisible injuries that affect our service members and their families. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with the creators of this film to engage the public in this important conversation.”
David Sardi, the film’s director noted: “The cost of America’s commitment to the fight against the threat of worldwide terror is high. The greatest burden is borne by the small, dedicated cadre of military professionals, some of whom suffer from the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress as a result of their service. Through the extraordinary efforts of Give an Hour, that suffering is being eased for these returning veterans and their extended families. Our hope in telling ‘The Mullah’s Storm’ story is to illuminate through the eyes of our characters a vivid example of the life-altering hardships that our service men and women must endure in the ongoing defense of our nation’s freedoms.”
“We intend the movie to be a tribute to our armed forces who stand in harm’s way everyday to make our lives more secure at home,” noted Ken Gazzola, producer and the Publisher Emeritus of Aviation Week Magazine. “The message is that we appreciate and want to acknowledge their service and also want to make sure they can come back and integrate into the workforce with their skills and initiative. Give an Hour provides an invaluable service to help them cope with the invisible wounds that may interfere with this process.”
“Although the wars are ending and the troops are returning home, their wartime experiences will affect service members and families for years to come. As a nation we must be prepared to provide the services our military families need to return to the productive lives they deserve,” says Van Dahlen.
Donations of time and funds may be given at the Give an Hour website: http://www.giveanhour.org.