Back From The Brink—a Pulitzer Center-supported documentary by 2020 Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Reporting Fellow and Marine Corps veteran Dustin Jones—examines the suicide epidemic among U.S. veterans through the lens of his former comrade, Bill Kirner. Jones’ powerful film follows Kirner and his wife Ashley’s struggles as Bill battles PTSD and depression following his service in Afghanistan.
Since Jones finished production in January 2020, Back From The Brink has been accepted into 22 film festivals and counting across the country, a feat made more remarkable given the event cancellations and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Back From The Brink appeared in major festivals, including the Pasadena International Film Festival, where it was nominated for best short documentary; the Midway Multicultural Music Film Festival in Midway, Utah; and the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa Bay, Florida. Jones was able to attend the Midway festival in person, as it was the first to accept his documentary and held before the pandemic hit.
Below is the complete list of film festivals that accepted Back From The Brink. While many went online, others were pushed back to 2021 or canceled altogether. More information about these festivals can be found on the websites linked below. This post will be updated as more festivals accept the documentary and hold in-person or online screenings for those who wish to watch Back From The Brink.
Back From The Brink won awards at the following festivals:
- Four Corners Film Festival: Virtual festival September 16-18, 2020. Farmington, New Mexico — Won Best Veteran Story
- WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival: Physical festival canceled. Houston, Texas — Remi Award Winner for Graduate Student Film
- International Independent Film Awards: Digital awards — Best Documentary Short
- Midway Multicultural Music Film Festival: Physical festival January 25 and February 1, 2020. Midway, Utah — Best Veteran Film
- Student Los Angeles Film Awards: Live screenings postponed until further notice. Los Angeles, California — Finalist for Best Student Documentary
- North Beach American Film Festival: Physical and online festival, August 21-27, 2020. North Beach, Maryland — Best Short Documentary
The film was also selected for the following festivals and screenings:
- Gasparilla International Film Festival: Physical festival postponed. Tampa, Florida
- Deep in the Heart Film Festival: Virtual festival September 25-27 and October 2-4, 2020. Waco, Texas
- Alexandria Film Festival: Virtual festival November 12-15, 2020. Alexandria, Virginia
- Anchorage International Film Festival: Virtual festival December 4-13, 2020. Anchorage, Alaska
- I See You Awards: Digital awards. Detroit, Michigan
- Docs Without Borders Film Festival: 2020 winners announced online.
- MINT Film Festival: Physical and virtual festival September 17-October 10, 2020. Billings, Montana
- BZN International Film Festival: Physical and virtual festival August 27-September 5, 2020. Bozeman, Montana
- STIFF: Seattle True Independent Film Festival: Virtual festival starting August 27, 2020. Seattle, Washington
- Newport Beach Film Festival: Virtual festival October 1-11, 2020. Newport Beach, California
- Best Shorts Competition: Digital awards.
- BreakThroughs: The Tulane Public Health & Social Justice Film Festival: Physical festival canceled. New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York City Independent Film Festival: Physical festival canceled. New York City, New York
- Orlando Film Festival: Virtual festival October 29-November 5, 2020. Orlando, Florida
- Pasadena International Film Festival: Physical festival March 12-15, 2020 (some events canceled due to COVID-19). Pasadena, California — Nominated for Best Short Doc
- Veterans Film Festival: Virtual festival November 30-December 31, 2020. San Francisco, California