First Person Shooter
$15 (*Film Block)
America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created a new population of American veterans. These soldiers are so severely disabled that they would have died in previous wars, but because of advancements in medical technology, they survived. First Person Shooter is a brief but telling portrait of one of these vets. Army Sergeant Nick Mendes was paralyzed from the neck down by a massive improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011. Despite his physical injuries, Nick’s mind is clear and his spirit and sense of humor are intact. In this six minute documentary, he shows us how he’s adapted to one of his favorite pre-injury activities, playing video games, so that he can operate the console with just his mouth.
Julie Cohen – Director
Julie Cohen, the founder of BetterThanFiction Productions, has directed, produced and written ten documentaries. Most of her films have aired on New York’s PBS station and other public television stations across the U.S. Recent films include The Sturgeon Queens – an official selection at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, and more than 60 others; and I Live to Sing – Opening Night film at the 2014 American Documentary Film Festival and winner of the New York Emmy Award for Best Arts Program, one of three New York Emmys Julie has won since 2012.
She is currently completing American Veteran, a feature documentary following the life of a soldier paralyzed from the neck down in the war in Afghanistan. Before starting her own production company, Julie was a staff producer at Dateline NBC for nine years, where she won the Individual Achievement Award for Best News Producer from American Women in Radio and Television and was nominated for four national Emmys. She graduated from Colgate University and holds master’s degrees from Yale Law School and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she is now an adjunct professor.