A pioneering program that uses digital video story telling workshops to encourage US and Israeli veterans to visually portray their personal stories of PTSD. 

Participants of the 2016 workshop

For the 4th year of collaboration, I WAS THERE Film Workshops and NATAL have joined forces to provide a pioneering project which combines aspects of each organization’s signature services to help veterans and their families cope with the impact of exposure to traumatic war experiences. Through the use of filmmaking workshops under the supervision of NATAL’s mental health professionals, this project supports the healing of Israeli veterans by helping them to digitally portray their personal narratives – many for the first time. Over the course of a week, participants will collaborate to conceptualize and produce their films in a therapeutic and healing environment that helps them come to terms with their traumatic military experiences. By the end each participant will have a short video of their own which is screened at a private viewing for close friends and family. Often a very moving event, family members and friends gain a deeper understanding of the internal world of the participants, and a greater appreciation for the trauma of their experiences which they have been forced to endure.  

I WAS THERE is part of the Patton Veterans Project (PVP), a US nonprofit organization founded by Benjamin Patton (grandson of General George Patton, Jr.) that helps veterans and their military families cope with PTSD and other service related stress through narrative filmmaking. 

See an i24 News segment on 2016’s I WAS THERE workshop together with NATAL!