PEACE HAS NO BORDERS – read more here!
We owe a debt to a current generation of soldiers who had the courage and moral fortitude to say ‘No’. Peace Has No Borders is an important story about a group of brave men and women who chose to seek refuge in Canada instead of participating further in the Iraq and Afghan wars.” Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers
U.S. civilians and veterans continue to contend with the consequences of the last decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq – complex conflicts that the documentary film world has deeply probed. Yet soldiers who refused to fight for myriad moral and political reasons remain critical but largely unexamined participants in this story.
For their latest documentary, Peace Has No Borders, Vermont filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller have spent the past eight years capturing the often wrenching stories of soldiers who refused to fight and exploring the social and political ramifications of their actions.
Peace Has No Borders follows a group of U.S. Iraq and Afghan war veterans who crossed the border to Canada instead of returning to war. The film takes place within the backdrop of a previous migration, when more than 80,000 Americans sought refuge in Canada from 1965-1973 in protest of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, Canada faces the same political dilemma – and the sometimes heated challenge – of providing sanctuary to U.S. veterans who have refused to participate in U.S.-led wars.
Peace Has No Borders completes a trilogy of films by Ellis and Mueller that address social movements. The FBI’s War on Black America is a rigorous examination of the FBI’s infamous 1960s-era COINTELPRO Program. Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, (short listed for an Academy Award) looks at the history of social movements of the 20th century through the eyes of activist and historian Howard Zinn.
The film will be ready for release in Spring 2015.
Deb and Denis’ previous films examine significant social/political movements. The FBI’s WAR ON BLACK AMERICA is a rigorous examination of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO Program during the 1960s. It remains a relevant cautionary story about the dangers of government surveillance. HOWARD ZINN: YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN looks at the history of social movements of the 20th century through the eyes of activist and historian Howard Zinn. It remains in active distribution. PEACE HAS NO BORDERS is the final chapter of a trilogy reflecting on the impact of social activism on war.
Deb Ellis (Co-Director) is a filmmaker whose work includes the Academy Award short-listed film, Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. The film was released theatrically on over 100 screens nationwide, signed multi-year broadcast contracts, and is still actively distributed by First Run Features in NYC. She supports local and regional filmmaking through her participation on the Vermont International Film Foundation’s Board of Directors. Ellis is Associate Professor in the film and Television Studies Program at the University of Vermont.
Denis Mueller, Ph.D. – Co-Producer/Co-Director:
Mueller has produced many documentaries throughout the years. The FBI’s WAR ON BLACK AMERICA became a favorite of the black community. 20 years after its initial release, the film is an underground web classic and has been re-released on DVD. He has produced several documentaries on Vietnam veterans, including, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. His most successful film, produced and directed with Deb Ellis, the critically acclaimed HOWARD ZINN: YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN, was released nationally by First Run Features, opened on 100 screens across the country, appeared on the Sundance Channel, has screened and won awards at festivals around the world. Mueller received his Ph.D. in American Culture Studies in 2007.
Alex Lisman – Principal Photography:
Lisman is a professional cameraman living in Toronto, with experience on major U.S. television series and feature films, and an independent filmmaker. Lisman’s short film, Let Them Stay: Voices of U.S. War Resisters in Canada, is featured on the NFB’s CitizenShift website and has been in the United States through Free Speech TV. Lisman has been actively covering the War Resisters Support Campaign efforts since 2004. He has created numerous video advocacy clips for use in social media campaigns supporting the resisters for the past 6 years.
Editor – David Cohen:
DAVID COHEN is an editor and producer who has worked with Peabody, Sundance and Telly Award winning filmmakers to develop original work. His feature film editorial department credits include COOKED (directed by Judith Helfand), RANDALL TERRY & ME (Directed by Katherine Linton), RADICAL LOVE (2013 Sundance Documentary Fund Grantee), MY FAVORITE NEOCONSERVATIVE (Directed by Yael Luttwak), COMING UP ROSES (starring Bernadette Peters) and THE TOE TACTIC (Directed by Emily Hubley – SXSW, New Directors/New Films). As an editor, David also has extensive experience creating outreach and marketing content, including for Academy Award-nominated THE BARBER OF BIRMINGHAM (Directors Robyn Friday and Gail Dolgin), ALL OF ME (Director Alexandra Lescaze – Independent Lens, PBS, LAFF), SISTER (Director Rebecca Parrish – Good Pitch 2013), HOLY LAND (Director Peter Cohn, “Drunks”) and NOT IN OUR TOWN: CASE AGAINST HATE (Director Patrice O’Neill). His non-profit and corporate editing work includes pieces for The Nation, Kmart, The City of New York/Christopher Reeve Foundation, Chicken and Egg Pictures, Working Films, Moxie Firecracker, the Chicago Foundation for Women and Protect Our Defenders, the human rights organization working to solve the problem of rape in the US military (Winner of the YouTube DoGooder Award). As a playwright and filmmaker, his own work has premiered at HERE Arts Center, Artists Repertory Theatre, Frameline Film Festival and MIX Madrid, among others. David received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in New York City.
Composer – Richard Martinez:
Martinez was born in Chicago and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has worked as a composer, music producer, music director and performer in New York City since his arrival in 1978. As a composer Martinez composed music for the documentaries The Longoria Affair, directed by John J. Valadez for ITVS, The Miracle of Spanish Harlem, directed by Derek Velez Partridge, Antonia Pantoja ?Presente!, directed by Lillian Jim?nez for LPB, BLAST!, directed by Paul Devlin for the BBC, The Last Conquistador, directed by John J. Valadez for POV, Howard Zinn: You Can?t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, the biography of historian/activist Howard Zinn, on the short list for a 2005 Oscar nomination. He also composed music for the film Bossa Nova, directed by Bruno Barreto, and a score for The Daytrippers, directed by Greg Mottola, produced by Steven Soderbergh, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance International Film Festival. Other composing credits include music for the plays The Dog in the Manger, directed by Jonathan Munby for the Shakespeare Theatre Co. in Washington DC, Viva La Vida!, starring Mercedes Ruehl at the 2006 Bay St. Theater season, the feature film Take the Bridge, a Tribeca Film Festival Selection, the feature Harvest of Redemption, awarded best film in the foreign drama category at the Los Angeles International Family Film Festival. His music also appears on recordings by Dave Valentin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Al MacDowell.