A Malibu filmmaker set out to create the short film, "In Mexico," in response to what he believed was a lack of awareness about the impacts of war on combat veterans once they come home.
"We all hope to shed some light on a part of war that isn’t being publicized today – coming home. Also, to remind us of how much our warriors sacrifice in the name of freedom. Having never served myself, this film is my way of saying thank you," said Ash Adams, who co-wrote, directed and acted in the film.
The short film will screen at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Malibu Lumber Yard as part of the Malibu International Film Festival.
The film recently won the Jury Award for a short film at the Las Vegas Film Festival.
Adams, who grew up in Malibu, wrote the 13-minute film with James Kraft, who was then a student at Pepperdine University and a veteran of the Iraq War. Kraft served in Tikrit and Baghdad in Iraq from December 2005 through November 2006.
"He sat down with me and went over ideas on how to structure it and how to create something that would be tangible, that wouldn’t be too political … and just have it be a soldier's tale from the point of view of a soldier," Adams said of the writing process.
Getting it right was important to Adams, who said he did not want to marginalize or disrespect what soldiers risk on a daily basis.
The cast features Adams, Arye Gross, Jesse Goins and Robert Rusler. Adams plays Sgt. Adam Barlow, who is caught in a downward spiral of sadness and remorse.
Adams, who also directed the film, said more awareness has been gaining momentum since the time he made the film in 2011.
"When I made the movie in November, people were not talking about it. People have really begun to talk about suicide in the military and why it is difficult for combat vets when they get home," Adams said.
Adams is known for his roles in television and films, including "Beverly Hills, 90210," "LA Dragnet," "Lionheart" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street," among others.
Adams also wanted to express his thanks to David Katz, who is organizing the film festival, for having he courage to show the film.
Tickets are available at www.malibufilmfestival.com. According to organizers, for each ticket sold a tree will be planted.