Sat Feb 22, 2020 – 12:00 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Amid the opioid and suicide epidemics, military veterans across the nation are ditching prescription medications in favor of cannabis.
In his first feature-length documentary, producer, director, and military veteran Steve Ellmore chronicles the lives of fellow veterans, spouses, and family members coping with war-related trauma and the loss of loved ones to suicide brought on by the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals.
Unprescribed is a self-funded, passion project conceived after learning the benefits of medical marijuana. As a military veteran and suicide survivor, I took it upon myself to share the stories of veterans who are all too hesitant to speak to others outside of the veteran community about their PTSD and war-related traumas. Unprescribed is a film by veterans for veterans.
Steve Ellmore is an American filmmaker, photojournalist, and veterans’ activist. His experience behind the camera dates back to the 1980s with his first 35mm camera. From there he migrated to TV and audio production before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1992. After retiring from the military in 2012, he picked up the camera again as a freelance photographer.
His venture into activism and filmmaking began with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the looming sequestration. At the time the U.S. government was considering a reduction in military benefits, including retirement pay, as a means for reducing the federal budget. Ellmore responded with the development of Allegiance to the Same, a documentary he conceived to raise awareness of the issue. A year later the project was shelved, thanks in part to the efforts of the veterans’ groups he had worked with on the film.