Ashland Film Festival, Audience Choice: The Welcome


The results are in, the audience’s choice for most excellent film at the Ashland Independent Film Festival was ‘The Welcome‘ directed by Kim Shelton and produced by Bill McMillan and Kim Shelton, filmed at Buckhorn in 2008. This film is close to our hearts because Leslie Sargent and Kim Shelton are sisters. It has been amazing to watch the journey from beginning to end.
 Kim, Bill and the Film Crew

The Welcome offers a fiercely intimate view of life after war: the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike.  As we join  them in a small room for an unusual five day healing retreat, we witness how the ruins of war can be transformed into the beauty of poetry. Here our perceptions are changed, our psyches strained, and our hearts broken.  And at the end, when this poetry is shared with a large civilian audience, we begin to understand that  all of us are a vital piece of the Welcome as Veterans try to find the way back home.  Their examples of unflinching honesty, courage and love lift us up, inspiring all of us once again to feel our common humanity, always the first casualty of war.”

The Welcome, filled with beautiful scenes of Buckhorn in the spring time, is this years must see. As Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Vickie Aldous wrote:  
“Every year, there’s at least one film at the Ashland Independent Film Festival that leaves audiences saying, “Everyone in America should see this.” This year, “The Welcome” may very well be that film.” 
After the showing, where 500 people packed into the Ashland Armory for the viewing, a hand full of the vets stood up for an incredibly touching question and answer period. They called people to take action share the film with people in their community. The film can be purchased for $25 at:

We would like to extend gratitude to Kim and Bill for working so hard to make this idea come to be. We encourage you to share this healing film, all donations will go toward Distribution, Outreach and Audience Engagement.  Help to make an impact with this film.  All donations tax deductible: Please visit The Marion Institute 501(c)3,  Fiscal Sponsor, to support this important project. 

Until next time,