Approximately 18 months ago, amid the early months of the large-scale invasion in Ukraine, the Mountain Seed team discovered a captivating documentary called “Torn.” The team quickly felt that Max’s experience and unique take on storytelling would align perfectly with our mission and the spirit of our Healing Base Camp approach.
Our hope was for Max to join us at Camp in the summer of 2022 to share his story of hope and preview TORN – which we knew would resonate with the families who had been living a life of uncertainty amidst the backdrop of war. Our aim was to illustrate that each person embarks on their own journey towards healing; that there is no one “right” route to the top of a mountain. While we deeply believe in the transformative power of climbing and art, especially when combined with positive psychology approaches, Max found his path through filmmaking. So he decided to film.
Milana and Olga’s connection with Mountain Seed began in the early days of the invasion when they participated in our art healing programs designed for refugees. Their lives are intricately woven into the fabric of this prolonged conflict, reflecting the enduring impact it has had on a nation and its people. Max was able to see their story through the unique perspective of a shared lens – they both have lived with a deep loss experience at a very young age.
So it was, in August 2022, Max and crew – which included Yuliia Pavliuk, a Ukrainian Producer and Assistant Director who had evacuated Ukraine, and Axel Stasny, the Director of Photography, an Austrian by birth with a deep passion for capturing human stories through the lens of a camera – traveled to Healing Base Camp with Milana and Olga to capture their time in the mountains.
Eighteen months later, that labor of love and dedication resulted in a documentary called “Camp Courage,” which will reach audiences worldwide on the Netflix platform on October 15th! Camp Courage will not only touch hearts and minds through trauma and laughter, but we hope it will spread awareness of the deep scars of war and demonstrate the unwavering resilience of those who dare to share their stories. It is a film that celebrates discomfort – after all, it is on the edge of discomfort that we grow the most.
Mountain Seed Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, EIN 87-1017090. Donations are tax deductible.