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Synopsis: AVAILABLE AUGUST 14th AND 22nd | 10:00 AM – MIDNIGHT

Jack Kelley volunteered for Vietnam. As an army captain, he routinely led his company of 140 men on patrols in the jungles near Biên Hòa. Ill-conceived orders came down from higher command: On June 29, 1966, Capt. Kelley was to spread his platoons 1,000 meters apart in order to cover more area while looking for Vietcong forces.

During the patrol, the 3rd platoon stumbled upon an embedded Vietcong main force battalion. Outnumbered by nearly 10 to 1, the platoon was blindsided by a fierce attack. The triple-canopy jungle was dense and the terrain muddy, making rescue all but impossible.

Sgt. Charlie Morris, who took over the platoon once its leader was wounded and incapacitated, would ultimately earn the Medal of Honor for actions above and beyond the call of duty.

The battle wasn’t well-known like Khe Sanh or the Tet Offensive. It was a firefight on a Wednesday morning in Vietnam that gained limited coverage in U.S. newspapers. But despite its relative obscurity, it was an important part of American history that could have easily been forgotten. For this group of survivors, it was a pivotal event that fundamentally shaped the rest of their lives.

After Vietnam, the survivors went their separate ways. They slowly reunited over the years, finding ways to deal with PTSD and reconcile with the past.

The film is a journey to understand what the filmmaker’s father and seven survivors went through in 1966, and what they continue to go through today. Some volunteered for the army as teenagers. Others were drafted. Some went back to Vietnam years later with the hope of finding closure and peace.

Rated

Strong Language

Language

English

Run Time

73 minutes

Directed by

Shawn Kelley

Executive Producer

Aine Walsh Kelley

Produced by

Shawn Kelley

Edited by

John Disher

Composer

Cristina "Trinity" Vélez-Justo

Director's Statement

My Father’s Brothers is a journey to understand what my father and the men he served with went through during the Vietnam War. The idea for the film started with a long car ride.

My 83-year old dad rarely talks about his time in Vietnam. Since I had a few hours with him alone in the car, I decided to ask a lot of questions. And I found out there was a lot about my dad’s past I didn’t know. So I began interviewing him and survivors of a 1966 battle in Vietnam.

Originally the film’s main purpose was to highlight one day of American history that might easily have been forgotten. But it expanded to illustrate what these men continue to deal with, fifty years after their time in combat. The story is told by eight men, some who were just teenagers when they went off to war. I strove to share their humor and sadness, as well as their determination and heroism, to give a glimmer of what they endured during the war and still endure today.

– Shawn Kelley

Director's Bio

After almost 30 years of telling stories for brands, Shawn Kelley realized it was time to start telling stories from his heart. Inspired by his father’s narratives from Vietnam, he began the journey into filmmaking.

The documentary, My Father’s Brothers, is his first film, which has earned four Best Documentary Awards, two Audience Choice Awards, and the official selection designation from eight film festivals, including Beaufort International Film Festival, Central Florida Film Festival and Macon Film Festival.

Shawn is also the Executive Creative Director for HMH Agency, a branding and advertising firm. His agency work has earned awards and accolades that include National AAF Awards, Best of Show AAF Regional Awards and Telly Awards.

Shawn earned a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Visual Art from University of North Carolina Charlotte and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

While proud of his creative accomplishments, Shawn is most proud of his three children – Jessie, Dillon and Liam. Married to Aine Walsh Kelley, an Irish dancing school teacher/owner, Shawn lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and youngest son.

Awards

Beaufort International Film Festival - United States - 2020

Best Documentary Award (Juried) (My Father’s Brothers)

Beaufort International Film Festival - United States - 2020

Best Documentary Award (Audience Choice) (My Father’s Brothers)

Central Florida Film Festival - United States - 2019

Best Documentary Award (My Father’s Brothers)

Indigo Moon Film Festival - United States - 2019

Best Documentary Award (Juried) (My Father’s Brothers)

Longleaf Film Festival - United States - 2020

Best Documentary Overall Award (My Father’s Brothers)

Official selection

Macon Film Festival - United States - 2020

Beaufort International Film Festival - United States - 2020

Longleaf Film Festival - United States - 2020

Alexandria Film Festival - United States - 2019

Charlotte Film Festival - United States - 2019

Country of Origin

United States of America

Production Year

2019

Official Website

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