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When 23-year-old Bubba, who comes from a long lineage of military service, is rejected by the Army for his physical and mental health, he seeks camaraderie in the world of war re-enacting.  But when he and a group of enthusiasts stage the first-ever public Vietnam War reenactment in Philadelphia, they unintentionally reignite the past traumas of the veterans they seek to honor and raise greater philosophical questions about their own fascination with guns, the realities of warfare, and mental illness.

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Synopsis

Young men dressed as Army rangers wander through an exotic jungle landscape—guns firing, planes flying ominously overhead, the palpable threat of death lurking behind the lush canopy. For some, this staged battle honors the bold heroism of Vietnam War veterans, while for others, it is a chance to feel like characters from Hollywood movies like PLATOON and FULL METAL JACKET. These divergent views, and coinciding matters of fictionalized self-identity, mental illness, and militarism, reside at the provocative, poetic heart of ONE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING.

Rejected by the US Army because of his large size and questionable mental health, 23-year-old Bubba is dependent on his substance-addicted, but adoring mother, Rose.  Bubba finds validation and camaraderie among an eccentric group of war recreationists who are working to mobilize the first public Vietnam War reenactment in the Philadelphia area. The group envisions the event as a spirited tribute that will feature weaponry displays, staged battles, and a USO show hosted by a Bob Hope impersonator, but for Bubba, the reenactment will be also offer a chance for his mother to see him in action.  As the reenactment unfolds, instead of inspiring and honoring attending veterans, it unintentionally reignites their past traumas, and the realism and violence of this strange memorial are called into question.  In the midst of the chaos, feeling like he’s let down the veterans and his mother, Bubba suffers a startling physical collapse and has to be lifted from the battle.
 

After the event, Bubba spirals into deep depression, isolating himself from his friends and battering himself with questions about his own worth. Can he finally fulfill the deeply personal pressure he feels to live up to his family history without dishonoring the service of actual veterans?  Or is reenacting more about the personal satisfaction that comes from pretending to be a hero and playing with guns than remembering and learning from the past?  
 

On the brink of ruin, Bubba and his re-enactor friends decide to take one more chance to prove that their passion is more than just staging a game of war.

 

CREW

Director
Patrick Bresnan
is the son of a Vietnam veteran and grew up seeing the effects of the war on his father.  He received his formal education working for notable Mission School artists Clare Rojas and Barry McGee (TWIST). His short documentary co-directed with Ivete Lucas, The Send-Off premiered at Sundance and received awards at SXSW, SFIFF and AFI FEST.  His follow-up short The Rabbit Hunt had it’s European premier in the Berlinale Shorts competition and has won 20 awards including best short at Sheffield Doc Fest and a nomination for the IDA Award for Short Documentary. He and Ivete are currently in post production of a new feature documentary titled Pahokee.  Patrick holds a masters degree in Sustainability from the University of Texas. In 2016, he and his partner Ivete Lucas were named to Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Co- Director, Editor and Producer
Ivete Lucas was born in Brazil and started her filmmaking career in Mexico. At age 23 she received a grant from the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) to direct her first short film ASMA, which was shortlisted for the Mexican Academy Awards. Her short documentary THE SEND-OFF premiered at Sundance '16 and won jury awards at SXSW, AFI FEST and San Francisco Film Festival. Her new short film Roadside Attraction premiered at TIFF. She and her partner Patrick Bresnan were named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016. She holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin.

Producer
PJ Raval
is an award-winning filmmaker whose credits include TRINIDAD (Winner, Best Documentary Cleveland International Film Festival 2009, Showtime, LOGO), The CHRISTEENE video collection (SXSW), and BEFORE YOU KNOW IT his latest documentary following the lives of three gay senior men (SXSW world premiere). Also an award-winning cinematographer, Raval’s work has earned him awards such as the ASC Charles B. Lang Jr. Heritage Award as well as the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography. Raval’s work includes the 2009 Academy Award-nominated TROUBLE THE WATER. He is a recipient of a 2015 Guggenhiem Fellowship for his exception work in the film and video arts.

Cinematographer
Keith Wilson is a cinematographer and visual artist based in San Francisco. His film work has been exhibited at Sundance, the Berlinale, South by Southwest as well as the U.S. National Gallery of Art.  His artist book ALL THE BUILDINGS ON BURNET ROAD (2010) was exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery and the Brandhorst Museum as part of the exhibit Ed Ruscha & Co. In addition to co-creating and self-publishing (with Shannon O’Malley) GAY MEN DRAW VAGINAS (2014). In 2009, he began the ongoing interactive performance THE CAVE & MOUNTAIN TOUR, which was featured at the 2013 Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas. Keith grew up on a cul-de-sac in suburban Atlanta and has an MFA in film production from the Radio-TV-Film Department at UT-Austin.

Associate Producer                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dora Nedeczky is a producer based in Budapest, Hungary. In 2008 she founded Mindwax, a dynamic production hub working with established studio projects, documentaries, and the MA graduation films of the Hungarian Film Academy.  Dora developed her skills at the EAVE Film Marketing Workshop, the MAIA Marketing & Distribution Workshop, Berlinale & Sarajevo Talents, while working on script development at SAVE OUR SCRIPTS, ENGAGE and Sources 2. She has been focusing on producing since 2010, ranging from LGBTQ sci-fi to Romanian new wave family dramas and small town incest love-stories, that screened at Clermont Ferrand, ISFF, Sarajevo, BFI London IFF,  Guanajuato IFF Mexico, Frameline LGBT IFF San Fransicso, Kurzfiltage Winterthur among others. Dora's currently developing her first feature with Romanian director, Cristina Grosan, which will be a Hungarian-French co-production set to shoot early 2017.

Composer
Eric Friend works as a sound designer, composer, and re-recording mixer for narrative films, documentaries, shorts and television shows. He has composed original music for Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and feature films such as The Happy Poet and America’s Parking Lot. As a musician, he was a member of the band Spoon and now plays with The Reivers. Eric worked for 13 years as in-house audio recordist and editor for Mike Judge, and currently runs Friendosound in Austin TX, an audio post facility that specializes in 5.1 surround sound.

Field Producer
Jeff Lorenz
is a graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and specializes in producing, sound design and music for film and theater. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has also engineered recordings for musicians in Washington and Philadelphia. Jeff is an ongoing collaborator with SaBooge theatre company, having designed the sound and performed original music for SaBooge shows in Montreal, NYC, Philadelphia, Kingston, Toronto and Dublin.

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CONTACT

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