The SearchDirected by Thomas Brouns
Three days after her high school graduation, Jasmine Lovett joins the Air Force for the opportunities it offers. Initially, she thrives. But when her great-grandmother dies, everything changes. Jasmine struggles with depression and is brought back early from her first deployment. Over the next 18 months, her condition fails to improve. In and out of inpatient mental health facilities, she is assigned new duties that don’t require a weapon. She eventually concludes she will not get better in the Air Force and is a burden on her unit, so she requests a discharge. Believing her commander intends to discharge her without veterans’ benefits, Jasmine drives to a city park and takes her own life. Three years later, her family still has unanswered questions and wonders whether the military did everything they could to prevent Jasmine’s death.
Contains descriptions of suicide. Viewer discretion advised.
Best Student Film
Directed by Andrea Patiño Contreras
The murder of Army soldier Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood military base hit too close to home for Karina Lopez. Two years after surviving sexual assault on the same base, she created a viral Facebook post with the hashtag #IamVanessaGuillen.