On August 15th, 2013, the film, Travis: a Soldier’s Story, premiered in two sold out screens at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas, Texas. Travis and Kelsey Mills were introduced to a cheering crowd of over 400 attendees as they walked through the Patriot Guard’s flags to their place on the red carpet. The actual soldiers from Travis’ unit joined Travis and Kelsey at the film’s premiere. Founder of Fotolanthropy and the film’s Producer, Katie Norris, made a sincere introduction as she welcomed the crowd, described the heart behind the creation of the film, and introduced the film’s Director, Jonathon Link, Travis’ fellow soldiers and stars, Travis and Kelsey Mills.
In each theater, veterans and active service members and their spouses were honored followed by the song, “God Bless America,” performed by Dana Wield. As the lights dimmed, Daniel Bateson, the combat medic who helped save Travis’ life, sent a personal iPhone video tribute to Travis and the audience. Navy Seal and author, Rorke Denver, and Actor, Gary Sinise, also sent their well wishes by video clips.
From the first second, the 53 minute documentary engaged the audience. The audience laughed, cried and cheered for Mills throughout the film as they watched Mills and his family overcome so many obstacles. The crowd could not help but clap and cheer halfway through the film when Travis receives his first prosthetic hand and proudly chugs a Gatorade on his own for the first time. The crowd continued to cheer him on as the film portrayed Travis taking his first steps and later showed him running. At the film’s conclusion, the crowd applauded Travis during an emotional standing ovation. Travis stood humbly with Kelsey and gave thanks to the crowd.
“We could not be more appreciative to the city of Dallas and the support shown for Travis and Kelsey Mills. Travis’ life changed forever on April 10th, 2012. He was brave enough to share his story with Fotolanthropy and has truly given the nation a gift. This film is more than how he was injured but an inspiring piece that highlights the incredibly inspiring journey of Mills and his family overcoming each obstacle, the importance of family, and the motivating message: “Never give up. Never quit.” – Producer of Fotolanthropy, Katie Norris.
A special thank you to FOX 4 DFW’s Fil Alvarado for covering the night’s events.