Admissions film visits Augustana

John Viscount, who is a producer, writer, and composer visited Augustana on March 15. His film Admissions was screened in the Gavle room. In his film three people, an Israeli couple and a Palestinian man, who have just died are brought before a clerk who oversees admissions and are given fifteen minutes to find lasting peace. After those fifteen minutes where they spend their afterlife, in heaven or hell, will be decided. The film covers a lot of concepts and ideas concerning different theologies in its short twenty minute run time, but is filled with insight and is thought-provoking. After the film, John took questions from the audience. When asked about his inspiration and motivation to make the film John said that he first wrote the script for the film after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers back in 2001. Viscount initially wrote the script more for personal reasons; as a way to deal with the aftermath of 9/11 and as a way to heal and actually didn’t really promote or share the script and his movie idea with anyone for about ten years. Once the United States went to war in Iraq, seeing all the chaos and division, Viscount went back to the script he had written ten years earlier and found that the message in it was just as relevant as it was when he initially wrote the script. After sharing the script with a friend of his, Galvin J Behrman, the two agreed it was a good time to bring the idea to fruition and after teaming up with Harry Kakatsakis the three of them got to work on setting their plan for the short film into motion. According to the film’s website thanks to 144 people who donated money through a Kickstarter, which was made in early 2011, they were able to raise $17,000 for the film in about three months. After they finished casting for the film, which included Academy Award nominee James Cromwell, and thanks to donations from several different organizations they were ready to film the movie; which they did in about two days with a crew of fifty people. John Viscount spoke heavily in his interview with the audience on peace and unity among nations and the human race and how important it was to him and how key it was to film’s theme and purpose. The makers of the film have tied their film with the efforts being made to establish a Department of Peace in governments all over the world, in addition to partnering themselves with multiple peace organizations for which you can find more information about on the film’s website, The film was really well done, it was powerful, inspiring, and stirring. John Viscount is someone very passionate about peace, love, and spirituality. Watching his film and hearing him discuss his personal life, thoughts, and idealogies was fascinating. John mentioned that he is currently working on a film about cyber-bullying to be shown in schools across the United States. If you missed the screening and can afford to do so, his film is worth the buy and can be found on his website. In addition to the film Admissions film he also has a book that he has written called Mind What Matters: a Pep Talk for Humanity; which after skimming some parts of it seems to be just as, if not more, insightful than his film. You can find his book on the film’s website as well as on Amazon. We were very lucky and thankful to have him on campus to speak on his remarkable short film.