Where Soldiers Come From

Feeling trapped in their hometown, five friends join the National Guard and begin their journey from teenagers to soldiers to veterans.

Premiere Date
November 10, 2011
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2011 South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW)-Best Editing - Documentary Feature
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2012 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story – Long Form Award
  • Producer/Director

    Heather Courtney

    Heather Courtney is a filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer based in Austin, Texas. Her recently completed Letters from the Other Side, which uses cross-border video letters to tell the immigration story from the perspective of the women left behind in Mexico, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January, screened at the South by Show more Southwest International Film Festival (SXSW). Her previous film, Los Trabajadores/The Workers, won the Audience Award at SXSW in 2001 and was broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens in 2003. In addition, it has screened at over 40 national and international film festivals and conferences, as well as at countless grassroots screenings in conjunction with immigrant rights groups all over Austin and the rest of Texas. She is currently producing the Texas segment of a national PBS documentary on the health insurance crisis. Prior to receiving her graduate degree in film, Heather spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Show less

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    The Film

    A four-year journey that takes teenagers from rural northern Michigan to the battlefields of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows five high school friends who join the National Guard to pay for college. The film is an intimate look at the young men who fight America's wars.