Buried Above Ground


All contributions to BURIED ABOVE GROUND are processed through our 501(c)3 non-profit fiscal sponsor, The International Documentary Association (IDA).

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"Buried Above Ground – Fiscal Sponsorship Project"

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The International Documentary Association (IDA)
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BURIED ABOVE GROUND ­– eight years in the making – tells the inspiring stories of three Americans who are living with the paralyzing symptoms of PTSD. Over six years, we follow each as they find their owns paths to recovery while finding new purpose in their lives. Get to know former Captain Luis Carlos Montalván, a combat veteran who receives a life-saving Golden Retriever service dog named “Tuesday”; Erundina Lopez, a lifelong survivor of child abuse and domestic violence who fights addiction issues as she puts herself through college; and Ashley Boudreaux, a New Orleanian who lived through Hurricane Katrina and returns to try and rebuild in her hometown. BURIED ABOVE GROUND takes what we have begun to learn about the military experience with PTSD and broadens the storytelling landscape to include other forms of traumatic incidents that currently impact 450 million people worldwide.

The film has a total running time of 77 minutes.


For my own part, I've contributed eight years of sweat, a bit of blood, definitely some tears, and my many of my own funds. I believe strongly in the power of these stories to make a difference in people's lives. As we roll out the film for a national television premiere on Public Television, we will use new contributions towards underwriting more community screenings and Q&A’s around the county. These live events feature a screening of the film, organizing mental health community partners, expert panelists, the film’s subjects, and a talkback facilitated by director Ben Selkow, are profoundly impactful forums.

BURIED ABOVE GROUND is completely unique in the documentary space covering this issue. There has never been a film that looks at multiple types of trauma over a span of time as long as six years. The mission in making and distributing BURIED ABOVE GROUND is to strengthen national and grassroots advocacy groups who support PTSD coalitions; to create community for those in pain and who are isolated because of their symptoms; strengthen anti-stigma/education/awareness campaigns; and help better support the families and friends of anyone with PTSD. Through these united efforts, the hope is that the “crisis of connection” is mitigated and the film can contribute to a campaign of healing and recovery through screenings, town halls and live events with the filmmakers, the film’s subjects and guest panelists. We already have tremendous support from Mental Health America (MHA), one of the leading national advocacy groups for mental health AND The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, led by international mental health advocate former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and where I was one of six national Mental Health Journalism Fellows from 2010-2011.