Overcoming Adversity Through Art
by Co-Founder Noah Berlow;
As a grandson of a World War II P.O.W. Veteran, I grew up hearing stories of war. My grandpa, PVT Stephen Goidich described his experiences to me as a survivor of a German P.O.W. camp on almost a daily basis. I vividly remember his stories about how he created art as a means to get through the horror of being held captive in a Nazi P.O.W. camp. Hearing these stories of survival at such an early age, inspired me to find my voice as a storyteller, and ultimately pursue my career as a professional filmmaker.
Throughout my career, I have grown a passion for mentoring young aspiring filmmakers and helping them find their own voices. Of the many young filmmakers I have taken under my wing, one in particular stood out to me. His name is Joshua Jassem Williams, whom I later discovered was a disabled U.S. Marine Veteran suffering from a severe case of PTSD. I had a brief conversation with him over the phone, and for the days to come he left me repeated messages asking if he could begin an internship with our company. I loved his motivation and invited him to the office to work alongside me as I edited my projects. And it was such a pleasure to watch how fast he learned how to edit and how dedicated he was to learning everything that he could. He would show up early, and stay with me late. I introduced my business partner Sgt. Aaron D. Baldon to Josh and they quickly discovered that they were both U.S. Military Veterans. After several completed projects, Josh pulled Aaron and I aside and expressed how grateful he was for the opportunity to intern with us, and that our creative process was the only thing that helped him overcome his PTSD. And for the first time he had found a way to do something with his life that took his mind off of war, and helped him transition into a normal civilian life.
It was at this moment that ICVF came about, I thought back to my grandfather’s stories to me about how art got him through the war and it galvanized Aaron and I into doing something much bigger than helping one veteran find a way back home to normal life through our company’s creative process.