Inaugural Screening of Soldiers of the Vine with Q&A Panel. Casa de Luz, July 29th, 2017, 1:30-3:30, Austin, TX

Aloha friends.

Whenever Terence McKenna came to town he would always thank the audience for coming to listen to him, but would also always point out that everyone that you needed to meet was already in that room with you.

So in that spirit, please come out and meet all the people in the audience that are waiting for you and join us for the inaugural screening of ‘Soldiers of the Vine: Healing War Trauma with Plant Medicine’ followed by a special Q&A panel.   The film features six American Veterans that go to Peru to explore a 10-day plant dieta (Ayahuasca and other plant medicines) to treat PTSD.

The panel consists Mitch Schultz, the producer of Soldiers of the Vine, who will be the moderator,  Ian Benouis, organizer of the project, Chris Schickedanz, who went to Peru and Jeremiah Looney who was unable to travel to Peru, but has participated in numerous ayahuasca and other medicine ceremonies with veterans. Please stay tuned to see if some other special invited guests will be able to make it to town.

“Veterans in this country commit suicide at a rate twice of the general population. This is a wake-up call—our mental hospitals are filled with Veterans, our homeless shelters are filled with Veterans, our prisons are filled with Veterans, …with many of them denied the health benefits that they’ve earned with many veterans dying before the VA gets around to answering the claim.”

Come out and Support the film!

*A $20 minimum cash donation is suggested at the event. Donations will help finish paying for the last retreat costs to Carlos, the shaman who treated the veterans. Any extra funding will go towards more Veterans having access to plant medicine!

Volunteers needed for the following:

*Room set-up (chairs)

*Greeter (help with taking donations and providing change)

Please let us know if you’re interested in helping with the event!

Film Credits:

Written, Photographed, Edited & Directed by Charles Shaw

Produced by Mitch Schultz & Dimitri Mugianis

Featuring: Ian Benouis, Matt Kahl Barry Richardson, Dakota Blue Serna, Jeremiah Shattuck, Chris Schickedanz, Carlos, Juan and Alberto Chavez, Roberto Plata

Music by Micky Hart, Moreno M. Margherita, Michael Garfield, Medasin, Tony Anderson, R. Sakomoto

Special Thanks: Ian Benouis, Maria Teresa Chavez, Rak Razam, Casey William Hardison, Raj Lahoti, Tambo Illusion, Sugar Shack LA, Siku Ogunsanya, Aimee St Charles Kahl, Melissa Richardson, Joseph Peter Barsuglia Ph.D, Dan Engle MD, Kathleen Chard, Ph.D.

Filmed in Taropoto, Peru, Tijuana, Mexico, and Denver Colorado


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About Ian Benouis

Ian Benouis is a West Point graduate, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, former US Army officer and combat veteran who participated in Operation Just Cause in the Republic of Panama.  This operation was the largest combat operation in US history focused directly on the War on Drugs and was the largest special operations deployment ever conducted. He was a pilot-in-command and his aviation brigade flew more night vision goggle hours than any unit in the military except for the Task Force 160 Special Operations which his unit was ultimately rolled up into when the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California military base was shut down. Ian grew up in Hawaii in the 1970’s where cannabis was decriminalized and fully integrated in to the culture.  He has been healing himself of trauma for over 25 years with sacred plants, a spiritual practice, and being a student and practitioner of ethnobotany.  Ian was a pharmaceutical representative for Pfizer after he got out of the Army witnessing firsthand the meteoric rise of the SSRI’s and synthetic opioids in the early 1990's. He is a casualty of the drug war having been busted for a friend’s cannabis while in law school.  Ian is an intellectual property attorney who has been working in the corporate world for over 20 years in the primary roles of VP of Sales and Marketing and General Counsel.  He is a political activist in the cannabis and natural plant medicine space nationally and locally in Texas.  Ian was previously the Chairman of the Board for a public policy foundation in Texas for over seven years. Ian was featured in the Spike Jonze produced episode Stoned Vets on Weediquette the cannabis focused series on Viceland on HBO with a number of other veterans protesting the VA’s policy on medical cannabis and trying to end the veteran suicide epidemic. In 2016 Ian organized a trip for six veterans with PTSD to Peru in May for a 10-day plant diet including ayahuasca and other plant medicines with three Shipibo trained shaman brothers that are third generation plant medicine healers.  Ian also took some of the same veterans to Mexico for treatment with iboga and 5-Meo-DMT.  This experience was captured on video and was released as a documentary in March 2017 entitled Soldiers of the Vine. He is member of the team supporting the movie From Shock to Awe a feature-length documentary that chronicles the journeys of military veterans as they seek relief from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the help of ayahuasca, MDMA and cannabis.  This movie premiered at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, AZ on June 2, 2018 where it captured the inaugural Mangurama Award for Conscious Documentary Storytelling.