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The Nashville Film Festival has announced Welcome Home Brother, directed by School of Journalism and Electronic Media seniors Isaac Fowler and Tim Morris, as an official selection in its short documentary category.

The festival is an Academy Award–qualifying competition and received more than 6,000 entries for 2018. The festival runs May 10-19.

Isaac Fowler
Isaac Fowler

Fowler and Morris’s eight-minute film documents the experiences of three Vietnam veterans as they find their voice in East Tennessee through the help of the Bill Robinson Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association.

Tim Morris
Tim Morris

Welcome Home Brother is part of the Land Grant FilmsDefender of the Dream documentary. The project was produced in collaboration with East Tennessee PBS.

For this project, Morris, originally from San Diego, California, and Fowler, a native of Roane County, Tennessee, were paired with mentor Rich Middlemas. Middlemas, a 1997 JEM alumnus, is the Academy Award–winning producer of the feature documentary Undefeated.

Along with its selection for the Nashville Film Festival, Welcome Home Brother received first place in the short documentary category at the College Media Association’s film festival and is a finalist for the 2017 Tennessee AP College Contest Awards in TV specialized/topic reporting.

Welcome Home Brother became a family affair for the two students. Morris’s father did the voice-over and the film was dedicated to Fowler’s father, a Vietnam War veteran.

“To be able to honor my dad through the documentary means more to me than any of these awards,” said Fowler. “It’s been a very special project.”

UT Journalism Professor Nick Geidner created Land Grant Films in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media in UT’s College of Communication and Information to give students hands-on experience in documentary storytelling while providing no-cost video services for local nonprofit organizations.

The full program for the Nashville Film Festival is scheduled for release later in April.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,