BRATS: Our Journey Home A Donna Musil Film Featuring Narration and Music by Kris Kristofferson
UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show Operation Military Brat Order the film
Filmmaker Writer-Director
Donna Musil

BRATS is the seven-year work of passion of independent filmmaker Donna Musil. It's the first film Donna has directed and produced. It has won numerous awards and been screened in over a hundred locations around the country, including almost two dozen film festivals. The film was featured on CNN's "This Week at War" and NPR's "All Things Considered," and has been broadcast on Armed Forces Network Television in 178 countries around the world. Donna currently serves as the Executive Director of Brats Without Borders, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization which produced the film, and continues to conduct research and develop programs which raise the awareness of military "brats" and other "third culture kids" and improve the quality of their lives.

Writer-Director Donna Musil speaking with audience at screening in Anniston, Alabama.

In 2011, Donna won a Henry Clews Art Fellowship to La Napoule, France, and her feature screenplay, Cypress Gardens, won Best Feature Drama (2nd place overall) in the Gimme Credit International Screenplay Contest. Donna has written a number of other scripts, including Ananse, a children's animated film based on African folktales, currently in development with Visionex/Ghana and Melendez Films/London. She co-directed a staged reading of her original feature, To Kingdom Come, with Producer Judith Pearlman, in NY Women in Film & TV's Screenplay Reading Series, representing "some of the best developing women screenwriters." Other credits include Rebuilding America's Communities, The Carter Center documentary about inner-city poverty (PBS, 1997 WorldFest Int'l Film Festival Silver Award), and dozens of educational and industrial films for Coca-Cola, BellSouth, and M&M Mars/Snickers. Donna was on the Board of Directors for Women in Film/Atlanta, and has been awarded Hambidge Center (GA), Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), Helene Wurlitzer Foundation (Taos), and Centrum Arts (Port Townsend, Washington) writer's fellowships.

Prior to her writing career, Donna worked as an attorney with the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, helping organize unions throughout the South. She has a J.D. and B.A./Journalism (magna cum laude) from the University of Georgia and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

Donna was raised an Army brat and has lived and worked in Germany, Korea, Ireland, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and France. As a child, she moved 12 times in 16 years. Her father was a JAG officer and military judge. When she was 16, her father died, and two weeks later, her family moved to Columbus, Georgia, where she finished high school.

For the next 20 years, Donna moved 19 times, graduated college, and worked in a variety of jobs, but always felt "different" from her fellow Americans. In 1997, she learned that she was not alone. While surfing the Internet, Donna discovered a Web site for her Taegu, Korea high school. A few weeks later, she attended an impromptu reunion in Washington, DC. It was revelatory. For the first time, Donna felt like she "belonged" somewhere, and thus began her journey "home."

Other Cast & Crew
  Writer/Director/Producer Camera
Producer Editors
Executive Producer Music
Narrator Sound Design & Re-Recording Mixer
Editorial Advisor Final Mix
Co-Producers Additional Crew
Narration Producer About Brats Without Borders, Inc.

Beth Goodwin

A Corporate BRAT, Beth Goodwin has produced and directed dozens of television programs, including Discovery's Lynette Jennings Design; Salsa, a children's Spanish-language television series for Georgia Public Broadcasting; and Grandpa's Garage for Galaxy Classroom/Turner Learning. She has a Masters in Business from Georgia State University and a BFA in Broadcast/Film (magna cum laude) from Southern Methodist University.

Executive Producer

Tessa Lyn Stephenson

The daughter of a military BRAT, Denver-born Tessa Lyn Stephenson is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and is currently working as second assistant director on Dirty Girl, starring Lisa Kudrow. Previous productions include The Pardon, My Mom's New Boyfriend, starring Meg Ryan and Antonio Banderas, Bill Duke's Cover, and An American Crime, starring Catherine Keener.


Kris Kristofferson

Singer/Songwriter, This Old Road, Broken Freedom Song, The Highwaymen; Actor, Lone Star, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, A Star is Born

Editorial Advisor

Judith Pearlman

Navy Brat, Producer/Director, The Idea of North, with Glenn Gould, PBS/CBC; Producer/Director, Bauhaus in America


Timothy Wurtz

Timothy Wurtz has spent more than 25 years writing and producing feature films and TV movies. A former reporter, Tim grew up living in London, England, Ankara, Turkey and Munich, Germany. His dad worked for the U.S. government. He earned a BA in International Studies from the University of Denver.

As a writer-producer, he uses his knowledge of journalism to acquire the rights to true stories. Tim has written numerous TV projects including true stories Monkey Boys, Red Star Murders and the Lacy Brown Pilot.

Tim's feature-film work includes projects for studios in the U.S., Canada and Germany. He has now moved into the arena of independent features with A Clean Kill and the award-winning Hungry Hearts.

As an advocate of the essential, seminal role of the writer and writing in the film and TV industries, Tim founded the Writers Guild of America's Media Relations Committee. His knowledge of media and publicity, and the work of the committee, has resulted in a number of highly successful WGA programs and events that have taken the coverage of film and TV writers from virtually nothing in 1988 to commonplace today.

Francisco Gabaldon "Paco" Hamm

Francisco "Paco" Hamm is an award-winning photographer, producer and writer in Washington, D.C. He currently serves in the military as a public affairs officer for the air Force and is an avid marathon runner. He graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University.

Narration Producer

Alan Abrahams (assisted by Margaret Fowler)

Producer, Kris Kristofferson's Broken Freedom Song; Joan Baez' Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring; Bill Evans' Soul Insider; Les McCann's Pump It Up


Peter Krajewski, Tom Hennig, Dave Henn, Marc Curtis

Peter Krajewski, Government BRAT, Discover Channel's Monster Garage, The History Channel's Boomers: Deterrence From the Deep and Silent Service, PBS' The Living Century, A&E's The Hindenburg, Cine's Sworn to Secrecy/Secrets of War, The Trouble With Lou (2001 Slamdance Moviemaker Breakthrough Award)


John Godwin, Amy Carey Linton, Tony Terrana

Amy Carey Linton, Coast Guard BRAT, Sacco and Vanzetti, Building Bombs, Goin' to Chicago, The Internationale, Ociee Nash


Original music by Charles Primerano, with songs by Kris Kristofferson

Sound Design & Re-Recording Mixer

Shawn Conrad, C.A.S., M.P.S.E.

King of the Hill, Yugio, Blue's Clues, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child, Pokemon 4ever, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Hennig Productions, Austin, TX
John Godwin, Atlanta, GA

Final Mix

BT Post , Atlanta, Georgia

Courtesy of BT Post's Outreach Program (with the help of Shawn Conrad, Sean Bates, Molly Baroco, Lee Davidson, J.D. Andrews, Carley Henderson, and Ed and Linda Bair)

Additional Crew

Webmaster: David Grant

Web Designer: Sherry Bastion of ARCHESITE (with special acknowledgement for the original contributions of Samuel L. Britten who developed the original site)

Production Advisors: Glenn Greenwood, Peg Hennig

Production Assistants: Kimberly Bayes, Karen Purdy Flamand, Bryan Green

Editing Assistance: Peg Hennig

Music Advisor: Daniel Loughry, Thomas Watson

Still Photography: Deverill Weekes

Artwork: Kenneth Robin, Sean Bates, Beth Abbott, Sarita Hleap Faitelson

Legal Assistance: Michael Runnels, Hilary Harp, Allen Buckley, Lenne Eidson Espenschied

Publicists: Vicky Gallion, Glenn Greenwood

About Brats Without Borders, Inc.
(formerly Brats Productions, Inc.)

Brats Without Borders, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit production company founded in 1999. It's mission is to create films, videos, and literary materials for current and former military children and other "third culture kids" from highly mobile families around the world (most of whom spend a portion of their youth outside their country of citizenship) that acknowledge their existence and contributions, improve the quality of their lives, and foster the self-awareness and sense of belonging necessary to employ the more positive aspects of their unique multi-cultural inheritance. All donations are tax-deductible.

The first documentary about growing up military.