Adee and Felice Shekar
Mother and Daughter Unite to Aid Returning Veterans
Benjamin Franklin once said that “Virtue and Happiness are Mother and Daughter.” Adee and Felice Shekar certainly exemplify this. Not only do they share close family ties, they are NSU family members who are on an extraordinary journey to assist American soldiers.
Adee began at NSU working in the bookstore. She says, “I loved NSU from the minute I set foot on campus.” Today, she is Coordinator of Operations for Business Services at NSU and a recent graduate (B.S. ’12) of the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
An independent and entrepreneurial spirit, Adee’s mother Felice is self-employed. One day, she decided to return to school for her Master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution at NSU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. "Mom has always valued education,” says Adee. “She says it keeps you young!”
While attending NSU, Felice had a chance encounter with the individual who would change her life. “I had a friend in the film industry who presented me with an unfinished script. At first, I said no. I had school, my job, and my family to think about. Eventually he won me over!”
The two founded Emerald Edge Productions and began work on All Wars End, a film that addresses post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in returning veterans. Additionally, All Wars End raises funds for Wounded Warriors of South Florida. The purpose of Wounded Warriors is to “raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.”
“From the auditions to scouting the location, we did everything ourselves,” Felice explained. “We were fortunate. From the beginning, the project seemed to be blessed.”
One such example was finding the location for the filming of Fallujah, Iraq. Felice and her crew came across a property in Miami that was owned by an Iraqi veteran that seemed ideal for filming. Upon learning about the purpose of the film, the veteran allowed the crew to utilize his land at no cost.
Felice recalls having the good fortune to meet another Iraqi veteran, who became an advisor on set. “It was important that we portray the soldiers as accurately as possible. Having veterans on set to give script and set direction advice lent an authenticity and sensitivity to the film we otherwise would not have had,” she says.
As a business major at NSU, Adee lent her problem-solving and brainstorming talents to the making of the film. “The skills I gained in the classroom and apply on the job helped tremendously.” Felice agrees: “Her expertise was invaluable.”
Adee adds, “From my perspective, as a consultant to the film, I learned about many of my friends who were returning veterans.” One of Adee’s friends, a major in the Marines who was deployed three times to Iraq, not only served as a script advisor, but donated $1000 to the project.
“In South Florida, we’re distanced from the war,” says Felice. "When we hear the term “veteran,” we don’t realize how young many of these soldiers really are. Not only that, we may not realize there are nearly ten years worth of military veterans living in our community. Our support systems for them are still relatively new, and extremely overwhelmed.”
All Wars End premiered on September 11, 2012 at Cinema Paradiso in downtown Fort Lauderdale. For more information and to help donate, please visit www.allwarsend.com.