In a special exclusive for, television talkshow host and co-director of the hard-hitting documentary “Body of War” currently gracing screens at the Traverse City Film Fest, Phil Donahue took the time to sit down with reporter Pete Nichols and discuss not only his film, but some of the issues surrounding it.

The Donahue interview video takes a deeper look at some of the political points made during the preceding panel discussion, “The Phil Donahue Show, Live in Traverse City,” which featured filmmakers and luminaries such as director Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and screenwriter-director Elaine May (“The Heartbreak Kid”). The TCFF panel was sponsored by Ungaretti & Harris LLP.

In addition, the interview sheds light on what led Donahue to make the film, what role corporate media coverage of war stories plays in the national discussion of the Iraq and Afghani wars, and where documentary filmmaking comes in to fill the gulf between what is covered and what remains untouched by many media outlets.

The interview also includes a discussion between Donahue and Film Fest volunteer Mark Dragovich, himself a wounded veteran of Operation Desert Storm regarding Donahue’s views on war coverage, the plight of returning, injured soldiers, and Dragovich’s work with Haven, a non-profit organization that specializes in helping to employ disabled veterans.

This interview is part of’s “Behind the Screen” Series — Video Extras To Enrich The Film Fest Experience — designed to give Traverse City Film Festival goers and film fans alike a fresh, behind-the-scenes look at the festival, but also to shed light on and expand upon themes presented in the daily filmmaker panels. Other interviews in the Behind the Screen Series include:

Interview with Janet Lockwood, Michigan Film Office