During the bitter winter of the Battle of the Bulge, an American GI receives a descriptive, heartfelt letter from his wife. Meanwhile, a German sniper creeps up on him and has him in his sights.
Inspired by filmmaker Mark Kirkland's late step father, 1st Lt Omer Dwight "Whit" Whitwell, who served as a combat rifle platoon leader during WWII.
Shot with a 60 year old Eclair Cameflex using vintage lenses and Eastman Kodak Color Negative 35mm Film.
The story behind "A Letter From Home"
by Mark Kirkland
The source of my story began when I was a kid listening to my late stepfather, Omer Dwight "Whit" Whitwell, tell tales of being a 21 year old 1st Lt. rifle platoon leader (K-320th, 35th Division) during WWII. He said officers wouldn't wear their silver bars in combat because it marked them as "priority targets" for snipers. Can you imagine having to think of that on the job?!
After Whit passed away, I found a 1945 letter to him from his commanding officer, Capt. Homer Kurtz. The letter described Kurtz mistaking Whit for dead "lying in a ditch" with multiple wounds from enemy gun fire, including a near-fatal gut wound.
In 2002 I searched and located Kurtz and we became friends. Over the years I attended six reunions of the 35th Division, which was one of Patton's spearhead divisions. I met many veterans -- some missing arms and legs -- all willing to share their stories.
I worked with 1st Lt. Royal A. Offer, Whit's best buddy and fellow rifle platoon leader, as a consultant. He provided many stories and even a couple of props for the film.
Imagine the Christmas those troops and their families had in 1944...
FILM FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Sonoma International Film Festival (Honorable Mention)
GI Film Festival
Beverly Hills Film, Television & New Media (Best Director for Short Narrative Film)
Ojai Film Festival
Burbank International Film Festival ( Best Film Based on History)
Big Bear International Film Festival (Best Big Bear Film)
Beverly Hills Shorts
LA Film + Music
Showbiz Expo Film Festival
Independent Film Quarterly Film & New Media
Beaufort International Film Festival
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Ventura International Film Festival
Great Lakes International Film Festival
Written & Directed by
LETICIA KIRKLAND & MARK KIRKLAND
Husband BRENDAN FLEMING
Wife LUCY TEITLER
Mom VALERIE LONG
Dad JEFFREY von MEYER
Director of Photography
Sound Design / Recording Engineer
Production Design / Additional Photography
Digital Effects & Retouching
Key Art / Poster
PHIL HATTEN DESIGN
Copyright MMX Mark Kirkland & Leticia Kirkland
Registered with the Library of Congress