WRITTEN BY LINDA FINARELLI
@lkfinarelli on Twitter
AMBLER >> It is a tale of exceptional endurance, heroism and survival.
“Against the Sun,” a new movie described as “one of the most harrowing true stories of World War II,” will be screened Jan. 18 at The Ambler Theater, prior to its national release Jan. 23 as part of a “Brunch and Movie” fundraiser sponsored by the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation.
The story recounts how three U.S. Navy airmen crash land their torpedo bomber in the South Pacific, finding themselves on a tiny life raft, surrounded by open ocean, with no food, water or hope of rescue. “Against incredible odds, these three virtual strangers must survive storms, sharks, starvation — and each other — as they try to sail more than a thousand miles to safety,” according to a press release.
A co-producer of the film, Horsham native Kurt Graver, will provide an introductory narrative to the film, followed by the screening and then a “talk back.”
“I’ll show some behind the scenes photos and talk about how we shot it,” the 2004 Hatboro-Horsham High graduate said in a recent interview. “I’m personally excited to be able to share it with the Ambler community early,” he said. “It’s an incredible story that honors the three men.”
The film was shot in Baja, Mexico, at water tanks built for “Titanic” in the mid-1990s, he said. “It’s the largest outdoor water tank in the world.
“I’ll have facts about that, building the team … the ‘movie magic’ behind it all,” Graver said, noting an infinity pool that sits on the edge of the ocean made it possible to shoot scenes in 4 feet of water that look like it’s the ocean. He will also relate stories learned from the ancestors of the people in the film, Graver said, noting Irene Pastula, a widow of one of the three Navy men, served as an advisor for the movie.
“We were working with [the ancestors] to ensure accuracy, which is a tenet of The American Film Company,” he said.
Graver, whose father is on the HHEF board, is the manager of development at The American Film Company, based in Santa Monica, Calif., which produces films about little known true stories from American history. “Against the Sun” is the third film produced by the AFC.
The film is directed by Brian Falk, written by Brian Falk and Mark David Keegan and stars Garret Dillahunt, Tom Felton and Jake Abel. The trailer can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MYsgLqtEgk.
Jan. 23 the film will be released in selected theaters in 10 cities, the same day it is released digitally on iTunes and Video On Demand. The Ambler Theater screening will be its only theater showing in the Philadelphia area.