Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story told by World War II prisoner of war U.S. Army 8th Air Force Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of many PoWs crowded into Stalag Luft III barracks that would later be made famous by the iconic film "The Great Escape." Woehrle was shot down May 29th, 1943. His parachute malfunctioned when he bailed from his crippled B17, the "Concho Clipper," yet miraculously he survived. At age 94 this remarkable man and gifted storyteller takes us back with vivid detail as he relives his experiences that include: his rescue by a French fisherman, capture by the Nazis, eating bread crumbs to survive, the 70 mile "Forced March” in below zero, and being liberated by General Patton after two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship. Woehrle, now age 97, is the oldest living American PoW from Stalag Luft 3. He shares his personal story - filled with grit and grace of how he survived physically and psychologically. A man who still lives his life in service to others, Charles Woehrle, one of thousands of heroes from the Greatest Generation, has much to teach us about war and about life.
FROM THE FILMMAKER ~ Our Greatest Generation is dying and with them, their stories. I have wanted to tell this story about my Uncle Charles for many years because it is compelling living history, but more importantly because he is a remarkable man and gifted storyteller. My uncle is the oldest living American Stalag Luft III PoW (now age 97) We have been shooting since October 2009 when we filmed the interviews with my Uncle (2 - Red One cameras). Since then we have covered a lot of ground shooting b-roll (HD), other interviews, finding archival footage, gathering archival elements, shooting reenactment imagery (3 camera - 5D), and of course my ongoing challenge of finding the funding to continue through the editing/sound design/music process. I have been fortunate to have an unbelievable committed team and the financial support of private funders adn 3M Corporation who believe in this project and realize its value. It is their financial support and the generous in-kind donations from our historical organizations (EAA, Camp Ripley Museum, The Bong Center, 8th Air Force, Stalag Luft III) and film communites that have gotten the production this far and for whom I have the deepest gratitude.
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PRODUCTION TEAM: DP - Bill Carlson; DP-Greg Winter; DP-Greg Stiever; DP-Chip Johnson; AC - TJ Schwingle; AC/Sound - Brian Garnell; Sound-Andrew Melby; Sound-Ben Allison; Cameraman-Victor Rukivina; Lead Historian - Doug Bekke; Historian - Charlie Paulter; Historian - Doug Thompson; Historian -Val Burgess; Historian - Marilyn Walton; Writer, Director, Producer - Louise Woehrle
POST PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor - Jim Stanger & Channel Z, Chip Johnson
LINKS TO MEDIA: Telegraph (London, Nov. 2, 2013) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/watches/13549/the-great-escapement.html
New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/fashion/a-prisoner-a-watch-a-war-story.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=charles%20woehrle&st=cse
Hodinkee (watch blog)
https://vimeo.com/channels/stalagluft3 - rough footage for the documentary: untreated without music or sound effects; additional various elements for the film including NBC Today Show excerpt. We are in post production phase.
Thank you for your time in reading this! ~ Louise Woehrle