I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the opening night of the GI Film Festival and the world premiere screening of Field of Lost Shoes. The GI Film Festival is a film festival which focuses on celebrating the military experience through the medium of film. The premiere was held at the Old Town Theater in Alexandria, VA, which has just celebrated its 100th birthday.
Before the film the festival opened with welcoming speeches by the co-founders of the festival and GI Film Group: Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millet. Following the screening of Field of Lost Shoes was a Q and A session with the filmmakers and actor David Arquette. The festivities then continued on to the Torpedo Factory for the after party.
Field of Lost Shoes is based on the Battle of New Market fought in Virginia on May 15, 1864 in the American Civil War. The film is a touching coming of age story that follows the experiences of 7 young cadets from the Virginia Military Institute as they (and their school mates) are enlisted into active battle to defend the Shenandoah Valley. The film has a stellar ensemble cast including Zach Roerig, Jason Isaacs, and Tom Skeritt.
Luke Benward plays John Wise, a governor’s son who is now a general in the South’s army. John struggles with his conflicting views over slavery and the south stance in the Civil war and his loyalty to his friends, family and defending his home. Each of the young cadets is faced with his own internal struggle against the backdrop of the impending battle, you truly feel their passions and pains as the film progresses. The love story between Mary Mouser‘s Libby and Max Lloyd-Jones‘ Sam is a heartfelt depiction of first love in all it’s beauty and awkwardness.
The film is filled with touching moments of friendship, camaraderie, and romance. Though the subject of the film is somber the film itself is gripping without being heavy-handed, there are many moments of levity in spite of the serious subject. The beautiful southern backdrop sets the scenes and the costuming allows the audience to be transported into the past.
Field of Lost Shoes is set for theatrical release in September 2014 for more information on the film follow them on their official twitter or Facebook page. Special thanks to the wonderful people of the GI film festival, and Tara for always being up for adventure.