Lidice to air on UK TV screens!

We’re absolutely thrilled that ‘Lidice: A light across the sea’ will be shown on British TV on the 3rd November this year!

Having already been aired on Czech television and across the USA, the documentary will now be shown on the Community Channel (Freeview: 63, Sky: 539, Virgin Media: 233, Freesat: 651) on the 3rd November at 10pm. Not that we didn’t love the chance to visit the Czech Republic and the USA but it will be great to be able to watch the film on television straight from our living rooms!

We’re really proud of the documentary and the inspiring stories of the people of Lidice and the miners of Stoke-on-Trent and it’s fantastic that the story is still reaching new audiences a year after it first premiered at the Czech Embassy.

Equally proud are Stoke City Football Club, who helped to fund the documentary and allowed us to show it to school children at the Britannia Stadium. Adrian Hurst, head of community at the club, said

“Stoke City Football Club were proud to be part of a project that recognised the fantastic community spirit of the City of Stoke-on-Trent. The Club funded the making of the film which will give generations an opportunity to understand and relive the story.”

The community channel is available across all platforms (Freeview: 63, Sky: 539, Virgin Media: 233, Freesat: 651) so make sure you set a remind, remote record or Tivo it so you don’t miss it!

Once again we’d like to thank everyone who has helped us with the documentary along the way, and we hope you’re as proud as we are.

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Lidice Heads Across the Pond!

Today marks the first of our Lidice film showings in Chicago as part of the city’s 2014 commemorative events.

As you probably know, we began production on the documentary after learning about the WWII Lidice tragedy and if you haven’t seen it already, the documentary tells the story of how Stoke-on-Trent citizens helped to rebuild Lidice, a small town in the Czech Republic that was destroyed in the war. Released in 2013, the film has received a phenomenal response, shown to politicians, family members and school children through the UK and Czech Republic, and we’re now extremely proud that the story has head across the pond to Chicago, Illinios.

We were asked to show the film at a number of events in Chicago to the city’s large Czech and Slovak community as part of the city’s commemorations. The film will be shown at the National Czech and Slovak Museum on the 7th June and at the Lidice Commemorative event at Crest Hill, which was renamed Lidice in remembrance of the tragedy, on the 8th June.

It’s amazing to see the film have a life of its own and to reach so many people across the world, and we’re really proud that this inspirational story of sincere solidarity is receiving the recognition it deserves.

Lidice Shall Live: How Stoke-on-Trent helped Lidice recover after Nazi Invasion

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The destruction of Lidice, a village in Czech Republic, by the Nazis during World War II is an important, but little known part of European history. In 1942, Hitler ordered the arrest and execution of Lidice residents, and sanctioned the destruction of the village. Of the 488 Lidice natives, only 17 children survived, having been placed with German families. News of the Lidice tragedy spread, and inspired Stoke-on-Trent city councillor, Sir Barnett Stross, to enlist the help of local coal miners to rebuild Lidice. Stross worked with the miners to launch the ‘Lidice Shall Live’ campaign, to raise funds for survivors to rebuild their village. Despite the strain of war-time recession, the city of Stoke-on-Trent raised £32,000 (the equivalent of £1 million in today’s terms) to help restore Lidice.

Although the story is an inspiring, key part of Stoke-on-Trent’s history of internationalism, it remains relatively unknown. It was a piece of history that was all but forgotten, however in 2012 a programme of events took place to mark the 70th anniversary of the tragedy. As part of the anniversary events, Inspired film and video began filming a documentary ‘Lidice: A light across the sea’, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which looks at the historic events that occurred during World War II and captures engaging accounts from a number of the survivors from the Lidice tragedy, and Sir Barnett Stross’ family members.

The film was made possible from the support of the people of North Staffordshire who gave their time, effort, positivity and goodwill to this project. A successful Crowd Funder appeal helped to raise a per-production budget to get the project off the ground. Local universities, Keele University and Staffordshire University came on board as executive producers, and Stoke City Football Club Community Trust provided much-needed financial support and helped raise awareness for the project. This support enabled Inspired to travel to the Czech Republic to film important interviews, conduct research and helped us purchase crucial footage from the Czech film archive.

A year on, the film is now complete and was premiered in London at the Czech Embassy on 20th June. Among distinguished guests at the premier were Czech Ambassador Michael Žantovský, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Tristram Hunt, and relatives of Sir Barnett Stross. After attending the film premier, Sarah Curtis, niece of Sir Barnett Stross, expressed her gratitude to Inspired for documenting the vital historic event:
“It’s so great to have the film so that my children and grandchildren may understand what my uncle (their great uncle) and the people of Stoke-on-Trent did to confront that terrible horror”.

The film received an overwhelmingly positive response, and Inspired are now working to take the films out into schools, to inspire and educate future generations.
In a recent article in the Sentinel, Tristram Hunt noted:
“With such an exciting, engaging and scholarly account of the heroic role of Stoke-on-Trent in the terrible events of 1942, there is no excuse for the next generation not to know of this past.”

It is responses such as this that have inspired further distribution of the film. Inspired passionately believe as many people as possible should hear this story – particularly in Stoke and North Staffordshire. As part of their outreach project to ensure future generations hear the story of Lidice, Inspired are providing schools with a free educational pack and will host a screening of the film for local schools. Furthermore, the film will be broadcast on both UK and Czech television. This is a proud part of Stoke-on-Trent’s history that will not be forgotten.

To find out more about Inspired Film and Video and the work they do follow their Twitter:

Or visit:

http://www.inspiredfilmandvideo.co.uk

Archive Footage

Work is progressing nicely on the film Lidice – A Light Across The Sea.

Last week the footage from the Czech Film Archive in Prague arrived. It’s fascinating to work with archive footage as it’s like looking back in time. In this case it’s a part of history which we all hope we never re-visit. The footage of the destruction of Lidice was shot by Dr Franz Treml and was actually used as evidence of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials. It’s chilling to watch the destruction of the village but it adds an important element to the film.

We’ll also be using Movietone footage from the UK which features the exiled Czech President Edvard Benes visiting the launch of the Lidice Shall Live campaign at the Victoria Hall in Hanley.

As well as archive footage we’ve recorded interviews with survivors of the atrocity, first hand accounts from the launch of the Lidice Shall Live campaign and also interviews with historians.

Lidice – A Light Across The Sea

“The miner’s lamp dispels the shadows on the coalface. It can also send a ray of light across the sea to those who struggle in darkness”.

So said Sir Barnett Stross in 1942 and the film takes its name from this title.

Since our last post we have been very busy shooting interviews, sourcing archive footage,  producing the soundtrack for the film and working on the edit.

We’re really happy with the progress of the film and we’re looking at a June-time completion date.

The help and support we’ve received from most people in the UK and the Czech Republic has been fantastic and we look forward to completing the film and inviting you all along to a special preview evening in the summer.

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Filming in the Czech Republic

Last week a team from Inspired flew out to the Czech Republic to film in Prague, Kladno and Lidice. It was a very successful trip and the team shot some great interviews with survivors of the atrocity, Mrs. Cábová and Mrs Sklenickova.

We also took the opportunity whilst in Lidice to meet with the Director of the Lidice Memorial Anco Marinov. We were able to present him with funds raised by Inspired and also by those who contributed to the Crowd Funder appeal earlier this year.

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We also interviewed him for the film.

In addition to shooting in Lidice we also filmed at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. We met with Eduard Stehlik, a Czech historian and writer who wrote the excellent book, Lidice: The Story of a Czech Village. This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the story.

We also visited the Mayrau Mining Museum in Kladno to find out more about the history of mining in the area. We’ve heard a lot so far about the bond between miners working in the former Czechoslovakia and the miners in Stoke on Trent who donated a days wages to help rebuild the village of Lidice, and it was a great experience to visit the open air museum. It reminded us of our own experiences of Chatterley Whitfield back in Stoke and it wasn’t hard to see why the men who worked in these extreme conditions forged bonds that crossed thousands of miles.

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Of course we also spent some time in Prague, after all it would be rude not to. Our visit to the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius was very moving. The paratroopers who shot Heydrich hid in the crypt  and the Nazis laid siege to the church before the paratroopers eventually took their own life. There was also time to visit the spot where Heydrich was assassinated.

So another fantastic trip to the Czech Republic and its all systems go now as we start to put together shooting schedules for the new year. We’re still looking at a Spring-time date for completing the film and can’t wait to show you all the finished film.

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Prague on a December morning.

Screening Success

The commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the launch of the Lidice Shall Live campaign  was a great success last month and we must extend our congratulations to everyone who took part in events, attended or helped to arrange them. It was an honour to be a part of the events and we hope the delegation from Lidice had an enjoyable trip.  It was a privilege to meet three of the “Children of Lidice” again and to hear their stories and thoughts.

We were able to show some clips from our film ‘A Light AcrossThe Sea’ at the event and it was a great success with around 150  people attending to meet and hear from our visitors from LIdice and also to watch some clips from the film – and too also enjoy a glass of Staropramen with us!  None of the footage would’ve been possible without the support of all our Crowd Funding donors. Thanks.

We are aiming to have the film finished by Spring 2013 and hope to have some more very exciting news soon.