Bid to raise cash for WWII film

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A budding director is leading a crowd-funding campaign to make a World War Two film based on his great grandfather’s experiences.

Zak Jarvis, a student at the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, is working with a group of students and alumni from the school and SAE Institute, London, to make the short film.

‘Across Frontiers’ is based on Zak’s great grandfather who was captured in North Africa and his experiences as an escaped Prisoner Of War (POW) in Italy. It follows two young British POWs - telling the story of the Italian Contadini, brave families who risked everything to help and shelter fugitives while under German occupation during the Second World War.

Writer/director Zak, 20, said: “Post-armistice Italy is a period of WWII which is hugely overshadowed by the Normandy campaign in film the same way it was in 1944. Not many people know of the sacrifice made by the Italian Contadini for 30,000 escaped allied soldiers, including my great grandfather.

“I think this is a story which absolutely must be told because the only acknowledgement the Contadini received at the time was a paper certificate, despite risking the death penalty imposed by the Germans. It’s my way of saying thank you.”

The entire film will be shot in Yorkshire at locations including Eden Camp, a private railway and in the Dales.

The film’s composer Alessandro Apolloni has a unique connection to the project in that his grandfather also fought in North Africa, but for Italy.

The team hope to raise £5,250, in addition to the money they are putting in themselves. To donate visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/across-frontiers-a-wwii-escape-story-war#/.