MEMORIAL DAY Film Wins Best Narrative Feature at GI Film Festival

Award is Second in a Month for Conversation-sparking Film

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 22, 2012) -- MEMORIAL DAY was named Best Narrative Feature at GI Film Festival’s “Best of the Festival” film awards ceremony Sunday night in Washington, D.C. This win marks the second award this month for the family-friendly war movie starring Oscar®-nominated actor James Cromwell. MEMORIAL DAY also received the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival earlier this month. In addition to the film’s release on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download leading up to the holiday weekend, it is available today on iTunes.

Directed by Sam Fischer, MEMORIAL DAY (previously titled SOUVENIRS) was given a top honor in a field of 42 films comprising 23 narrative features and 19 documentaries representing every branch of the military and spanning five wars.

“We were honored to be chosen by the GI Film Festival and are thrilled that MEMORIAL DAY won Best Narrative Feature,” said Director Sam Fischer. “It’s most heartwarming to hear how the film is already prompting families of veterans to ask them to share their stories. And we hope that trend helps us enhance the Memorial Day holiday to be as much about sharing memories as it is about remembering.”

An original screenplay by Marc Conklin, MEMORIAL DAY is about a 13-year-old boy who discovers his grandfather's (James Cromwell / THE ARTIST, BABE) World War II footlocker on Memorial Day. Though reluctant to talk about the war, Cromwell’s character Bud, strikes a deal with his grandson to pick any three objects inside, and he’ll tell him the stories behind each one. As we flash back to Bud’s WWII experiences, we also flash forward to Kyle’s future as a soldier in Iraq, where he experiences friendships, loss and moral dilemmas that parallel his grandfather’s—bringing a new meaning to that day on the porch.

MEMORIAL DAY was inspired by co-executive producer Jeff Traxler, an Army veteran who first got the idea while participating in Living History Days – historical re-enactment of military conflicts dating back to the Civil War. The discovery of a military footlocker in an abandoned house caused him to contemplate the stories inside that must have been lockedaway for years – and would never be told.

“Talking about the war can be an emotional journey filled with memories that are both joyful and difficult,” said Tara Staver, Psy.D., a neuropsychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of Active Duty soldiers. “But the value of sharing our stories --- our experiences --- not only for Veterans, but for us all, creates a meaningful connection with others and allows us to live in the present while understanding how to learn from and honor the past.”

MEMORIAL DAY will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download and is playing in select theatres nationwide. For more information, including a list of retailers, please visit www.memorialdayfilm.com.

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MEMORIAL DAY - FEATURE FILMwww.memorialdayfilm.com LOGLINE // MEMORIAL DAY When 13-year-old Kyle Vogel discovers his grandfather's World War II footlocker on Memorial Day, the two strike a deal: Kyle can pick any three objects inside, and Grandpa Bud (James Cromwell / THE ARTIST, BABE) will tell him the stories behind each one. As we flash back to Bud’s WWII experiences, we also flash forward to Kyle’s future as a soldier in Iraq, where he experiences friendships, losses and moral dilemmas that parallel his grandfather’s—and bring new meaning to that day on the porch. SYNOPSIS // MEMORIAL DAY When SSgt. Kyle Vogel leaves a handwritten letter on the seat of his car, grabs a pistol and steps into a Minnesota forest, we wonder who he is and what he’s about to do. Flash back a few months as Vogel lies wounded in a hospital near Anbar Province, Iraq. The night before he’s due to return to combat, his doctor, Lt. Kelly Tripp, presses him on why he’s so obsessed with collecting battle souvenirs. Kyle proceeds to tell her what happened on Memorial Day, 1993, when, as a 13-year old boy, he discovered his Grandpa Bud’s WWII footlocker. Though reluctant to talk about the war, Bud, who served with the 82nd Airborne, strikes a deal with Kyle: “Pick any three objects, and I’ll tell you the story behind each one.” As we see Bud’s WWII tales from Europe, we also see how Kyle’s experiences in Iraq have paralleled them—and how that day on the porch will affect how he ultimately deals with the losses, regrets and moral dilemmas that unite all soldiers across wars and generations.