World War II Docudrama at Film Festival

“The Wereth Eleven,” an epic docudrama based on the true story of the dramatic escape made by 11 American soldiers at the start of the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, will be featured in full-length at the Fifth Annual GI Film Festival in celebration of American servicemen and women.

The world premiere will be held at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 14 at 4:45 p.m. EDT.

“The Wereth Eleven” is one of 31 films to premiere at the GI Film Festival between May 9 and May 15 that honor the heroic stories of the American Armed Forces and the worldwide struggle for freedom and liberty. 

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The festival films are known to express the courage and selflessness of American soldiers and the value of their work.

Narrated by “The Closer’s” Corey Reynolds, “The Wereth Eleven” retraces the steps of 11 soldiers of the segregated African-American 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who escaped The 18th Volksgrenadiers after their unit was overrun at the start of the Battle of the Bulge.

Their 10-mile trek from their battery position to Wereth, Belgium led them to refuge with a Belgian family until a Nazi sympathizer revealed their presence to an SS Reconn Patrol.

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The soldiers surrendered, but were taken to a field, where they were tortured, maimed, and shot on Dec. 17, 1944. The killings were investigated, but never prosecuted.

“This story really moved me and I’m proud to have it featured on film at the GI Film Festival,” stated Joseph Small, executive producer of “The Wereth Eleven” and CEO of The Ardennes Group.

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“My mission has been to increase awareness of these heroic men and their story. People need to know what happened to the 11 soldiers and learn of the contributions of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion during World War II. The GI Film Festival will be instrumental in helping get the word out about our heroes and their sacrifices for our nation.”

The film is an epic docudrama with Hollywood-grade visual effects, interviews with people who were there, and archival footage, says The Ardennes Group.

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“The Wereth Eleven” was produced by The Ardennes Group with executive producers Small, Robert Child, and Frederic Lumiere. The film was directed and written by Child, and edited by Lumiere: producer, director and editor of the Emmy Award-winning series “WWII in HD,” narrated by Gary Sinise.

Launched in 2009 by CEO Joseph Small, The Ardennes Group develops and produces historical military documentaries and films.

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Rakesh Raman