EDWARD W. WOOD, JR.
“WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WWII”
Stephanie Manesis, of Fargo, North Dakota is the Producer/Director of the documentary: Marked by Grace: Stories of Compassion on the WWII Battlefield.
During the horrendous cruelties of WWII, four Germans and Americans share compelling, true stories of compassion toward enemies and allies on the battlefield, reminding us that humanity perseveres in the most unlikely places.
Peter Coyote – accomplished actor and narrator of Ken Burns’ documentaries – narrates this documentary that features six WWII Veterans and three experts.
Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman, author of On Killing and On Combat, is one of the experts providing commentary in this film and we expect to be filming a 3-Star Pentagon General in May of 2023 as our fourth expert.
Marked by Grace: Stories of Compassion on the WWII Battlefield is a 26-minute 40-second documentary short of extraordinary moments of heartwarming humanity in the midst of war’s cruelty and carnage.
First inspired by hearing two stories of compassion between enemies during WWII in the 1990s, Producer/Director Stephanie Manesis began her passionate pursuit of developing a powerful short film that shines light on this hidden aspect of WWII. These compassionate acts speak to the human spirit that exists in all mankind, even when thrust into the most horrific of circumstances.
Six World War II veterans and three WWII experts weigh in on these little known stories of compassion that take the viewer on unexpected emotional journeys as veterans recount unique compassionate acts during wartime, some that irrevocably changed their lives.
Growing up in a world where “thou shalt not kill” is taught, but where “kill or be killed” is ingrained during military training, this moving film exposes raw human compassion shown in the most unlikely situations.
Shot on various locations in the United States, Marked by Grace: Stories of Compassion on the WWII Battlefield offers an intimate look at another side of battlefield engagement, where compassion surfaces in the name of humanity.
Three Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations have expressed interest in airing this documentary and we are anticipating distribution to national PBS. Additionally, we will submit this short to film festivals and secondary and post-secondary schools in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
We are also proud to announce this documentary will be shown at a permanent kiosk at the Veterans Memorial Park in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
We believe this film will enlighten viewers that we, as a society, are all more similar than different, and that empathy has the power to bond and unite even in the darkest of circumstances.
While WWII is remembered for its harsh reality of devastating proportions, the hidden compassions also deserve recognition and tribute. With this film, we honor and remember the lives of those who served and the redemptive powers of compassionate humanity.
We will never fully understand war, peace and reconciliation until we explore why compassionate acts happen on the battlefield… these stories need to be told and remembered so future generations can learn and grow from these experiences.
There are fewer than 122,000 WWII veterans still alive today in the U.S. and they are dying at a rate of at least 600 per day. It is important that we complete this film in 2023 while these veterans are still alive.
Like many independent filmmakers, we have a fiscal sponsor that offers us 501 (c) (3) non-profit status. Our fiscal sponsor is the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County (HCSCC) in Moorhead, Minnesota (Moorhead, Minnesota is a twin city of Fargo, North Dakota.) HCSCC oversees and monitors all spending on this film.
We are currently fundraising for a one-day shoot of the 3-Star Pentagon General and for editing for this documentary for a total of $18,595. Our goal is to complete this film in the fall of 2023 and to submit the documentary to film festivals for 2024.Below is a breakdown of budgeted expenses through June of 2024 for which we need funding: