In a tribute to his fellow airmen and POWs, Charles Woehrle spoke for those unable to share about the tribulations of World War II. In honor of the many veterans that served our nation, Louise Woehrle filmed her uncle, Charles, and helped tell the story of World War II in a film featured in this year’s Whiskey Creek Film Festival.
The Whiskey Creek Film Festival committee selected “Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story” for their "Official Minnesota Selection" at this year's festival. The honor was not lost on the film’s director and producer, Louise Woehrle, who said she’s excited to be a part of the festival, which starts Thursday in Wadena.
"To only have one Minnesota show, and to be selected, it's a real honor," Woehrle said.
The film chronicles the journey of Charles Woehrle as he relives his harrowing story flying in the Mighty Eighth, and as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III – the Nazi prison camp made famous by the iconic 1963 Hollywood film “The Great Escape.” 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the actual ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III. Charles passed away March 25, 2015.
The film has been playing all over the country and even won "best of the fest" at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival out of 277 films and has been selected by several festivals across the U.S. including Wadena, as the official Minnesota selection.
According to Woehrle, her film is about as Minnesota as it gets. It would have to be, coming from the journey of Charles who lived nearly 100 years in Minnesota. But the film also takes viewers on a trip around the world as Charles shares his journey from his home of Pine City, MN, to war-torn Europe as he relives his experiences with vivid detail that include his B-17 getting shot down, capture by the Nazis, an unexpected parcel from Geneva, and surviving two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship, according to a press release on the film.
Woerhle said similar festivals showing this film have sold out so she believes Wadena can expect a passionate crowd to drive some distance to be able to watch this film.
"These smaller film festivals, when they are done by a guy like Dave (Quincer), they are special," Woehrle said. Quincer is the owner of the historic Cozy Theatre in Wadena, which works with a committee to put on this festival each year.
The film will screen at the Cozy Theater: Friday, Sept. 13 - 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 14 - 4:30 p.m.; and Thursday, Sept. 19 - 7:10 p.m.
Woehrle will participate in a question and answer session following the screening of her film on Friday and Saturday at the Festival.
What else is showing?
Look no further than a comfy seat at Wadena's Cozy Theatre for a trip through time and around the world during the annual Whiskey Creek Film Festival Sept. 13-19. The 2019 Festival has a simple rule: screening critically recognized films in current theatrical release not usually shown in theaters in rural Minnesota.
What does that look like for this year’s lineup? To view a schedule of this year's film's click here.
The Biggest Little Farm is an environmental advocacy documentary with a satisfying side dish of hope for the future.
A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land.
The story follows Dever and Feldstein’s characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more. Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night.
Rated R (for strong sexual content and language throughout, drug use and drinking – all involving teens). Directed by Olivia Wilde. Runtime 105 minutes.
The film follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved Grandmother has only a short while left to live, decide to keep her in the dark and schedule an impromptu wedding to gather before she passes. Billi, feeling like a fish out of water in her home country, struggles with the family’s decision to hide the truth from her grandmother.
Rated PG. Directed and written by Lulu Wang. Runtime 98 minutes.
Wild Rose tells the complicated story of Rose-Lynn, a woman on a quest to become a country music star, while also grappling with the responsibilities of being recently released from prison and a young mother of two children.
Rated R. Directed by Tom Harper. Runtiime 101 minutes
A modern Mark Twain style adventure story, The Peanut Butter Falcon tells the story of Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). A strange turn of events pairs him on the road with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a small time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.
Rated PG-13 Directed and written by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. Runtime 93 minutes.
When music fanatic Javed discovers the illustrious back catalogue of The Boss his world is turned upside down; already a creative soul his passion for music and writing is set alight by the songs of the working-class poet, whose lyrics feel all too familiar to the aspirational teenager. Yearning to escape his rundown hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani household, Javed finds himself caught in between two worlds and must discover if he too is Born to Run…
Rated PG-13. Directed by Gurinder Chadha and written by Guinder Chadha, Sarfaz Manzoor, Paul Mayeda Berge. Runtime 114 minutes.
This year's free family movie is the third in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. In this film, dragon and rider will fight together to the very ends of the Earth to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.
Rated PG (for adventure action and some mild rude humor). Runtime 110 minutes.
Festival passes are on sale at the Cozy Theatre box office, the Cultural Center in New York Mills, Beagle/Wolf Books in Park Rapids, Oma’s Bakery in Wadena, and the Staples World in Staples.
Festival passes (seven paid admission films plus one free admission film) may be shared among two or more persons and cost $35. The festival pass saves you $21 ($3 per film) over the cost of purchasing seven individual tickets. Individual film admission tickets ($8) are only available for purchase at the Cozy Theatre box office. Senior individual film admission is $7 and youth individual film admission (12 and under) is $6.