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UK-based Film Producer Secures Option on Robert Child's Lost Eleven Screenplay

London, UK – October 24. 2019. In a deal which was signed earlier this month a UK - based producer has secured the theatrical rights to Robert Child’s screenplay, THE LOST ELEVEN, adapted from the book of the same name published by Penguin / Random House.

The screenplay, which is based on the true story of the “Wereth Eleven,” retraces the steps eleven black GI's from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion took when Germans at the start of the Battle of the Bulge overran their unit. Their 10-mile trek from their battery position to Wereth, Belgium would be the last journey of their lives as a resident turned them into an SS scouting party. 

 British Executive Producer Jamie Hobbis Founding Partner Venturi Film Ltd.

Jamie Hobbis the British, Emmy® Nominated Director of Photography and Founding Partner Venturi Film, Ltd., who optioned the script has enjoyed a career in film and television spanning more than 20 years. Having had a hand in some of the most groundbreaking drama docs and factual television shows for the likes of Nat Geo and Discovery such as ‘The Great Martian War’ and ’T-Rex Autopsy’, for Jamie, the transition into feature film was the obvious and natural route to take.

Jamie was the cinematographer for the American docudrama, The Wereth Eleven.

“I love nothing more than telling a great story about
amazing people. If that story is a true story then
everyone should hear it. The story of The Lost
Eleven has captivated me for nearly ten years. Of
all the tales I’ve had a hand in telling over the past
twenty years, never have I wanted to tell a story
more than this one.” J. Hobbis

British Producing Partner, Jasmin Morrison

Jamie has brought in Producing Partner, Jasmin Morrison, an experienced film professional in feature film finance. In 2019 Jasmin founded Soul Cognition a production and consultancy company, which is committed to diverse stories from a myriad of writers and directors.

Having previously served as the Investment Manager at London based The Fyzz Facility Jasmin has been involved in the financing of over 100 feature films and has experience working from conception to distribution. Credits include 47 METERS DOWN, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT and THE INFORMER. 

“I am thrilled that both Jamie and Jasmin are moving the film forward into development,” Child commented and continued. “Interest in WWII remains strong in Britain and Europe as this was the bloody battleground. Memories remain fresh and the scars are still healing.” 

 For more information, reach out to either of the producers at the contact information below.

Jamie Hobbis:

Jasmin Morrison

Posted by Robert Child

Memories of Being in New York City on September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 New York
It doesn't matter how much time passes for me the images of that day remain vivid.  I suspect they will for the rest of my life. 

9/11 Reflections

I almost did not write this post as I had second thoughts but I felt I wanted to share my memories before they faded. On 9/11/2001 I was right in the thick of it in a production studio in Manhattan. It was a beautiful cloudless Tuesday which on occasion I can recall as vividly as if it were yesterday.

As I mentioned I was at a TV studio preparing to do The People's Court television show before all hell broke loose. In the control room we watched the mayhem unfold. In fact I vividly recall watching Channel 4 News in a live report from the World Trade Center area when during the actual live report the second plane hit the second tower. The shocked reporter just took off running and so did the cameraman.

Cell phones did not work. Neither did landlines for that matter. The only way I got word to my wife about my situation was sending an email via AOL. Does anyone have AOL anymore? I had no idea if the email would reach her.

In the studio we simply did not know if we should stay or go. What was safer choice? After the plane hit the Pentagon the director turned to me and waved goodbye adding, "Good luck, get home safe." Home for me at the time was Bucks County, PA, 90 minutes to the south via Penn Station. So I headed in that direction. The studio was at 37th Street and 5th Ave. and I could look south and see the brown smoke rising above the towers. As I walked toward Penn Station I passed by several churches with hastily posted signs on which someone scrawled with a sharpie, "Come in and Pray." At one church I saw people actually kneeling on the sidewalk praying.

As I got to Penn Station it was bedlam but I saw a line of people going down an escalator onto a train. I joined them. I didn't care where the train was going - just out of Manhattan. As I got on and actually got a seat before the aisles filled up there came an announcement, "Attention all passengers by order of the NYPD, Penn Station is now closed. All must exit to street level and exit the building."

A collective groan was heard on the train as we all made our way out. My next thought was - water. There must be a boat I could get on. So I headed up 8th Ave. then onto 10th. Coming toward me down the avenue were thousands of people headed to Penn Station. As I made my way up 10th my next thought was cash. I was going to take as much cash out of an ATM as I could before they too were shut down. I dashed in a deli and took out as much as I could and then continued north.

Once I got to 12th Ave. I saw a line of about 500 people waiting to get on a Circle Line boat. I jumped right in behind them. We all boarded. The stuffed to the gills ship slowly pulled away from the dock. At that moment there was almost an audible sigh of relief. The boat was headed over to Weehawken, NJ and you could turn and look across the Hudson and see the Towers engulfed in brown smoke. You could also smell it. It smelled like an electrical fire. People on the boat were actually joking around trying to mask their fears. No one knew what the hell was going to happen next but at least we were off Manhattan.

When we docked at Weehawken I ran to a payphone to see if it had a dial tone. It did. I dialed my voicemail and heard a message from my now ex-wife that I will never forget. I will not detail it just to say it was filled with tears. I was able to call her back, tell her I was safe and would try to grab a train from Hoboken.

I headed down there with thousands of others and the trains were going nowhere. At the station they had set up hundreds of gurneys with IV poles awaiting trains from the Trade Center. Trains that would never come. It was an image I'll never forget. But that was not the final enduring image I would remember from that day....the one that still gives me chills and I will never forget.

After leaving the train station I headed up to a Cuban bar / restaurant. I thought a beer was just what I needed at that point. There were actually only a few people in the place and at the bar. After a few moments a near hysterical woman who had to be 8 months pregnant ran in with someone who had to be her mother. Through her tears I overheard her say to her mother, "his last words were he'd meet us here." I turned to the bartender and he looked back at me, we were both speechless. The pregnant woman then headed into the Ladies room as the Mom stood by the bar.

As I turned to continue watching Peter Jennings anchor the coverage on the TV behind the bar a man bolted in who was covered with the dust. It was the same dust which had covered people who were seen on TV running from the towers. As the man came in the Mom started crying and they embraced. The bar fell silent. Then the pregnant woman emerged from the bathroom, saw her husband and ran towards him crying, overjoyed. No one in the place moved and many including myself teared up. It was scene I will remember till I die.

Several hours later the trains began to operate and I was able to get one to Montclair where my wife met me. I don't remember what we said to each other we just held each other tight for a long moment before heading back to Pennsylvania.

Did the world change that day? Without a doubt. Did it change for the better? For a short while it did in the aftermath. In New York City in the days following it was as silent as the grave. The city din of honking taxi cabs and sirens was gone. The streets were nearly empty. The people who were out went about their business in somber reflection. Upon meeting another person's gaze on the street a warm nod was often exchanged; an acknowledgement of our shared humanity. As a nation we seemed to unite as one people who were wounded and hurting. 

Can we look back from today and say that we have have remained united or grown or are safer as a nation? I am not certain we can. In many ways the world is much less certain and certainly much less innocent than before 9/11/2001. And the political divisiveness of today is a scourge that cuts deeply in one's heart.

But it remains up to us to make it the world in which we all want to live. And by live I mean live in peace. I am a spiritual person and I believe that the dark forces in this world have increased the level of terror and violence that they spread because they know their days are numbered.

More and more common everyday people especially those in the Middle East simply want to live their lives and raise their families in peace. The time is coming soon when killing in the name of God or Allah will not be tolerated, promoted or accepted by people of any faith on the planet. When that day comes...and I truly believe I will see it in my lifetime then finally there will be lasting peace on earth.
Posted by Robert Child

Pause to Remember 11 Black Soldiers Killed Today in The Battle of the Bulge

The Wereth Eleven - Docudrama
Among the greatest "unknown stories" from WWII is that of the Wereth 11. Shortly after the outbreak of Hitler's Ardennes Offensive or Battle of The Bulge in 1944, members of the all-black 333rd Artillery Battalion were just eleven miles behind the front lines. With the rapid advance of the Germans the 333rd was ordered to withdraw further west but C and Service Battery were ordered to stay behind to give covering fire to the 106th Infantry Division. 

On Dec 17th the 333rd were overrun with most killed or captured. The remnants of the unit were ordered to Bastogne and incorporated into its sister unit the 969th Field Artillery Battalion. Both units provided fire support for the 101st Airborne Division in the Siege of Bastogne, subsequently being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

11 soldiers, however, from the 333rd were separated from the unit shortly after they were overrun by the Germans. These men wound up in the little Belgian hamlet of Wereth, just 25 kilometers southwest of Malmedy, Belgium, site of another much more well known WWII atrocity.

At about 3 pm on Dec 16, 1944, the 11 men approached the first house in the nine-house hamlet of Wereth, owned by Mathias Langer. A friend of the Langer's was also present. The men were cold, hungry, and exhausted after walking cross-country through the deep snow. They had two rifles between them. The Langer family welcomed them and gave them food. But this small part of Belgium did not necessarily welcome Americans as “Liberators.” This area had been part of Germany before the First World War and many of its citizens still saw themselves as Germans and not Belgians. 

Word leaked out from a Nazi sympathizer in the area that the men had been sheltered and were hiding in the Langer home. When the SS troops approached the house about 4 pm that day, the eleven Americans surrendered quickly, without resistance. The Americans were made to sit on the road, in the cold, until dark. The Germans then marched them down the road and gunfire was heard in the night. In the morning, villagers saw the bodies of the men in a ditch at the corner of a cow pasture. Because they were afraid that the Germans might return, they did not touch the dead soldiers. The snow covered the bodies and they remained entombed in the snow until January when villagers directed members of the 99th Div. I&R platoon to the site. 

In the official US Army report it was revealed that the men had been brutalized, with broken legs, bayonet wounds to the head, and fingers cut off. And It was apparent that one man was killed as he tried to bandage a comrade's wounds.

In 2001, three Belgium citizens embarked on the task of creating a fitting memorial to these men and additionally to honor all Black GI’s of World War II. With the help of Norman Lichtenfeld, whose father fought and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge, a grassroots publicity and fund-raising endeavor was begun. The land was purchased and a fitting memorial was created There are now road signs indicating the location of the memorial, and the Belgium Tourist Bureau lists it in the 60th Anniversary “Battle of the Bulge” brochures. The dedication of the memorial was held in 2004 in an impressive military ceremony. 

It is believed that this is the only memorial to Black G.I.s, and their units, of World War II in Europe. Norman's goal is to make the Wereth 11 and all Black G.I.’s “visible” to all Americans and to history. They, like so many others, paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Please visit his site where you can learn more about this dark and virtually unknown chapter from WWII.

I am completing the screenplay adaption this month of the Lost Eleven novel. It will soon be sent to major film studios for their consideration. It was always the dream of my co-executive producer, Joseph Small, that this story become a "movie: and the good Lord willing, it will.

Both the Wereth Eleven docudrama and the Lost Eleven novel are available everywhere around the world.
Posted by Robert Child

Film and TV in Development - New Section of the Website

Since I write and direct as many television and film projects as I write books I have added a new section to my website, Film and TV in Development where there's a drop down menu to three exciting projects I have in the Pipeline. One is not listed there yet.

If you have a chance check out these new forthcoming projects.

The Psychic Cop:  Justice Never Dies™ (Status: Pitching, Preproduction)

10x1 Docu-Reality Series Produced by RSC Media Group, LLC
Chuck Bergman, Host, Robert Child Exec. Prod., Director

A former police officer uses his heightened psychic abilities and confessions from the dead to crack cold cases, locate missing persons and solve crimes in the critical first 48 hours.

Learn More.

GUIDES (Status: Casting, Dev., Pitching)
Proposed 10x1 Procedural Drama
Creators: Susan Sanderford, Milt Sanderford, Robert Child 

Writers: Robert Child, Susan Sanderford

Guides is written along the lines of dramas such as “God Friended Me” with its self-empowering message of finding the faith to face life’s challenges along with the courage to follow your own path.

GUIDES dramatizes life-altering challenges we confront here on earth and how, behind-the-scenes, Spirit GUIDES help, encourage and remind us that we always hold the power to make things better. The hero coming to save you —is you. 

Military and veteran’s stories will be a frequent theme woven throughout the series to illustrate sacrifice and heroism. 

Elijah and George  (Status: Casting, Pre-production)
90 Minute Family Feature Film, Prod. Company 1663 Media Arts, LLC
Producers: Andrea Clarke, Michael Dooling
Screenwriter, Director: Robert Child

Based on letters and diaries from the period, “Elijah and George” is an adventurous, at-times humorous, heartfelt story about family, freedom, and home. I was commissioned to write and adapt the original screenplay from the popular Illustrated children’s book “George Washington’s Army and Me” by renowned Author and Illustrator Michael Dooling.

Posted by Robert Child

Veteran's Day 2018 Canada's Role in Ending WWI

Several years back I was hired to direct a film called, Dominion Day, by a great Canadian production company based in Toronto. Their premise and motivation was to demonstrate to Canadians and the world that their fellow countrymen were not always known as the "peace keeping force" but in fact had been brave warriors and victors. In WWI Canadians led the allied spearhead that broke the Hindenburg Line and pressed on to victory in the last 100 days of the conflict. The historical record is clear to anyone who bothers to look in diaries, dispatches and letters.

The Canadian Expeditionary Force on the Western Front with Prime Minister Borden, Gen. Arther Currie and Gen. Byng

Douglas Haig the British Commander put great faith and trust in General Arthur Currie's Canadians.

"Every day Haig used to come to my headquarters and say...
'Be damned Currie. Do you think you can do it?' He saw that if
we could break the Hindenburg system victory might come this
year. (1918) With confidence borne of long experience with the
Canadian troops I was able to give him assurance each day, 'Yes
we will break it'. Arthur Currie."

This is not opinion but fact but in no way lessens my respect and regard for what the French, British,
Australian and American armies accomplished in some of the most terrible fighting soldiers ever faced.

I spent a great deal of time in Europe at Vimy Ridge, at Arras, at Amiens and many other far off places including Jigsaw Wood, Burlon Wood and Castle Boves. I stood in now peaceful fields that
were once battlefields of the Hindenburg Line which Canadians shed blood to cross. And I said a silent prayer over the hallowed ground where many remain.

The evocative aspect of the location of WWI Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemeteries is the fact that they are the spots on which the soldiers drew their last breaths and almost all are situated
on ground that leads up hill. The fact that Canada was not yet a formalized nation but a Dominion at the close of the war may be the reason that the country has not been given the credit it is due.
I have a profound respect for guts, heroism and the tenacity expended to keep pushing forward when all before you is horror and darkness. There are few wars, which can match the carnage of WWI with perhaps the exception of the American Civil War. And that is why I believe people are so fascinated by these events. They illustrate the limit of human endurance as well as the depth of its depravity.

It is a story rich in triumph and human tragedy and if you would like to learn more I invite you to read or listen to my audio book, How Canada Won the Great War. It is an eye opening tale that will not soon be forgotten.

I salute all the men and women on this Veteran's Day 2018 who chose to fight for liberty and freedom. Next time you see a veteran thank them for their service. They all deserve our thanks and respect.

Posted by Robert Child

New Alexander Hamilton Statue Unveiled - US Coast Guard Academy

Posted by Robert Child

Reagan - Peace Through Strength. Truer Words Never Spoken [WATCH]

The Wisdom of President Reagan

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Posted by Robert Child

New Monthly Autographed Book Giveaway

Robert Child signing copies at Barnes & Noble
I've launched a monthly drawing for an autographed copy of my book, The Lost Eleven. How do you enter? Simple, just  Subscribe to my Pipeline Newsletter at the special link (landing page) and that's it. No purchase necessary.

Winners will be chosen at random on the last day of each month and the contest runs through June 2019. So spread the word far and wide. 

All entrants get a second chance entry if they refer a friend who also enters the contest.

Drawing on firsthand interviews with family members and fellow soldiers, The Lost Eleven tells the complete story of these nearly forgotten soldiers, their valor in battle and their tragic end.

The Lost Eleven has received much acclaim. Like the kind words below:

“A sad, chilling work that displays a vigorous buildup and suspense.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“It is because of men like these…that I could be a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. My success was enabled by their sacrifices. This book is a must-read.”

— Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West, US Army (Ret.), former Congressman

“The story of the Eleven should be a reminder to all Americans that the values of duty, honor, and service are not reserved to any one race, class, or ethnicity.”

— Jim Gerlach, former Congressman

“Writes into history the forgotten African-American men who fought courageously in the Battle of the Bulge…A book that should be read by all because it speaks to the human spirit.”

— Kara Tucina Olidge, PhD, executive director, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University


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Posted by Robert Child

Oneida Indian Woman to be Featured in Movie about the American Revolution

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. - Sept. 17, 2018  -- George Washington's Army and Me, Elijah's Long Journey Home feature film has included the role of Oneida Indian Polly Cooper, a female Revolutionary War Patriot, to highlight her selfless service to soldier's at Valley Forge in 1777/1778.

Writer Michael Dooling shared: "A story about family, freedom, and home—about America's struggle for Independence—would be remiss without honoring Polly Cooper and the Oneida Nation. Cherished by her people for her service to the Continental Army in the face of adversity, Polly aided the American cause at Valley Forge by cooking, nursing, teaching nutrition, and providing corn to the starving—making the difference between life and death for many."

The film's genre is best described as "Tom Sawyer Meets The Patriot movie". George Washington's Army and Me, Elijah's Long Journey Home follows 10-year-old Elijah and his adventures as he follows his father, a farmer who joins the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment after the British invade their family farm.

1000's of mothers and children followed their soldier husbands and fathers during the Revolutionary War, marching up to 9-miles a day under terrible conditions. They provided much needed support to the Army performing various duties, most had no place else to go. Based on letters and diaries from the period, the film is an adventurous, at-times humorous, heartfelt story with a universally relatable message of family, freedom, and home.

Actress Phoenix Bess said: "I love the character of Polly Cooper! And, I love even more that she is a real person in history. Polly's steadfast courage and compassion are inspiring — leaving her village, traveling to Valley Forge, and navigating the perils of war are actions of a hero and a true leader. Her selfless devotion to assisting the American soldiers during the war and her impact on history are incredible. I am grateful and extremely excited to have this opportunity to bring her to life in this film. I hope that through my portrayal of Polly, her story will become more widely known and appreciated, and as a Native American, I feel deeply the importance and gravity of bringing this Oneida heroine's life to light. I am honored to have this role."

From the Screenwriter and Director - Robert Child

"Most Americans know that George Washington is considered the "Father of the Country" but very few know Polly Cooper, from the Oneida tribe and how she played a crucial role in our American Revolution. Through service and sacrifice to the American cause she can rightly be called, the Mother of the Country. I know the entire production team including myself is proud to highlight Polly's war-time service within the film and bring light to her accomplishments. Because of the Oneida's assistance and especially Polly's dedication the tribe have deservedly earned the moniker, "America's First Ally."  Said Robert Child, Award Winning Director and Screenwriter.
An Independent Film Production with Fiscal Sponsorship, 1663 Media Arts, LLC has laid the groundwork and is well positioned to attract funding to meet their $700K budget. Filming is forecast to begin late spring of 2019 in Virginia with a goal to release the film October 19, 2019. Individual, Organization and Corporate supports are all welcome; film perks are offered and donations qualify for a US tax credit.

Producer, Andrea M. Clarke shared, "I am humbled and determined to do all we can to honor Polly Cooper within our film by shedding a much-earned light on her strength, compassion and unwavering service to the Continental Army Soldiers during the Revolutionary War."
The vision for the film is to reignite the interest of people young and old to learn more about the real life characters, unsung hero's, surrounding the founding of the United States of America. The story is steeped in family, freedom and home and how resilience and determination through the eyes and actions of a 10-year old boy, the human spirit can and will prevail. It's a story the whole family will enjoy!

Film Contact: Andrea M Clarke, Producer

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