Austin gets screening of war film

Published 11:25 am Monday, May 7, 2012

Some local soldiers got to act the part in an independent film set for release May 29.

“Memorial Day,” starring James Cromwell and Jonathan Bennett, will be screened for Austin audiences Wednesday, May 9, at Knowlton Auditorium. The film is about a soldier serving in Iraq who remembers hearing about his grandfather’s experience serving in World War II.

“There’s so many incredibly cool things about this film,” said Kathy Green, Austin Public School board member.

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Things like the 39 Minnesota National Guard soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division who were involved in the film.

Sgt. Ronald Glidden, of Fairmont, drove a Humvee in the film, which was shot in Minnesota.

“We were just supporting the main characters,” he said about his and other soldiers’ roles in the film. Glidden is with the 224th Transportation Company out of Austin.

He hasn’t seen the movie yet, but he’s excited about it. Some members of the 34th Red Bull received an early screening of the film in Kuwait.

Soldiers with Delta Company helped prepare actors for work.

The crew spent three nights at a gravel pit by St. Peter filming the movie.

Several residents, including Green, secured the film for screening after first hearing about the soldiers’ involvement. Austin Public Schools Community Education is sponsoring the event.

In addition, director Sam Fischer, producer Craig Christiansen, writer Marc Conklin, and actors John Cromwell and Sean Dooley will be on hand for a question and answer session after the film.

The film starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and any proceeds will be donated to the local chapter of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.