A Love Worth Fighting For
A Love Worth Fighting For explores the futility and human complexity of war at a very personal level, and how one of the most momentous months in the twentieth century played out for the people living and dying in it. But it’s not a war film. Rather, it’s an anti-war film, and a love story. It is poignant, compelling and sad. It asks difficult questions. Yet ultimately, it ends with hope.
A Love Worth Fighting For
August 1914. Europe has mobilised. The Imperial German Army has executed its Schlieffen Plan, has ploughed through Belgium, and is now deep in France.
The British Expeditionary Force is seeing its first action against the Germans. Skirmishes in open countryside are common, and both sides are still learning how a modern war could and should be fought.
Two soldiers, one English, one German, both with lives and lovers at home they would rather not have left, find themselves facing each other, alone.
Alone, except for the French girl, Françoise…
Development of the project is complete and pre-production has commenced for a shoot in East Sussex, England in September 2021.
The project has already attracted development funding and a good proportion of production costs have been met. But there is still some way to go, hence this Greenlit campaign.
The money raised here will pay for extras, props, costumes and equipment hire - everything we need to make this film look like it really is August 1914.
We can't achieve this without your help!
A Love Worth Fighting For explores complexities of human relationships between lovers, but also between soldiers: between comrades and opponents, and those in between.
And though it draws from the facts of the opening stages of The Great War, the film concentrates on the stories of just a handful of players in this epic conflict, highlighting the human element vividly and boldly.
The exchanges between characters are electrifying, and provide a terrific platform for showcasing some challenging and brilliant acting.
Where possible I am using the real nationalities of the characters, who speak in their mother tongues with English subtitles. I want to make it a truly international film.
In a war where casualties were measured in the thousands, even for small battles, the film seeks to remind us that each one of those deaths has a story connecting many other people, unseen, and unremembered on the headstones in the war cemeteries and on the war memorials.
This is just one of those stories. Here are the characters…
Françoise - Julia Mugnier
Françoise is a plucky and passionate French girl who lives in the path of the fighting armies. Julia Mugnier is a French actress who has acted in award-winning films and is best known for Tout ce que je porte (2020), Almost Charming (2013) and Lovers (2020).
Arthur - Eric Gravolin
Arthur is an English officer who reluctantly leaves his home and family to fight in France. He is played by Eric Gravolin, an Australian actor who studied acting and filmmaking in Brisbane, and then the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Recent roles include The Legend of the Five (2020), The Commons (2019) and Total Control (2019).
Heinrich - Flo Sohn
Heinrich is German soldier who is forced to leave his pregnant wife behind when sent off to fight in France. Flo Sohn is from southern Germany. His enjoyment of acting grew from school days and further productions like Drei Weiber ond oi Gockel or Europides Zwangsstörung followed. In 2020 he began studying performing arts at Stage School in Hamburg.
Molly - Gaia Wise
Molly is Arthur and Sarah’s maid, friend to their children, and possibly more... She is played by Gaia Wise, known for A Walk in the Woods (2015) and Last Chance Harvey (2008). She is attached to A Book About Her and will star in Shooting Star (2022)
Sarah - Eloise Black
Sarah is Arthur’s wife and mother of Freddy and Christopher. Eloise Black is a film and stage actress who had the lead roles in The Package (2020) and The Problemless Anonymous (2017). She begins a role in Holby City soon. Eloise is a writer with projects in development with the BBC and MUBI.
Anna - Emilija Wellbrock
Anna is Heinrich’s pregnant wife who encourages him to go to war. Emilija Wellbrock is a German actress and writer and is known for League of Superheroes (2015), Violent Starr (2021) and Kartoffelsalat 3 - Das Musical (2020).
Captain Mills - James Dutton
Mills is an English army captain who has the mutual respect and friendship of Arthur. James Dutton is a stage and film actor, known for a lead role in West-End production of The Wipers Times (2018), The Windsors (2016), Our World War (2014) and World War One Remembered (2014).
Company Sergeant Major Freeman - Guy Combes
Leutnant Ziegler - Tobias Krebs
Lt Ziegler is professional but human. Tobi is from Gelsenkirchen, Germany. He studied journalism & PR, followed by a year abroad at college in Pennsylvania where he took his first acting classes, going on to study at Schauspielschule der Keller in Cologne. He then followed his heart and has worked as an actor since, including further study at Ivana Chubbuck Studio, LA and the Susan Batson Studio, NYC. As well as many theatre productions he appears on screen in Arboretum (2020) and Ein Starkes Team (2020).
Chambers, The Postman - Dominic Chambers
Chambers, an English postman, is both the bringer of love letters and other communications... Dominic Chambers is a film and stage actor, with recent roles in A Cracking Good Time (2021), Second Date (2021) Disco Inferno (2021) and The Proposal (2019).
Creative & Executive Team
Writer, Director, Producer and EP - Toby Fountaine
Over the last two years, Toby has written nine feature film and television projects with several more in development. The feature Looking For Kip that he co-wrote, developed and on which he is executive producer, was shortlisted for the 2021 Film Fund Africa Write Project.
Refugee Superstar, an epic TV drama series written and produced by Toby, has attracted an A-list director and transatlantic attention, even in its pre-production stages. His next feature Shooting Star starts production in Spring 2022.
He helped establish and is part-owner of two London-based production companies.
Executive Producer - James Dowdall
James is the creator and EP of the eagerly anticipated TV series The Contractor, written by Toby Fountaine. He is delighted to work with Toby again on A Love Worth Fighting For as he has a passion for Word War I history and love…
James has spent most of his career in banking, specialising in Media and Green Energy. Since leaving banking in 2019, he has worked in the media space, raising money for film and TV projects, and supporting clients in delivering operational change.
Cinematographer - Hsien Yu Niu
Hsien Yu Niu (Sunshine Niu) is a Taiwanese cinematographer based in London. She graduated from the London Film School as a Cinematographer, and won the outstanding cinematography student award sponsored by Panalux for the film Underneath shot in Hong Kong. Her film Maeve in the Dark (2021) was selected to the short film corner in the Cannes Film Festival 2021.
Before this, she graduated from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at National Dong Hwa University. She was sponsored by the Forestry Bureau of Taiwan and the Ministry of Science and Technology, focusing on making films to explore the beauty of the relationship between human and the natural environment, a theme she is passionate about continuing in her cinematography.
Editor - Tom Sands
Tom is a film-maker and editor from southeast England, working globally. He dropped out of film school in Brighton and cut his teeth on a series of documentaries filmed all over the world. He then moved into music videos and commercials and made his first feature film Backtrack (2014) at the age of 24.
He has since directed, shot and edited four more feature films (with distribution through Netflix and Amazon), commercials and documentaries and is the founder of Substantial Films.
Composer - Marcin Mazurek
Marcin is a Polish composer for film, TV and media, based in London. He graduated in Film Music from Leeds Conservatoire. He has worked on projects that were presented on Berlinale, Red Nation Film Festival in Los Angeles (winning Best Short) and TVP, Poland’s national broadcaster.
Marcin has defined his style by blending orchestral music with electronics and traditional world music as well as inclusion of memorable melodies in his scores.
August 1914 was one of the most momentous months of the twentieth century. It was the month that saw the fallout from the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo draw in every major European power to a new conflict: The Great War.
A war which was powered by the might of industry and the culmination of the arms race that had been taking place during the preceding decade. A war which was fought by generals who didn’t know how to fight it. A war which was fought, for the first time, by the soldiers at the front and the people left at home.
The Great War was epic in every conceivable way. It was also one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies, and defined the arrogance of the Edwardian period, with its politicians and generals sleepwalking towards its ultimate catastrophe.
The contrast between the enormity of the overall conflict and the individuals involved at a personal level is perhaps the most striking of any human conflict ever fought. This is what I want to explore in this film. All the millions of men who fought, and died, and lived, had their own stories. And here I focus on the lives of just two soldiers – one English, and one German – and how these two lives affected and touched the lives of others: their wives, their lovers, their children, their comrades, and each other.
I want to show a part of the war that was more Napoleonic than modern in nature. When the British Expeditionary Force went to France in August 1914 they had five battalions, one of which was cavalry: they used horses and lances against machine-guns. And artillery was pulled by horses throughout the war.
The concept of trench warfare became established fairly quickly in the autumn of 1914, but in August and September – when this is set – there were no trenches. Armies, and scouting detachments like the one in the film, moved around in open terrain using ancient tactics with modern weapons and machine guns. Tragedies always need more than one thread to make them such, and this is just one of those many threads.
The others present themselves in the film.
Website & Updates
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