Even though the first "Saints and Soldiers" included a strong LDS element, the movie's producer wants to make it clear: The "Saints and Soldiers" genre is about the decency of men in war, not about religion.
"Obviously, the film itself (the second, 'Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed') falls within the brand," said Adam Abel. "But it's more of the exploration of humanity within war than a movie about religion.
"War is ugly. It's not pleasant. It's nothing that anyone would want to be involved in, but in circumstances where individuals are called upon to serve, there's still a chance to be decent.
"We honor and celebrate those who serve," Abel said. "We explore the individual impact of those involved in war."
Abel said there's a general tendency to vilify the enemy in a war story, something he tries in his brand of movies not to do.
And this "Saints and Soldiers" film is not a sequel to the original "Saints and Soldiers."
"This is a completely different story," Abel said. "We have Corbin (Allred) in both, but he plays a completely different character in a completely different storyline."
Abel has more movies in mind for the brand but there's no determination to include references to the Mormon faith or even to religion.
"I think if there's a reference to a future film that's in harmony with the original 'Saints and Soldiers,' it's in the fact that there's virtue and value," he said.
Abel said with the first "Saints and Soldiers," there was no brand awareness so it helped to have those in the audience who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints notice and appreciate the film.
With "Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed," there's already an expectation of quality and award-winning filmmaking, so film festival organizers are calling him to be a part of their events rather than Abel calling them.
The film earned Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Lincoln Hoppe) Grand Jury awards at the 16th Annual Playhouse West Film Festival in North Hollywood, Calif., recently, as well as being named the Audience Choice for Best Feature and Best Actor (Hoppe) in a feature film.
"We're cautiously optimistic (on the success of 'Airborne Creed')," Abel said. "We're getting fantastic response so far."
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.
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