Filmmaker Eric Brunt was inspired by his grandfather. The late World War II veteran had many stories of his time in the war, but while Brunt was close with him, he didn’t have the chance to record them.
“My grandpa actually acted in a few of my short films, but I never got the stories down.”
He realized that an entire generation of veterans was getting old, and that if he wanted to have them tell their story, he could not wait; he would have to do it now. He’s going across Canada to interview as many veterans as possible to make a documentary about their time and experiences.
Coming to the Yorkton area is especially important for Brunt because his own family is from the Stenen area. His grandfather was from Winnipeg and he met his grandmother there. Her two brothers were also in the war, one dying in Holland, the other flying as a pilot. He wants to get back to the old family farm and see where they came from.
The biggest challenge for Brunt is finding veterans to interview. He notes that as he travels across the country, he has been in contact with the Royal Canadian Legion branches down the route, museums, newspapers, and posting in social media in order to find people.
“It’s interesting because each veteran you meet is completely different in terms of where he might have served... It’s also interesting how they each have different personalities. Some people take a little bit to come up to you or start sharing some of their stories, while some you sit down and they start sharing these incredible stories and you’re like ‘hey, I need to hit record!’”
The ultimate goal is to make a two hour documentary out of the interviews.
Brunt has already learned a lot in the process of making the film. While he was familiar with the second world war, he says that the process of interviewing veterans has helped him learn a lot more and he hopes that the completed film does the same for viewers.
“Coming to this project, I knew my grandfather’s story, and two of my great uncles... It’s been amazing talking with some of these men and hearing the events they experienced. My documentary is going to try to capture the emotion behind some of these stories.”
If you are a WWII veteran or know someone who is, Brunt would like to talk to you. He can be reached at 1-778-714-0071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.