Childers First World War soldiers Thomas and William See (centre and right) will be featured in a feature film about the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt. Photo: Contributed
Childers First World War soldiers Thomas and William See (centre and right) will be featured in a feature film about the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt. Photo: Contributed

Filmmakers want to take Childers to Cannes

THE lost Diggers of Childers could be making an appearance at some of the world's biggest film festivals.

During the First World War about 400 Childers men enlisted to serve in the army.

Two of them, brothers Thomas and William See, and Childers itself are set to feature in a film telling the story of the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt.

Thousands of Allied soldiers passed through the small French village of Vignacourt near the Somme battlefields. There, French couple Louis and Antoinette Thuillier photographed thousands of troops - including about 800 Australian Diggers.

A century later Australians Michael and Donna Fiechtner are planning a feature film set between Childers and Vignacourt to tell the story of the photographed men.

On Wednesday night the Fiechtners launched their campaign to get the film made including a "friends of" campaign to keep people in the loop.

The film will tell the story of fictional character Bill Court - a Childers man who goes to war and falls in love with a French girl in Vignacourt.

"We're using the evidence we have from the Thuillier photos to tell this story," Mr Fiechtner said.

"It's a story that has never been told before and we think it is really important that it is.

 

People the Thuilliers photographed, such as the Sees, will appear in the film that Mr Fiechtner promises will be historically accurate.

They hope to take the concept to the Berlin and Cannes film festivals in order to promote the idea and sell it to major financers.

From there they plan on filming as much as they can in Childers itself.

Mr Fiechtner said the film would also tell the often overlooked story of the role Aboriginal soldiers played in the war.

"Billy, our main character, enlists with his best mate Jimmy who is Aboriginal. We think that's an important part of Australia's war story a lot of people don't know about," he said.

For more information about the film, or to join the friends of the project, visit http://www.photosintheatticproject.com.

- APN NEWSDESK


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