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Stay informed with the latest news involving the Films by Serendipity Team!
'The Legacy' is Considered for The 89th Academy Awards
REVIEW: "Vladic's film was produced over 10 years and is buoyed by a wealth of amazing archival film footage and photos."
REVIEW: THR Reviews 'The Legacy'
REVIEW: "Legacy Revisits The Remarkable Story of a Naval Tragedy and Its Survivors"
The East County Californian Showcases the GI Film Festival List of Documentaries
The Military Press Discusses 'Legacy' at the GI Film Festival
San Diego Union Tribune Focus Feature
Interview with Sara Vladic and Melanie Capacia Johnson
Read the Entire Article Here
Community Spotlight Show
Sara Vladic and Bob Lawrence are interviewed by Drew Schlosberg about the San Diego GI Film Festival, and the USS Indianapolis Legacy film.
Listen to the interview here (2nd interview)
Good Morning San Diego Interview
Sara Vladic and Melanie Johnson visit the set of Good Morning San Diego, for an interview with Dan Plante at KUSI.
Link to Interview Coming Soon!
An Honorary Survivor
USS Indianapolis survivors present director Sara Vladic with the highest of awards by naming her an honorary survivor at the 71st Survivors Reunion.
The Films by Serendipity Team attends the 71st Annual USS Indianapolis Survivors Reunion
Held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, the group gathered together with family and friends from all over the country to honor the USS Indianapolis Crew
Indy Channel Interview with Director Sara Vladic
Sara Vladic, Director of USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, discusses the film on The Indy Channel - ABC News.
Fox News Interview with Director Sara Vladic
Sara Vladic, Director of USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, discusses the film on Fox News
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, the Definitive Documentary is out soon; May 23, 2016
Sara Vladic, Director of USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, discusses the film with Ray Steele (@RaySteeleRTV6)
Listen to Interview:
Radio Interview with Director Sara Vladic on the Jersey Johnny Show
Sara Vladic, Director of USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, discusses the film with Jersey Johnny on 93.5/1070 The Fan (@jersey_johnny)
Listen to Interview:
Online Article Features USS Indianapolis: The Legacy documentary
For Gold Star Families, Memorial Day is Every Day Read More
Article from The Concord Journal (@ConcordJournal)
"We Are Mighty" Article Features USS Indianapolis: The Legacy documentary trailer
Amazing Documentary Tells the Tragic Story of the USS Indianapolis in the Crew's Words Read More
Article by Ward Carroll (@WardCarroll)
ARgunners Magazine Announces USS Indianapolis: The Legacy Release
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, a New Top WWII Documentary! Read More
Article by Argunners Magazine (@ArgunnersMag)
Director, Sara Vladic wins Best Female Director!
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, director, Sara Vladic, wins Best Female Director at the GI Film Festival in Washington DC on Memorial Day Weekend
GI Film Festival (@GIFilm)
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
USS INDIANAPOLIS DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
AS OFFICIAL SELECTION OF GI FILM FESTIVAL
Washington D.C.— USS Indianapolis: The Legacy, produced by filmmakers Sara Vladic and Melanie Capacia Johnson, had its World Premiere over the Memorial Day Weekend in a poignant screening during the 2016 GI Film Festival. Known as "Sundance for the troops,” the festival screened over 70 films while seeking to preserve veterans' stories in film and television, provide job training for veterans in the entertainment industry, and help heal PTSD through film therapy workshops. Following an appearance by Oscar©-winner Gary Sinise, USS Indianapolis: The Legacy was screened to a packed house, with the weekend capped off by Vladic being named Best Female Director.
The film's subject, USS Indianapolis (CA-35), was flagship of the largest and most powerful fleet to ever sail the seas -- the US Navy's 5th Fleet in WWII. She fought battles throughout the war, and delivered the first operational atomic bomb to the island of Tinian on July 26th, 1945. After being deployed to the Philippines, she was hit by two torpedoes fired from a Japanese submarine. The resulting explosion split the ship to the keel, with around 800 men left floating in life jackets designed to last only 48 hours. Shark attacks began when the sun rose – and rescuers wouldn’t arrive until five days later.
"I am overjoyed with the positive response and support we received,” Producer Melanie Capacia Johnson says of the premiere. “And the cherry on top of it all was Sara being awarded Best Female Director. This experience has blessed us with amazing momentum to find a good fit for distribution, and we are excited about future possibilities."
This epic story first captured the interest of director Sara Vladic when she was only 13 years old. "I couldn't believe it was a real event when I heard about it, so I immediately went to my local library, and started searching,” she recalls. “There was little information to be found, but it was indeed a true story."
Vladic began reaching out to the USS Indianapolis survivors shortly after her college graduation, and has spent more than 15 years meticulously assembling those powerful interviews for the film and upcoming book. "I never imagined that the research materials I gathered for a screenplay would turn into a full-length documentary. At the start, I simply wanted to get the story right."
Captain Bill Toti, USN (Ret), the last captain of the submarine USS Indianapolis (namesake of the film’s subject), was among those in attendance at the Premiere. "If someone were to write the USS Indianapolis story as fiction, people would say ‘It’s too incredible to believe.’ But it really happened,” he says of the finished product. “Finally, somebody got the story right, not as a Hollywood representation, but as it really happened in all its poignancy and power. It does great justice and honor to the survivors.”
The screening featured a diverse range of viewers both young and old. Family members of survivors were in attendance, as were numerous veterans and people from the entertainment industry – united, perhaps, by the many tears that flowed during the screening.
“It's long overdue that this story is told, and what better way than directly from those who lived it,” says Vladic. “I can't wait to share this story with the world.”
Employing rare WWII footage, previously-unpublished photographs, open-ocean reenactments and newly-filmed footage shot aboard one of the last WWII-era heavy cruisers in existence, USS Indianapolis: The Legacy unfolds its story with interviews featuring 104 survivors, rescuers, and family members of both survivors and crewmembers who were lost at sea. Often finishing each other’s sentences, their firsthand accounts recall those 5 days floating in the Pacific, their miraculous rescue, and how they fought together to clear the name of their embattled captain.
“This is a powerful and meaningful film,” says Jim Belcher Jr., son of survivor James Belcher. “It captures all the facts, thoughts and emotions I have experienced over the 49 years since; as a 12-year-old, I learned about of these men and this ship – all these facts, thoughts and emotions rolled into an hour and a half. It’s an impossible task realized.”
Vladic is currently teamed up with NYT best-selling author Lynn Vincent to pen INDIANAPOLIS, a historical non-fiction book to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. The book will be rooted in the lives of the men who lived the story— unfolding against the larger war and the historic actions of the era—which will set the book apart from other treatments of the subject.
ABOUT SARA VLADIC (DIRECTOR): Prior to taking on directing feature films, Sara spent 16 years working in various departments on set. She filled roles such as: Production Office Coordinator, Production Manager, Editor & Post Supervisor, Writer & Director for commercials and live news, Talent Coordinator, Live Event Producer, and even Stunt Woman. Having hands-on experience in all these areas helps her understand the dynamics of filmmaking, and what it takes to run a crew. Sara is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America, and her directing and producing credits include: Kid's Choice Awards International Director/Producer, National Geographic Producer, Fight or Flight Music Video Co-Producer, Good Morning America Director/Producer, NS Live News 6 (Los Angeles) Director, among others--and she treats her PAs well.
ABOUT MELANIE JOHNSON (PRODUCER): Melanie has a rich and varied background as a producer in traditional film and television which forged an additional path into the creation of innovative and engaging digital programming for several widely-celebrated entertainment commodities, including MTV’s Video Music Awards, MTV’s Movie Awards, The Critics’ Choice Awards, MTV Cribs, VH1’s T.O. Show, Nickelodeon’s Kid's Choice Awards, and XFactor (USA). Melanie is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner to Tiny Horse, a company that produces original programming and helps clients grow audiences efficiently and build trust with consumers by leveraging premium IP and native distribution strategies. Current clients include Paramount, Nickelodeon, Open Roads, NBC, Amazon, Walmart and more.
Online article discusses how it all began for director, Sara Vladic and USS Indianapolis: The Legacy
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy Documentary Began Two Decades Ago with a 13-YEar-Old-Girl's Dream Read More
Article By Anita Busch (@DeadlineAnita)
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy Documentary chosen as Official Selection for the upcoming GI Film Festival
See all the films selected to the GI Film Festival Here
USS INDIANAPOLIS DOCUMENTARY NAMED OFFICIAL SELECTION FOR THE GI FILM FESTIVAL
Filmmakers Sara Vladic and Melanie Capacia Johnson are pleased to announce USS Indianapolis: The Legacy is an official selection at this year's GI Film Festival.
Known as "Sundance for the troops", the festival helps preserve veterans' stories in film and television, provides job training for veterans in the entertainment industry, and helps heal PTSD through film therapy workshops. GIFF brings Hollywood and the Military together for unforgettable events that help connect society and soldiers.
The Legacy screening will be held at the Angelika Theater at Mosaic in Fairfax, VA at 10:30am on Saturday, May 28th. Tickets are on sale now at the website, https://gifilmfestival.ticketspice.com/uss-indianapolis-at-giffx
This epic story captured director Sara Vladic's interest when she was 13 years old. "I couldn't believe it was a real event when I heard about it, so I immediately went to my local library, and started searching. There was little information to be found, but it was indeed a true story." After graduating college and realizing nobody had truly done the story justice, Vladic began reaching out to the USS Indianapolis survivors--and the journey began. That was nearly 15 years ago. "I never imagined that the research materials I gathered for a screenplay would turn into a full-length documentary. At the start, I simply wanted to get the story right, and I knew I had to interview the men that lived it."
Sara--often accompanied by her husband Ben, who helped to film the interviews, or by fellow producer Melanie -- traveled to more than 22 states to visit those directly involved. Over roughly ten years they conducted more than 104 interviews, creating 170-plus hours of irreplaceable footage. Johnson recalls, “It was challenging to piece everything together with all the different cameras we used through the years. But with dedication, perseverance and the development of new technology we were able to make it all come together". Reflecting on the experience, Vladic is grateful "to have made some
of the best friends I've ever known, and been adopted by the survivors and their families as a granddaughter and keeper of their legacy. It was for them that I made it through this rocky roller- coaster of a process, and for them that I'll make sure this story is told as it should be. My hope is that when viewers finish watching this film, they will know the crew members and understand how ordinary 17 and 18 year-olds fought and paid the price for their freedom."
Johnson and Vladic could not be more pleased and honored that their documentary is an official selection at this year's GI Film Festival. The event enjoys the support of personalities including: Adam Driver, Gary Sinise and Danny Trejo. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, who, in 2011, launched Joining Forces, an initiative supporting the troops and their families, participated in the festival kickoff with a message recorded for the event. The first lady says the festival "shares a mission that ... film and TV can play a role in bridging the divide between our military and civilian communities by combating stereotypes and raising awareness about the unique challenges and the extraordinary strengths and contribution of our troops and their families.'" Kicking off the first night of the festival this year will be Gary Sinise and his LT Dan Band.
The Vista Press Talks About the Story No One Talked About
The Story No One Talked About Read More
Article by Tom Robertson Posted on The Vista Press (@TheVistaPress)
Book Deals: Week of July 20, 2015 - S&S Lands Disaster Tale Read More
Posted on Publishers Weekly (@Publisherswkly)
Wanaque Honors WWII Hero
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