Fittingly released on Remembrance Day, a war movie adapted from a best-selling novel was shot in the Okanagan.
The big-screen film Recon tells the story of four soldiers facing a moral dilemma during the Second World War in Italy.
According to producers Enderby Entertainment, the film was adapted from the novel Peace, written by Richard Bausch and first published in 2008.
READ MORE: WWII film shooting in Vernon
“If we can be a film that makes think about veterans and reminds them ‘Oh, look at the sacrifices they made for us for and for our country,’ that’s what we want to do,” Rick Dugdale of Enderby Entertainment told Global News.
“You want to shine a light on that and I think, especially as generations go along, we just can’t forget that.”
The movie stars Alexander Ludwig, Sam Keeley and Chris Brochu as American soldiers being guided on a reconnaissance mission by an old Italian, played by Franco Nero.
Eventually, Ludwig’s character, Marson, is ordered to execute Nero’s character after they return from their mission.
Directed by Academy award winner Robert David Port, the Hollywood produced feature film was shot entirely in the Okanagan — in Enderby, Vernon and Kelowna.
“I walk out of the airport and go ‘Oh my god, we can film it right here,” said Port.
The movie features sweeping valley vistas. In doing so, Port made the Okanagan backdrop more of a character in the film than just scenery.
“If you look at the photographs that I had pulled from Salerno (Italy) in the winter, and you match them to the locations that I took with Rick on that initial trip, they are indistinguishable,” Port explained.
On Tuesday night in Vernon, moviegoers were treated to a sneak peek of Recon at Towne Cinema.
The intimate and suspenseful Second World War movie played to two sold-out screenings. The proceeds of those screenings were donated to the Vernon Legion.
“It was really cool to see it happen in our backyard here, in the Okanagan, especially with big stars,” said Robert Stratford, an Armstrong local who has moved to Vancouver to hone his talent as an actor.
“Just watching the actors do their thing was like a masterclass.”
Stratford has a small role in Recon and said it was a huge learning experience.
“I mean there’s one thing sitting in class and learning techniques off of teachers, but to see it done in real-time and at a level that those guys do it at, it was incredible as a young actor, for sure,” Stratford said.
Recon is available via On Demand, while Vernon’s Towne Cinema has just announced the film will start a run there beginning Friday.