‘Warfighter’ follows Navy SEAL’s battle with PTSD »Albuquerque Journal
You never know when the inspiration will strike.
The trick is to be aware of when this is the case.
This is a lesson Jerry G. Angelo has learned over the years – and one that has paid off.
The filmmaker’s latest project, Warfighter, will be shown in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe next week.
The film follows Rusty Wittenburg, played by Angelo, a Navy SEAL who strives to balance his family life and job.
He struggles daily to maintain the line between reality and the nightmares his post-traumatic stress disorder conjures up for him.
Dedicated to his team and mission, he is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for his confreres and teammates.
“I was on the set of ‘Lone Survivor’ and one day I was standing next to Marcus Luttrell and we were about 50 yards out of the parking lot,” he says. “There was this fake helicopter and they recreated the scene where all the boys were killed. I could feel this incredible weight from Marcus when he was the only survivor. Then the first glow of inspiration came for me to tell this story. “
For three years, the Albuquerque native pondered the script and raised money to film the production.
“The writing process was pretty great,” he says. “I didn’t know what the story would be per se, but I knew the emotions. I wanted to make my first film so that it would perfectly fit who I am as a storyteller. “
Angelo and his Fire Born Studios did a little theatrical run with the film.
The film will be screened for free tonight at the South Broadway Cultural Center and the show is sponsored by the Albuquerque Film Office. It will then be shown on Tuesday June 12th at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.
Angelo encourages veterans and their families to attend the demonstration.
“To see the movie on the big screen is powerful,” he says. “What is nice is how the message spreads. The moviegoers begin to read up on their stories. That has become a great part of this trip. In every screening we’ve had, a person can tell a story and you hear those voices that have been silent for so long. It’s okay for them to open up. “
The film was shot in Los Angeles and Nevada and ran for a total of 28 days.
Angelo hired many actors and crew members from New Mexico for the production.
“We started with a basic campaign for the film,” says Angelo. “Our mission is to build a person and an audience at a time. The entire film pays homage to our service men and women. It makes PTSD aware and what happens when they get home. “