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BYUtv to Debut Television Feature Film, Instrument of War, Inspired by WWII Pilot on Thanksgiving Night 2017

Original scripted holiday drama about hope, resilience, courage and human spirit airs Nov. 23 (June 29, 2017)

PROVO, Utah, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BYUtv is proud to present Instrument of War, an original scripted holiday television special inspired by first-hand accounts of WWII bomber pilot Clair Cline, an American B-24 pilot captured and held as Prisoner of War (POW) in a German prison camp, Stalag Luft I. After being shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland during a bombing mission, Cline and the surviving members of his crew struggled to keep themselves psychologically sound while living in captivity under the rule of a ruthless Commandant. To resist helplessness and bitterness that plagued POWs, Cline, a self-taught musician, crafted a violin from bunk bed slats, the leg of a chair, dried glue from the bottom of chairs and a shard of glass as a wood carving tool. This emotionally-charged 90-minute, made-for-TV film about finding beauty and hope in dire circumstances debuts Thanksgiving night 2017 on BYUtv.

BYUtv HD. (PRNewsFoto/BYUtv)

Life in a German Stalag was a bleak and harrowing experience for prisoners who were constantly battling gnawing hunger, bedbugs, lice, bitter cold, and the psychological struggle of not knowing whether they would survive. This caused some POWs to go "wire happy" or "stalag happy" and to lose their grip on reality in an effort to escape or just "be free."

To help maintain his sanity during internment and lift fellow prisoners' spirits, Cline traded Red Cross rations with other prisoners, as well as with guards, to obtain tools and supplies needed to complete the instrument for the Christmas holidays. After playing traditional Christmas carols on his homemade violin, he became known throughout the camp. Filmed with the cooperation of the Cline family, this holiday special includes excerpts from his wife's diary that she kept throughout her husband's captivity.

"We are proud to present Clair Cline's inspiring story, which, perhaps more than any other program we've produced, helps us 'see the good in the world,'" said Michael Dunn, managing director of BYUtv. "This dramatic feature-length film illustrates the unbearable physical and psychological conditions of life in a POW camp, and conveys the bravery, psychological strength, creativity, courage, generosity and positivity that Cline demonstrated to create a sense of hope amongst his fellow prisoners."

Filmed in Lithuania, Instrument of War was produced by Provo-based Kaleidoscope Pictures, an Emmy® Award-winning, full-service production company, for BYUtv. This feature-length film was directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg (Touched by an Angel, Charly), produced by Russ Kendall (Man in the Camo Jacket, The Song that Changed My Life) and edited by Mike Bradshaw (Winter Thaw, The Song That Changed My Life.) The film's original music was created by Oscar®-nominated composer Mark Isham (The Accountant, A River Runs Through It.)

Russ Kendall is an Emmy Award winning creative producer and member of the Producers Guild of America.  Beginning his film career 23 years ago, Russ has traveled the world, filming in more than 35 countries and on 6 continents.  His work includes producing television series and both documentary and narrative films; including the recent award winning BYUtv holiday film, Winter Thaw, which the New York Times dubbed "best serious Christmas film of the year."

Director Adam Thomas Anderegg co-founded Kaleidoscope Pictures in 2002, with production partners Micah Merrill and Russ Kendall. His experiences over the last two decades, include extensive writing and directing roles on more than 100 projects. His narrative directing credits include Instrument of War (Jack Ashton, Daniel Betts, Andreas Wisniewski) with principal photography recently completed in Lithuania, and Winter Thaw (John Rhys-Davies, Karl Johnson) based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy. He is a recipient of multiple awards, including the Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart. 

Renowned composer Mark Isham has been nominated for numerous Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Golden Globe awards throughout his distinguished career. He received Oscars for his work on the feature films, Crash and A River Runs Through It, as well as Golden Globes for Bobby and The Black Dahlia, for which he was awarded "Best Score" by the International Film Music Critics Association.

As the lead editor for Kaleidoscope Pictures, Michael Bradshaw has worked on award-winning projects, ranging from feature length movies to high-impact corporate pieces, including two Emmy Award winning television programs, The Song that Changed My Life and Christmas Under the Stars.  Feature film credits include Winter Thaw and Man in the Camo Jacket

BYUtv's original programming slate includes the long-running sketch comedy series Studio C, which has an extraordinary following of over 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube; Relative Race, the first family-history based competitive reality show that follows four couples as they meet relatives linked by DNA for the first time in a race across the States, now in its second season; Random Acts, an unscripted hidden-camera reality show that highlights the altruistic nature of human beings by featuring real people who are the recipients of random acts of kindness; and the upcoming new SciFi series Extinct. BYUtv is available in every state of the country via cable, satellite and multiple digital media platforms including, AppleTV, Xbox ONE, Xbox360, Roku, Amazon FireTV, iOS and Android.

About BYUtv
Owned by Brigham Young University and based in Provo, Utah, BYUtv is a High Definition cable television network that has created a breadth of original "see the good in the world" programming that fills a void in entertainment the entire family can enjoy together, including sketch comedy, history, music and documentary offerings. The cable television network continues to build steady momentum, drawing new viewers to its shows from every state of the country. The non-commercial station is available in more than 60 million households in every state of the country on Dish Network, DirecTV and over 800 cable systems, and offers approximately 1,000 hours of original programming annually, including 500 hours of live HD collegiate sports.  


Michelle Prince         



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