The story of the project
Check out video “Battle Island Crete” on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/76826883
The filmmaking team behind the feature-length documentary film ‘Battle Island Crete’ (Ashley Perry and Michael Dunbar) are seeking donations to assist with bringing the largely forgotten story of the ‘Battle of Crete’ to the screen.
Our aim is to reveal the harrowing events behind the courageous defence of the island undertaken by Allied forces, comprising Greek, Australian, New Zealand and British troops. In addition we seek to illuminate the valiant efforts and sacrifices made by the Cretan community, from local police, guerrilla fighters and civilians, in response to the massive Nazi German invasion that occurred during World War Two.
Upon completion, we intend submitting the film for competition in both local and international film festivals. We will also endeavour to sell the film into multiple television markets in Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany and the United States, as well as making it available for download via video-on-demand platforms.
We also intend creating a study guide to accompany the film. A document designed to provide supplementary material for secondary level students in relation to the failed military campaigns conducted by the Allies to defend mainland Greece and Crete from Nazi German and Fascist Italian invasion during the Second World War.
Upon Nazi Germany – assisted by Fascist Italian forces – successfully occupying mainland Greece in April 1941, preparations commenced in Athens to invade the strategically important island of Crete. The operation was given the codename Merkur (Mercury). It was conceived as a large-scale airborne assault. Elite Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) units were assigned with the task of securing vitally important airfields situated across northern Crete.
On 20 May 1941, wave after wave of paratroopers descended from the skies above Crete. A fierce and bloody battle raged. A short time later, Allied forces commenced a fighting withdrawal from their positions, moving across mountainous terrain to the south of the island. By the beginning of June 1941, Crete had fallen to the enemy.
Those Allied soldiers unable or unwilling to abandon the island by sea were captured and became prisoners of war. The occupation of Crete was to be an incredibly traumatic and dangerous period for the local population and for many years during the occupation of the island by Nazi German forces they valiantly resisted their captors.
The documentary film ‘Battle Island Crete’ will adopt a straightforward linear structure. It will examine the key moments of the battle as they transpired over the eleven days.
Our intention is to photograph the battlefield terrain as it exists today, and supplement this footage with archival films, photographs, maps, animation/graphics and (potentially) eyewitness testimony, while also overlaying a voice-over narration to guide the viewer through the details of the campaign.
In addition, we intend exploring the moments leading-up to the commencement of the invasion as well as the immediate period after the fall of Crete. The film will highlight the atmosphere and trauma of the battle as encountered by the military combatants, on both sides, and by the people of Crete.
We ask that you consider pledging your support to ‘Battle Island Crete’ in order to assist me in recovering the details and memories of this neglected campaign of the Second World War.
After more than 70 years the Australian Government has yet to issue a campaign medal to the veterans of the conflict in Greece and Crete.
Bravery – Resistance – Sacrifice
ΓΕΝΝΑΙΟΤΗΤΑ – ΑΝΤΙΣΤΑΣΗ – ΘΥΣΙΑ
How the funds will be used
The production budget is currently $17000 AUD. In order to travel to Crete to undertake filming a further $14000 AUD is required. Pledges derived from this ‘crowdfunding’ campaign will bolster the film’s budget to $31000 AUD & specifically go towards covering the following production & post-production expenses:
$3500 – 2 x return airfares to Athens;
$2500 – Transportation to Crete (air or ferry), & rental car hire on Crete;
$4000 – Accommodation and living expenses on Crete;
$1500 – Travel, public liability, negative risk & equipment insurance;
$3500 – Camera hire; &
$1500 – Production contingency.
$9000 – Voice-over narration and final sound mix;
$2500 – Music score;
$2000 – Colour grade; &
$1000 – Printing and internet expenses.
Some of my other work
Examples of Ashley Perry’s short film/videographic work can be found here: http://vimeo.com/user1631907
These filmic vignettes relate to his postgraduate studies at RMIT University & his interest in critically examining the landscapes of Melbourne’s road network.
Risk and challenges
The key obstacle associated with successfully completing ‘Battle Island Crete’ is that a greater amount of time, beyond six weeks, is required to complete filming on Crete. This may require the need for additional crew to travel to Crete, or perhaps the need to employ local videographers to assist with second unit photography, in which case further funding for the film would be required.
The completion date for ‘Battle Island Crete’ is October 2014.