A present-day piece on the personal implications of international conflict, Toy Soldier is a senior short film about how a young boy comprehends and perceives war. The story follows the Gold family – Barbara, David and their 8-year-old son Sam – as David is deployed for the last time to Iraq. While he is overseas, Sam finds solace in the collection of vintage toy soldiers his father leaves behind, and courage in the responsibility his father bears for him and his country.
Mentored by Erin Jackson, Production Coordinator at The Greater Philadelphia Film Office, TOY SOLDIER is a senior thesis project for director Nicole Rosen and co-producers Emily Marcouiller and Jess Herbine, graduating Film and Video and Entertainment and Arts Management majors at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
A touching drama, Rosen’s film braces the harsh realities that over 2 million American families face on a daily basis, after their loved ones have left to serve in the armed forces. While most films in the war genre focus on the experiences of the soldier, Rosen’s film instead shines a light on the struggles of military families and military children. Rosen, whose past credits include “Side By Side” and Drexel’s award-winning TV show “Off Campus,” is anxious to share her film with audiences, as war is a topic that is universal and, whether directly or indirectly, touches all. “While American soldiers are giving up a lot by fighting for our freedom, so are their families,” Rosen said. “I really wanted to focus on the military family and how [deployment] is seen through the eyes of a child, because a parent’s absence while in the military is drastic to the child’s development. And what’s more, there is a lot of weight on the parent left behind who has to deal with their counterpart being gone.”
Currently in pre-production, casting was recently confirmed to include New York native Kaitee Page (Fox’s “True Love”), Ed Aristone (“Life Within,” “Desperate Housewives”), Gabriel Caste (“Frozen Lies,” “The Framework of Illusion”) and Chris Brodbeck (“Gypsy”). Filming will take place in the city of Philadelphia, Doylestown, PA and Gloucester City, NJ. The short film will make its initial debut on June 2nd at Drexel University before trying for a number of film festivals nationwide, including children’s festivals and festivals with a focus on raising awareness for social issues.
The thesis project launched its Indiegogo campaign in October, offering donors perks such as a credit in the film and homemade baked goods in exchange for their financial support, which will cover the cost of meals during the 5-day shoot as well as marketing initiatives.
The cast and crew of TOY SOLDIER are incredible grateful for the generosity of the ROTC at Drexel University, who are working alongside to ensure that the portrayal of military scenes is as realistic as possible. Lending seven full ensembles of current military apparel – including full body armor and PMWs – the ROTC will also aid the actors on set, teaching correct formation and mannerisms when on a building raid in the heart of Iraqi territory by those who have personally been stationed there. The production of TOY SOLDIER is also helped by a generous grant from EAM F.U.N.D.
To become a fan and stay up-to-date with the production’s progress, “like” the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ToySoldierTheFilm. For more information and to support the project, visit www.indiegogo.com/Toy-Soldier-1.
About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design:
Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers sixteen undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and an award-winning faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU 91.7 FM) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.For more information about the College, visitwww.drexel.edu/westphal.
About EAM F.U.N.D.
The mission of Entertainment & Arts Management Majors Funding Undergraduates for New Development (EAM F.U.N.D.) is to assist in the development, promotion, and management of arts and entertainment events or cultural activities to benefit Drexel students.Its focus is on the Drexel campus and throughout the Philadelphia area where Drexel students live and play. EAM F.U.N.D also supports grant-making and fundraising activities for Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design students and approved Senior Projects. Furthermore, EAM F.U.N.D seeks to foster creative enterprise as well as creative cooperation between EAM students of all grade levels and interests.
Images from the official Facebook page