Bermuda Documentary Wins Top Festival Award

April 23, 2013

SpurlingSmithBermudian made documentary “In the Hour of Victory” has won the top award in the “Feature Documentaries” category at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, the oldest independent film festival in the world.

The film, co-directed by local documentarians Lucinda Spurling and Andrew Kirkpatrick of Afflare Films and based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Smith, tells the story of Bermudian Major Toby Smith during World War II [1939-1945].

Untouched for 50 years, a family finds a bundle of letters setting them on a journey into their past, and the rediscovery of a tragic love story amid the turmoil of World War II.

“Only about 10 percent of the near 2,000 films submitted for the festival even made it to screening, so to emerge with the top award is testament to what a great story this is and the hard work of the directors,” said an announcement posted at the book’s official Facebook page today [Apr. 23].

Earlier this month it was announced that “In The Hour of Victory” had been selected to screen at the prestigious 46th Annual WorldFest in Texas and that it had also been selected as a finalist in the feature-length documentary category.

Trailer for “In The Hour of Victory”

Major Toby Smith lost his life at the Battle of Overloon during the final Allied push for victory in 19445. The film weaves a haunting portrait etched in Major Smith’s own words through the letters he lovingly and dutifully wrote his wife and five children as he agonised over loyalty to them and the war against the Nazis during four years of service abroad.

At the time the film was selected for the Texas festival, Ms Spurling said: “Our acceptance into WorldFest Houston and to be a finalist for one of their top awards is a great validation of all of our hard work and Jonathan Smith’s vision and commitment to the project. We hope this screening will be the first in a series of international screenings. Our ultimate goal is also for the film to be broadcast internationally. Both Jonathan and I will be attending WorldFest [they are pictured together at the festival at top].”

Former Police Commissioner and Progressive Labour Party Senator Jonathan Smith, author and speaking for the publisher, TenTen Publications, added: “We are delighted that our film, a Bermuda film, has been selected.”

“To read a soldier’s story seven decades later is one thing. To have it screened in front of an international audience is another. We’ve been committed to this project since inception. We knew there was a compelling story of love, leadership, courage and commitment there; now it’s time to share it with a global audience.”

“In the Hour of Victory” also screened at this year’s Bermuda International Film Festival [BIFF] on April 13.

Copies of the book and DVD of “In the Hour of Victory” are available at The Book Mart, Brown & Co., The Bermuda Book Store, Queen Street, Hamilton.

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