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Mein Freund : news .. 30 May 2017
UPDATE 22/01/2020:
Sadly, this project never came to fruition due, I'm told, to artistic differences, but I'm leaving the original piece here for posterity.

Lee Mead cast in 'Mein Freund' short film - 2017 I am remiss perhaps in not posting sooner, but with just a few days to run on the crowdfunder associated with this exciting project, better now than never!

We learned about a month ago that Lee has been cast in Mein Freund, a short film written by Andrew Dennis and directed by Darren Kent. He will star alongside Jack Roth, who he last worked with on Bedlam.

The film is set in France in the final hours of World War I and tells of a dramatic chance encounter between British soldier 'Walter' (Mead) and German officer 'Karl' (Roth) which changed their lives forever.

And you can help! The team have launched a Crowdfunder campaign [link removed] with all pledges received by the close of the appeal (6pm on Saturday 3 June 2017) contributing towards the £13,000 budget for bringing this short film to the screen. I understand that the shoot is provisionally scheduled for November and will take place near Southend, where many of the key players (including Lee, of course) are based. You can donate any amount, and there are rewards for higher value pledges (starting at £50) which are detailed on the Crowdfunder page.

After four years of experiencing the living hell of war Walter, a British soldier finds himself at the mercy of the enemy in France. Detached from his unit, traumatised and exhausted Walter becomes snared unarmed on a barbed wire fence. His German captor Karl unable to pull the trigger on a trapped helpless man makes the decision that will change their lives forever. Karl frees Walter from the wire and leads him at gunpoint to a farm.

As they take refuge for the night in a barn, a remarkable bond develops between them whilst sharing meagre rations of food, vodka and cigarettes. The following morning they are discovered by a very shocked farmer who delivers the news that Germany had surrendered the previous morning. Overwhelmed and relieved to have survived, Walter and Karl go their separate ways dressed as farm labourers, not to see each other again for almost forty years.

The two old soldiers revisit the barn and look back at that night, sharing memories and gifts. Soldiers no more but friends.

Learn more about the project in this Southend Echo interview with writer, Andrew Dennis, and in the two videos below. Speaking about the casting in the first, director Darren Kent says of Lee: "Lee Mead who is obviously known to our screens in Holby City and Casualty. We know what he's capable of and we just think he's going to fly into this role perfectly." Lee also features in both vidos - the first a brief introduction to the project while the second includes the full 'Makers In Conversation' interviews (Lee's starts at 6.15s). There are also a few screencaps from his interview - click the image above to view.
Mein Freund: Makers in Conversation from Andrew Dennis on Vimeo.

Published: 30/05/2017; last updated: 22/01/2020
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