Memorial Day is a time to honor veterans and what better way to do so than watching a patriotic movie like “Flag of My Father!” Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will be airing “Flag of My Father” on Memorial Day, May 30 at 12:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT. It will also air on Legacy TV on Memorial Day at 8 p.m. CDT. Produced by Louisiana-based R-Squared Productions, the movie was written and directed by Rodney Ray and produced by Cheryl Ariaz Wicker (Oh, that’s me!!!)
If you have not purchased the DVD yet or seen it at a premiere or screenings, you won’t want to miss its national television debut. “Flag” is a story about an army nurse (GiGi Erneta), haunted by violent images of war who battles to keep her family together after the death of her veteran father (William Devane). John Schneider plays a very cynical half-brother who disrespects her military service.
This was my first full length feature film as a producer but I believe it is a beautiful, quality production that will inspire Americans to appreciate the service of our soldiers and veterans. Have the Kleenex box handy though since you may need it. Kudos to the cast and crew. And a special congratulations to executive producer, writer and director, Rodney Ray–you should be proud of your work. I am very impressed with the brilliant cinematography by Neal Bryant…a really neat guy with a promising career ahead of him. A special shout out, too, to the Emmy-nominated Hollywood veteran costume designer Jennifer Parsons, who is also a very special friend and mentor in my career. It was a joy working with you, Jennifer!
The actors came from all over the state of Louisiana as well as California, Texas, Montana and New York. I really don’t need to tell you who John Schneider or William Devane are since their names and faces are quite recognizable. It was a pleasure working with John and Bill who are both very talented actors, approachable and fun to be around. I recently had the chance to interview John Schneider about his role on “Flag of My Father” for my upcoming Christian Movie Connect podcast and my Examiner.com column. I have been saving it for the launch of Christian Movie Connect but I am having to delay that a bit…so I may post a sneak preview of John’s interview soon.
Lead actress GiGi Erneta is a native New Yorker, born to Argentinean parents, with credits in over 40 films and several recurring roles on several TV shows, including “Veronica Mars,” “Desire” and Spanish soap operas. She also guest starred on “Friday Night Lights” and “Strong Medicine.” Her films releasing this year include: “Code Enforcer,” “Camel Spiders,” “Secret at Arrow Lake,” “Endings,” “Fire from Below” and “Risen.” GiGi has worked alongside Steve Martin, Kevin Sorbo, Eric Estrada, and many more. She was recently featured in a cover story by Pivot Point Magazine and has appeared on FoxNews.com. Through our time on the set, GiGi and I became very good friends…or shall I say “soul mates!”
Dallas-based Andrew Sensenig did a fantastic job portraying the oldest brother, Ben. “Andy” has co-starred in over eighty individual projects working with Oliver Stone, Jim Carrey, Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Josh Brolin, and many more. His television credits include “Army Wives”, “Friday Night Lights”, “The Gates”, “Burn Notice”, SyFy’s “51”, and “Prison Break”. He is a true professional and one of the most courteous and thoughtful people I have ever known.
Kent Jude Bernard, a rising star in the industry, played one of the lead roles in the film as a POW. Kent is currently working on a string of films, including “Cool Dog,” “The Chameleon” opposite “X-Men’s” Famke Janssen, and “Skateland” with “Twilight’s” Ashley Greene. His past works include “Factory Girl” and “Pulse 2: Afterlife.” He is also professional acting coach, teaching privately and in Mary Thoma’s Shreveport TASA Studio. I have the pleasure of being a part of the TASA Studio with Kent which keeps us in touch.
Louisiana actor and acting coach, Veleka Gray made her return to her first love of film in her role as Dr. Sousa in “Flag of My Father.” Veleka is the only actress in soap history to play two roles on the same show at the same time. Her credits include As the World Turns and the dual role of Ruby Collins and Dr. Sharon Reaves on The Young & The Restless. She now runs her own acting school, The Actors Alliance. Veleka is a very dear friend of mine. Although we live on opposite sides of the state we get together whenever we can…and head to the nearest IHOP!!! I can’t even walk into an IHOP now without thinking about Veleka.
Well, this is an exciting weekend for me as the world will get its chance to see “Flag of My Father” on the most watched Christian network, TBN. The word is spreading about the movie with much press coverage over the last few months, Fox News, FoxNews.com, Fox News Latino, HM Magazine, WORLD Magazine, Examiner.com, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood, The Washington Post, Pivot Point Magazine, ChristianCinema.com, The Dove Foundation, Baptist Press, The Navy Memorial’s “Navy Log Blog” and Veterans Today. And that’s not counting word of mouth and social media. People are talking and the buzz is growing! Very exciting indeed!!!
So if you already have plans for Memorial Day, please set you DVR so you can watch it later. If you miss it entirely, you can catch it on the July 4th weekend on TBN, July 2 at at 11 p.m CDT. Or just buy the DVD!!! Happy Memorial Day everyone. I hope you like my movie! Check out the trailer below to whet your appetite….