‘A Christmas Truce,’ a made for television movie written and directed by former Arizona filmmaker Brian Skiba will premiere December 12th, 2015 at 9 pm (8 pm central) on ION TV Channel 51-1 in Phoenix. ‘A Christmas Truce’ follows the story of U.S. Army captain John Myers (Craig Olejnik) and his platoon of men during WWII. They become trapped behind enemy lines on Christmas eve during the Battle of the Bulge and seek refuge in the cottage of a young Belgian farm girl named Alina (Ali Liebert). Myers and Alina fall in love during a brief Christmas Truce called with a German platoon who was seeking medical services for their Commandant’s wife.
The war is far from over and when the truce ends, Myers and Alina make a pact to reunite on Christmas eve at a small chapel in her home town, after the war is over and if they are both willing and able. Skiba described his experience working with a Canadian crew to create an authentic WWII film that takes place in wintertime. “My involvement started from conception” Skiba said “I work closely with a company called Odyssey Media. I’ve Directed 6 projects for them and have 7 and 8 already lined up. ‘A Christmas Truce’ was conceived in Canada and then brought to me and ION Channel while at American Film Market (AFM). I’m an approved Director for ION Channel, Lifetime, UPtv and LMN. At this time I had directed two Christmas movies for ION Channel and when they brought the concept to me the idea immediately struck home. I’ve always loved (films that take place during) World War II and the idea of doing a film based in that war was enthralling. So I immediately said yes and started working with the network creative executive on rewriting the script to fit their network.” Skiba had to come up with a film that would capture the WWII period and feel while still appealing to the networks specific demographic, a viewership made up of 75% women 25 to 55. “Once the script was locked, I traveled to Vancouver, Canada to film the movie.” Skiba said “I had an amazing all star cast. I had actors fighting over the roles because the script was done so well and the idea of playing a Nazi general or American army lieutenant was so enticing. So I had the most outstanding casting sessions with amazing talent.”
Skiba assembled the cast with Craig Olejnik from “The Listener,” Ali Liebert from “Bomb Girls” and Kate Vernon from “Battlestar Galactica.” ‘A Christmas Truce’ also features Josh Blacker (Elysium), Mackenzie Gray (Man of Steel), Primo Allon (Godzilla), Mike Dopud (X-Men), Eli Goree (The 100), and Billy Wickman (The A-Team). Skiba hopes to continue making movies for television and is pleased with how the film was created, from concept to completion. “We were told by other producers that what we wanted to accomplish with the budget and time allotted was impossible, but we did it” Skiba said. “We filmed this movie in 12 days and came in on budget. This is due to the amazing crew I had supporting me. Daily we had 100+ people on set working their butts off to make this happen. We all united behind the vision of this film and everyone did an amazing job.”