The Emmy® nominated Letters Home to Hero Street, a documentary by Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, and WQPT-PBS’s Lora Adams, will screen at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2900 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, IL on Tuesday, June 19 at Noon. The screening is free to the public--seating is limited. Q&A with the filmmakers and others will follow the film.
The 25-minute documentary focuses on a young Mexican-American veteran's personal view of World War II as told through the letters sent home to his family in Silvis, Illinois. Frank Sandoval becomes one of eight veterans of WWII and the Korean War killed in combat from the same block-and-a half-long neighborhood now called Hero Street, USA more than any other street in America. Letters Home to Hero Street received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. The program will include screening additional featurettes about the subject following the film.
The film stars Eric Juarez, Maya Chavez, Cindy Ramos and Josh Wielenga, all from the Quad Cities. WQPT’s Chris Ryder (of Leclaire, Iowa) was the cinematographer on the project. Melinda Carriker of Des Moines served as a production assistant.
Letters Home to Hero Street received a MidAmerica Emmy® nomination for Best Historical Documentary, won a Silver Eddy and the Audience Award at the 2015 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, and was an official selection at the Borrego Springs Film Festival, the Los Angeles CineFest, and the Muscatine Independent Film Festival. The film is also featured on the national PBS Learning Media website along with lesson plans for teachers.
Letters Home to Hero Street is one of the chapters in the Hero Street, USA, a multi-part documentary series by Fourth Wall Films. The series will explore the personal and family sagas behind each of the eight heroes and tell the compelling true story of an ongoing struggle to memorialize Tony Pompa, Frank Sandoval, William Sandoval, Claro Soliz, Peter Masias, Joseph Sandoval, Joseph Gomez and John S. Muños.
The Rundles are in post-production on Riding the Rails to Hero Street, the first film in the series, which tells the story of the immigrants’ journey from Mexico to Cook's Point in Davenport, Holy City in Bettendorf, Iowa, and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad train yards and boxcar homes in Silvis, Illinois. The families of Hero Street experienced both acceptance and discrimination in their new community. Around the time of the great depression, the families were removed from the rail yards and some moved box cars or built new homes on 2nd Street in Silvis. Only a block and a half long, the street lost six young men in World War II and two in the Korean War, more than any other street in America. Hero Street, as it is now known, has provided over 100 service members since World War II. Riding the Rails to Hero Street will premiere Memorial Day 2019.
Letters Home to Hero Street received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.
Riding the Rails to Hero Street received two grants from Humanities Iowa, and a grant from the Moline Foundation.