EXCLUSIVE: Producer Rich Middlemas, who won an Oscar this year for the feature documentary Undefeated, announced today he will produce a film version of House To House: An Epic Memoir Of War (Free Press). It’s the critically acclaimed book about the Second Battle of Fallujah written by Silver Star- and Bronze Star-decorated Iraq War vet David Bellavia. The 2007 book is a deeply personal account of Bellavia’s life-threatening experiences during the November 2004 battle for insurgent-occupied Fallujah and details his conflicted relationship between duty to country and his family. It has sold several hundred thousand copies and been issued in four languages to date. “From the moment I read House To House it became a passion project of mine, so I’m truly humbled that David has entrusted me with this opportunity,” said Middlemas, who will produce through his Five Smooth Stones Productions. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for our soldiers, and very much believe filmgoers will embrace a faithful retelling of this incredible story in the same way readers continue to embrace the book.”
Middlemas shared the Best Documentary Feature Oscar with directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin for The Weinstein Co. release Undefeated, the Memphis-set high school football story about the first winning season of an inner-city team and the inspirational coach who guided it.
Bellavia is happy the producer has taken on the challenge of adapting his book. “Rich Middlemas is the perfect talent to realize my dream of showing the world the brutal battle American armed forces fought in 2004 in Iraq,” he said. “We lost so many good men in Fallujah, and it’s important to me that their sacrifice be honored by a filmmaker who values both realism and the honor of those who fight for us above all else.” In addition to his combat honors, Bellavia was nominated for the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. In 2005, he was inducted into the New York Veterans Hall of Fame and is co-founder of Vets for Freedom.