EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired global distribution to the Dr. Mark Smith-directed and Winterstate Entertainment documentary The Forgotten Battalion, Deadline can exclusively report. A fall digital platform launch is being eyed.
The Forgotten Battalion follows the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, one of the toughest and hardest hit during their tour in Afghanistan. In 2008, 1,200 members deployed to cover a territory the size of Oregon, engaged in heavy combat with insurgent elements with no air support and beyond supply lines due to military cutbacks, they routinely ran short on food, water, and ammunition. Upon returning home, they soon discovered the horror of war and the challenges of surviving were not over. Their suicide rate is approximately 4x the rate for other young vets and 14x the average for most Americans. The documentary explores how some of the members are actively pursuing coming together to reconnect, helping each other to survive the aftermath of killing zones far from home.
Chris Bryde, producing with Winterstate, is an Afghanistan War veteran, a double amputee, who was recognized for his service with a Purple Heart and honored with three Certificates of Appreciation, including one from President Obama. The feature doc was also produced by Hamid & Camille Torabpour of Minneapolis- based Winterstate Entertainment along with Dr. Mark Smith. The deal was negotiated by Nick Royak for Gravitas Ventures.
Smith’s credits as a producer include the upcoming Sony feature Cover Me and Brother’s Keeper.
“The Forgotten Battalion is the story of the Marines of the 2/7 who fought overwhelming odds to stay alive on foreign soil. Their battle for survival against the evil enemy of suicide returned home with them, and this is the story of that battle, today, on American soil,” says Smith.
“Because I am so visibly disabled, veterans with less visible disabilities often confide in me about things like chronic depression, suicidal thoughts, and social issues. This documentary is important because it is a genuine expression and an attempt to show others that we are all suffering together and that we need each other and an active community in order to survive,” says Bryde.
“The Forgotten Battalion is a strong vision of how committed our veterans can be to continuing their heroes’ journey and a reminder that there is more to their story once they return from the battlefield. Gravitas Ventures is proud to release this movie in conjunction with Hamid Torabpour and Winterstate Entertainment,” added Nick Royak, Senior Manager of Acquisition of Gravitas Ventures.
The doc is currently in post-production with the crew maintaining social distancing and safety protocols. Offers are currently out to talent to narrate the feature doc.