Whiskey Creek Film Festival: Go around the world

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Charles Woehrle is the subject of a film produced and directed by his niece, titled “Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story.” The film is shown during the Whiskey Creek Film Festival, which runs Sept. 13-19.

In a tribute to his fellow airmen and POWs, Charles Woehrle spoke for those unable to share about the tribulations of World War II.

In honor of the many veterans that served our nation, Louise Woehrle filmed her uncle, Charles, and helped tell the story of World War II in a film featured in this year’s Whiskey Creek Film Festival.

The Whiskey Creek Film Festival committee selected “Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story” for their "Official Minnesota Selection" at this year's festival. The honor was not lost on the film’s director and producer, Louise Woehrle, who said she’s excited to be a part of the festival, which starts Thursday in Wadena.

"To only have one Minnesota show, and to be selected, it's a real honor," Louise said.

The film chronicles the journey of Charles as he relives his harrowing story flying in the Mighty Eighth, and as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III – the Nazi prison camp made famous by the iconic 1963 Hollywood film “The Great Escape.” 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the actual ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III. Charles passed away March 25, 2015.


The film has been playing all over the country and even won "best of the fest" at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival out of 277 films and has been selected by several festivals across the U.S. including Wadena, as the official Minnesota selection.

According to Louise, her film is about as Minnesota as it gets. It would have to be, coming from Charles who lived nearly 100 years in Minnesota. But the film also takes viewers on a trip around the world as he travels from his home of Pine City, Minn. to war-torn Europe and relives his experiences with vivid detail that include his B-17 getting shot down, captured by the Nazis, an unexpected parcel from Geneva, and surviving two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship, according to a press release on the film.

"These smaller film festivals, when they are done by a guy like Dave (Quincer), they are special," Louise said. Quincer is the owner of the historic Cozy Theatre in Wadena, which works with a committee to put on this festival each year.

The film will screen at the Cozy Theater Saturday, Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:10 p.m.

Woehrle will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening of her film on Saturday at the festival.

What else is showing?

The annual Whiskey Creek Film Festival has a simple rule: screening critically recognized films in current theatrical release not usually shown in theaters in rural Minnesota.

What does that look like for this year’s lineup?

“The Biggest Little Farm” is an environmental advocacy documentary. A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land.


Booksmart” follows Dever and Feldstein’s characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more.

“The Farewell” follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved grandmother has only a short while left to live, decide to keep her in the dark and schedule an impromptu wedding to gather before she passes.

“Wild Rose” tells the complicated story of Rose-Lynn, a woman on a quest to become a country music star, while also grappling with the responsibilities of being recently released from prison and a young mother of two children.

A modern Mark Twain-style adventure story, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” tells the story of Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck.

In “Blinded by the Light,” when music fanatic Javed discovers Bruce Springsteen, his world is turned upside down. Yearning to escape his rundown hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani household, Javed finds himself caught in between two worlds and must discover if he too is “Born to Run.”

This year's free family movie is the third in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. In this film, dragon and rider will fight together to the very ends of the Earth to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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