“To End All Wars” wraps production on Kaua’i

KOLOA – It’s a wrap for the Kaua’i location filming of “To End All Wars.”

A

pocket valley mauka of Koloa is set as a Japanese Army POW camp in Thailand in

the independently-produced film. Filmmakers have been working in the valley and

surrounding locations since early May.

“We have wrapped production on

Kaua’i,” said Enock Freire, associate producer of the film.

Freire said the

film company was very appreciative of the support they received on Kaua’i in

making the film, including the work of hundreds of male extras cast as World

War II POWs. Some dieted to look like emaciated prisoners to give the film an

authentic appearance.

Location filming completed on Monday and Tuesday with

unique footage of historic Kaua’i sugar cane locomotives. The locomotives were

hauled from the Grove Farm Homestead Museum’s baseyard in Puhi to a remote

plantation road that runs into the Koloa side of the Wilcox Tunnel. The tunnel

connects Kipu and Koloa and was dug in the late 1940s to allow cane haul trucks

to bring cane from Grove Farm Plantation to the mill at Koloa.

Freire said

stars Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland, Jimmy Cosmo and Ciaran McMenamin left

the island following the last day of filming.

He said all the stars either

are natives of Scotland, or have a Scottish heritage.

The plot of the film

follows the experience of Scottish and American soldiers trapped in a Japanese

prison camp and forced to build a cross-Thailand military railroad.

The

soldiers manage to survive years of beatings and starvation in the camp by

creating an alternate reality, starting college classes and a church in the

camp’s morgue.

Japanese actors Masayuki Yui – who has acted in the films

of famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa – plus Sakae Kumura and Shu Nakajima

played the role of Japanese Army officers in the film.

The story is based

on a factual account written by Scottish railroad camp survivor Ernest Gordon

in the early 1960s following the success of the Academy Award winning film

“Bridge on the River Kwai.”

Freire said director David Cunningham will is

beginning post-production work on the film will. Work will be done on the Big

Island and in Los Angeles.

The film’s producers don’t yet have a confirmed

distribution deal, but are hopeful of worldwide showing of the Kaua’i-made

film.

Except for a scene filmed in Scotland, and one in Thailand, the film

is set entirely on Kaua’i.

Cunningham grew up in Kailua-Kona on the Big

Island. His film company Pray for Rain Pictures Inc. released “Beyond

Paradise,” a coming of age film set in Kona several years ago.

The film was

a hit on Kaua’i and other Hawaiian islands, plus in Guam and in the South

Pacific.

“To End All Wars” is a joint production, made under the name

Argyll Film Partners.

A tentative schedule has the film set for worldwide

release sometime in December. Most likely the film will be shown on Kaua’i

during its initial run.

Freire said initial concerns about Kaua’i’s

typically rainy weather were unfounded. “The fantastic weather really helped,”

he said.

He said the stars of the film put up with rougher filming

conditions then they normally face. “They were having a good time, working very

hard. The set was not the usual set, most of time stars don’t stay in tents and

have mud and makeup on them all day long. But they handled it very, very

well.”

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