Lincoln graduate recreates grandfather’s war story in film

Lincoln graduate and film director Christian Moles is counting down to the premier of his latest creation, bringing to life a World War II story that’s dear to his heart.

Invicta is set in war-torn France, concluding with the evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940, and recreates Christian’s grandfather Private James Moles’ own journey in the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Christian, a graduate from the University of Lincoln, says his film is a glimpse into a moment in history which is often overlooked – where almost 340,000 allied soldiers were rescued from the French beaches, while surrounded by an advancing German army.

The story was pieced together with his grandfather’s accounts, photographs and 70-year-old documents.

Private James Moles in the 1940s and his character in Invicta

Private James Moles in the 1940s and his character in Invicta

The film was shot over 10 days across a number of Lincolnshire locations on a micro-budget, and with the help of graduated from drama, media, marketing and animation courses.

Recreated moments from historic documents and Christian's grandfather's photographs.

Recreated moments from historic documents and Christian’s grandfather’s photographs.

Christian said: “The main bulk of the filming took place in summer 2011, the subsequent years were spent working on the editing, visual effects, colour treatment, sound design and the music resulting in the final product being released publicly online at the end of May 2015 (perfectly aligned with the 75th anniversary of Dunkirk).

“I was adamant that I was going to make a feature film and had several initial concepts put together. It was upon running some of these ideas past my father that he quite flippantly responded with, “Why don’t you make a film about your Grandpa’s involvement in the rear guard action at Dunkirk?”.

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A still from the movie

“From that very moment a spark fired and I knew it was a story to be shared, it was honest, truthful and factual. I wanted the narrative to be as accurate as possible and so I set out on a journey to uncover what actually happened and when.

“To help me fill in the blanks of my Grandfather’s accounts, I trawled through historical documents and testimonies in literature, online databases and at the Imperial War Museum’s Archives. This is how the story of Invicta was born.

“In terms of funding, this feature is classed in the industry as a ‘No Budget’ film. The average cost for a British made film is somewhere between £5 million and £8 million, we managed to make Invicta for less than £3000.

“This was entirely down to the voluntary time of all involved from actors, landowners, military vehicle owners and armorers. I am still overwhelmed by everyone’s support!”

The full feature film, under Christian’s company The Inside Mole, is due for release on May 29, 2015. It will be available to watch on a website which is currently under construction.

For updates on the project, people can follow The Invicta Facebook page.