Today marks the 3rd Anniversary (it also marks the Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme) since I released A War to End No Wars, on-line and what a crazy few years the film has had!
Little did I know the amount of love people would have for this home-made production and the places it has taken me!
A War to End No Wars, managed to gain OFFICIAL SELECTION LAURELS at various film festivals worldwide where it also gained the position at a few as FINALIST and WINNER.
(Tommy takes home the Special Mention award at Crossing the Screen 2017)
Tommy's adventures were picked up by the media who ran reports on the project, its history and it's success both regionally and internationally via printed press, social media, websites, live radio interviews and television broadcasts, this bought Tommy to many peoples homes for the first time and gained new fans.
(Tommy on the BBC website - 2017)
I myself have met so many lovely people, had opportunities I have dreamt of for many years (such as a visit to my heroes over at Aardman, in Bristol), had an exhibition on the Making of and history of A War to End No Wars at a museum which featured displays and various props from the film, carried out talks on my film and the history of animation and have also made some wonderful friends and contacts along the way.
Tommy still occassionally gets the chance to go out and about with his TOMMY ON TOUR social media project I started a few years back. TOMMY ON TOUR, involves me making miniature Royal British Legion replica crosses that are about an inch in size and leaving them at WWI memorials and cemeteries containing a Commonwealth War Grave plot mainly around Britain, although if I am in another country, Tommy usually travels too and as such I have continued his tour across various locations in Western Canada and all over the Somme region of France!
The crosses are left with the website address on the back as well as the #TommyOnTour where, I upload a photograph of Tommy to his Instagram page. My hope is that people may pick these crosses up (they can even keep them) and that it may pique their interest in the WWI history around them.
(#TommyOnTour Remembrance crosses)
As last year drew to a close, I was contacted by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain over in the US, who asked if it would be possible to have A War to End No Wars screening before the new Sam Mendes film, 1917, at all their cinema locations after seeing my film on-line.
I have to say, this was such an immense honour to have it associated with such an incredible film and such a fitting end to the story of AWtENW as it's publicity and so on starts to peter out.
Tommy will always have a special place in my heart and I hope I can still take him out every so often for a few more years to come, although he is sadly starting to get old and break down.
I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, "THANK YOU", for all the support everyone has given Tommy and myself both personally and on-line, for the 20K views people have given the film on YouTube, for the merchandise people have bought, for the people who have attend my talk and exhibition and to my family for putting up with all my all my "creative mess" and dark obsession with the First World War... You all have helped make the journey so much more enjoyable!
With many thanks and best wishes to you all,
Ruth and Tommy
(Tommy and Ruth - Christmas 2019, avec Alamo Drafthouse Cinema t-shirt)