Local filmmaker seeking World War II photos

Local filmmaker seeking World War II photos

Wally Stone of Slatersville pictured circa World War II. Local filmmaker Christian de Rezendes is seeking photographs of North Smithfield residents who served in the military during World War II.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A local filmmaker is seeking photos of North Smithfield residents who served in the military during World War II to feature in an upcoming documentary.

Christian de Rezendes, the filmmaker behind “Slatersville: America’s First Mill Village,” which is slated to premiere on Rhode Island PBS next year, recently announced he’s looking to include photos of local World War II veterans in the documentary. The photos will be shown during a segment of the documentary about a Slatersville resident who served overseas.

“It’s about the World War II years on the home front and through the eyes of a soldier abroad who goes to the Pacific,” he said.

The photos must feature individuals who were from North Smithfield during the war years from 1941 to 1945. Official headshots in uniform or candid photos of men and women serving in the military will be accepted.

Those looking to submit photos should contact de Rezendes at breakingbranches@gmail.com or 401-651-1839 prior to June 20.

In addition to the final cut of the film, the photos will be featured during a “work in progress” screening at the North Smithfield High School auditorium on Thursday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. The free event, part of North Smithfield Days, will offer an early glimpse of a chapter of the film known as “The War.”

According to de Rezendes, the chapter tells the story of Wally Stone, a Slatersville native who went to serve in the Pacific at the age of 22. Stone sent more than 100 letters back to family members, preserving his story for future generations.

It also features the letters of the Rev. Harvey Eastman, who as pastor of Slatersville Congregational Church wrote regular letters to around 120 service members from North Smithfield. De Rezendes plans to show the photos while an actor reads from Eastman’s letters.

“That’s a great place where I can add some visual representation of these people who were from town at that time who Eastman could’ve been writing,” he said.

Slatersville resident John Cormier will voice Eastman, while WNRI host Joe Gallant will voice Stone.

De Rezendes said he’s working closely with the local VFW post as well as the Veterans Memorial Museum in Woonsocket to consult on the experiences of soldiers at the time.