Grandfather's WWII POW journey followed in 'Dear Sirs'

· 3 min read

Grandfather’s WWII POW journey followed in ‘Dear Sirs’

Documentary director, producer to participate in Q&A at the Ross
"Dear Sirs" trailer

“Dear Sirs,” a documentary about a grandson retracing the haunting steps of his grandfather’s World War II service, opens March 4 at Nebraska’s Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

Continuing to show for a second week are the 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films.

As part of the Norman A. Geske Cinema Showcase, “Dear Sirs” director, Mark Pedri, and producer, Carrie McCarthy, will participate in an audience Q&A following the 7:30 p.m. March 4 screening of the film.

Though he was raised in part by his grandfather, Pedri did not know of Silvio’s horrifying experience as an American soldier turned prisoner of war. An archive of photos, letters and documents discovered after Silvio’s death set Pedri on a path to learn more.

To further piece together the untold story, Pedri went on a 500-plus mile bike journey across Europe during winter, following original prisoner of war transportation routes. “Dear Sirs” catalogs Pedri’s experience.

“My grandpa always said that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing right,” Pedri said. “Driving from town to town in the spring to smell the flowers at each stop didn’t feel like the right way, but biking long, lonely stretches of frozen rural Germany did.”

“Dear Sirs,” which is not rated, shows through March 10 at the Ross.

Oscar-Nominated Shorts 2022 Trailer
2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films trailer

The 2022 Oscar Nominated Short Films are also showing through March 10.

Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination — Live Action, Animation or Documentary (Program A and Program B).

The Ross is offering a festival pass for access to all four programs. The pass — which is $18 general admission, $15 senior citizens and military, and $13 for students and Ross members — is available at the theater box office.

The Animated Shorts program is 97 minutes, with a suggested rating of R (for adult themes and content, violence and language). The program is not appropriate for children. It includes five nominees — “Robin Robin” (United Kingdom), “Affairs of the Art” (United Kingdom/Canada), “Bestia” (Chile), and “The Windshield Wiper” (Spain).

The Live Action Shorts program is 121 minutes with a suggested rating of R (for adult themes, violence and language). It includes five nominees — “On the Mind” (Denmark), “Please Hold” (United States), “The Dress” (Poland), “The Long Goodbye” (United Kingdom) and “Ala Kachuu — Take and Run” (Switzerland).

Documentary Shorts programs A and B are 75 and 83 minutes, respectively. Both are rated PG-13 for adult themes and topics. Nominees in Program A are “Audible” (United States) and “When We Were Bullies” (Germany). Nominees in Program B are “Three Songs for Benazir” (Afghanistan), “Lead Me Home” (United States), and “The Queen of Basketball” (United States).

Show times and summaries of each nominated short are available on the Ross website.

Learn more about the films, including show times and ticket availability.

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