George Washington’s Army and Me, Elijah’s Long Journey Home feature film has included the role of Oneida Indian Polly Cooper, a female Revolutionary War Patriot, to highlight her selfless service to soldier’s at Valley Forge in 1777/1778.
Writer Michael Dooling shared: “A story about family, freedom, and home—about America’s struggle for Independence—would be remiss without honoring Polly Cooper and the Oneida Nation. Cherished by her people for her service to the Continental Army in the face of adversity, Polly aided the American cause at Valley Forge by cooking, nursing, teaching nutrition, and providing corn to the starving—making the difference between life and death for many.”
The film’s genre is best described as “Tom Sawyer meets The Patriot”. George Washington’s Army and Me, Elijah’s Long Journey Home follows 10-year-old Elijah and his adventures as he follows his father, a farmer who joins the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment after the British invade their family farm.
1000’s of mothers and children followed their soldier husbands and fathers during the Revolutionary War, marching up to 9-miles a day under terrible conditions. They provided much needed support to the Army performing various duties, most had no place else to go. Based on letters and diaries from the period, the film is an adventurous, at-times humorous, heartfelt story with a universally relatable message of family, freedom, and home.
Actress Phoenix Bess said: “I love the character of Polly Cooper! And, I love even more that she is a real person in history. Polly’s steadfast courage and compassion are inspiring — leaving her village, traveling to Valley Forge, and navigating the perils of war are actions of a hero and a true leader. Her selfless devotion to assisting the American soldiers during the war and her impact on history are incredible. I am grateful and extremely excited to have this opportunity to bring her to life in this film. I hope that through my portrayal of Polly, her story will become more widely known and appreciated, and as a Native American, I feel deeply the importance and gravity of bringing this Oneida heroine’s life to light. I am honored to have this role.”
“Most Americans know that George Washington is considered the “Father of the Country” but very few know Polly Cooper, from the Oneida tribe and how she played a crucial role in our American Revolution. Through service and sacrifice to the American cause she can rightly be called, the Mother of the Country. I know the entire production team including myself is proud to highlight Polly’s war-time service within the film and bring light to her accomplishments. Because of the Oneida’s assistance and especially Polly’s dedication the tribe have deservedly earned the moniker, “America’s First Ally.” Said Robert Child, Award Winning Director and Screenwriter.
An Independent Film Production with Fiscal Sponsorship, 1663 Media Arts, LLC has laid the groundwork and is well positioned to attract funding to meet their $700K budget. Filming is forecast to begin late spring of 2019 in Virginia with a goal to release the film October 19, 2019. Individual, Organization and Corporate supports are all welcome; film perks are offered and donations qualify for a US tax credit.
Producer, Andrea M. Clarke shared, “I am humbled and determined to do all we can to honor Polly Cooper within our film by shedding a much-earned light on her strength, compassion and unwavering service to the Continental Army Soldiers during the Revolutionary War.”
The vision for the film is to reignite the interest of people young and old to learn more about the real life characters, unsung hero’s, surrounding the founding of the United States of America. The story is steeped in family, freedom and home and how resilience and determination through the eyes and actions of a 10-year old boy, the human spirit can and will prevail. It’s a story the whole family will enjoy!
Film Contact: Andrea M Clarke, Producer