Press Release

WWII film conference to feature Donald Miller, Rick Atkinson and a host of celebrated authors

Real to Reel: World War II in Film, Documentaries & Newsreels to examine how WWII influenced film and how film shaped our memories

NEW ORLEANS – The pivotal years of World War II have influenced and inspired filmmakers, documentarians and the media for more than 60 years. To commemorate and reflect upon this important era, The National World War II Museum in New Orleans will present Real to Reel: World War II in Film, Documentaries & Newsreels, April 10-12, 2008.

The Museum’s Second International Conference on World War II will feature celebrated authors along with experts and historians from the world of film presenting and discussing documentaries, newsreels, and Hollywood films and the impact and influence of this medium on America’s memories and perceptions of World War II over the years. Panels also will examine the complicated relationship between the film medium and the portrayal of history.

“World War II has been the focus of many important and compelling film productions, including The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan, Flags of Our Fathers, The Shooting War, and most recently, Ken Burns’ THE WAR,” said Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, Ph.D., President and CEO of The National World War II Museum. “When planning our second annual International Conference on World War II, we wanted to examine this fascinating and little-studied aspect of World War II.”

Presenters include Donald L. Miller, bestselling author of a number of World War II books including the recent Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany; Rick Atkinson, a Pulitzer prize winner who recently completed The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, the second volume of his Liberation Trilogy; Gerhard L. Weinberg, who’s WWII epic A World at Arms has now sold more than 150,000 copies and has been translated into several languages; James McBride, whose work Miracle at St. Anna is now being made into a film by Spike Lee; Carlo D’Este, author of Patton: A Genius for War; Lawrence H. Suid, author of Guts & Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film and Sailing on the Silver Screen: Hollywood and the U.S. Navy; and many others.

Additional panelists will include Catherine Wyler, producer of Memphis Belle and daughter of famed director William Wyler, who will share her insights on her father’s passion for portraying the sacrifice of American soldiers in World War II; James Moll, filmmaker and director of the Museum’s exclusive film, Price for Peace, and the films Survivors of the Holocaust and Voices from the List, will share his perspective on translating the raw emotions of war via film; USMC combat photographer, SSgt. Norman “Norm” Hatch will screen his original footage of live combat film from the brutal Battle of Tarawa; and Benjamin Patton will discuss the portrayal of his iconic grandfather, General George S. Patton, in film.

The closing banquet and keynote presentation, Band of Brothers – Translating Real Life to Film, will feature actor Michael Cudlitz from the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, screenwriter John Orloff and historian Hugh Ambrose, who is currently working on The Pacific, HBO's sequel to its Emmy-winning miniseries, Band of Brothers.

All sessions will be held at the Marriott Convention Center Boulevard in downtown New Orleans. A reception will be held at the Museum to unveil the accompanying special exhibition, Real to Reel: Hollywood and World War II. The special exhibition highlights the role of pre-war superstars from the battlefront to the Home Front, the relationship between the studios and the Office of War Information and the story of how the war gave so many future stars their big break. The closing Band of Brothers banquet will also be held at the Museum.

Individual tickets are available starting at $299 for a full conference pass and $129 for select day passes. The Museum’s Travel Department has also created affordable conference and hotel combo packages. As always, discounts are available for Museum members. Call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 for additional information. For updates on this exciting conference or to purchase your tickets securely online, visit

The National World War II Museum was dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and recently has been designated by Congress as the country’s official national World War II museum. It illuminates the American experience during the war era and celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who won World War II. The National World War II Museum is currently undertaking a $300 million expansion that, when complete, will create a six-acre campus of exhibition pavilions, an advanced format 4-D theater, USO venue, and a research and conference center in downtown New Orleans. For more information about The National World War II Museum, call 504-527-6012 or visit online at