News Column

Film will showcase dad's heroic escape ; Author in talks with soapstar for film about father's life [Sentinel, The (Stoke-on-Trent, England)]

November 4, 2013


THE life of a man who fled the horrors of communism and came to settle in Stoke-on-Trent will be the subject of a new film.

Richard Pekar is in talks with a production company for the movie, which will tell the story of his Hungarian father, Nandor.

And Mr Pekar has met former Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton, who has been invited to play a part in the film.

Nandor Pekar was eighteen when he crawled through miles of frozen mud, barbed wire and land mines across Europe to reach freedom in the 1950s.

He made it to Austria and was given the chance to come and start a new life in England.

The movie is in the early stages of development but film company Grand Independent are working with Mr Pekar on the script.

Rachel, of Blythe Bridge, who played Mitzee in the soap until she left in February, has had a meeting with Mr Pekar and the film company.

She said: It's a fascinating story and if there's a part that is right for me then I would be delighted to be involved.

I'm really intrigued by the prospect of the film as I know Richard is really passionate about the story and it's something quite special.

The film will be based on Mr Pekar's book Hungarian Blood, which he wrote after his father committed suicide in 1987, aged 49.

The story was spotted after he teamed up with media students at Staffordshire University to make a short film, The Last Train To Budapest, based on the book in 2004.

This caught the attention of the film company, which then read the book and were hooked on the story.

Mr Pekar, aged 44, of Acres Wood Road, in Burslem, said: It will be very emotional to see my book being turned into a film and seeing it on the big screen.

It will give people an insight into what it's like to be a prisoner of one''s nation. I don't want it to be a documentary, I want it to be an exciting, dramatic feature film that people will enjoy.

Something along the lines of Defiance, the Daniel Craig blockbuster about Jews escaping from Nazi's during the Second World War.

A feature film on the Hungarian Revolution in 1957 hasn't been done before. Writing the book was a long personal journey for Mr Pekar. It took more than 10 years to write as he had to research and recount his personal memories and tie it all together.

He said: When I was just 11, I remember my dad sitting down with a typewriter to try and tell his story.

But after a paragraph he stopped. It felt right to finish telling his story after he died. I guess it was a grieving process, to find out more about the history and what he went through and to try to get some closure.

The biggest question the film throws up is also my biggest personal question - why did my father commit suicide? Read the book and watch the film.


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