“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” honored by Accolade Global Film Competition as one of this year’s best

(La Jolla, CA, June 2018) – The Accolade Global Film Competition has named “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” as one of this year’s top documentaries. The documentary won an “Award of Excellence Special Mention” from the Accolade judges who noted the documentary’s “skillfully woven narrative with historic photos and video.”

The awards go to filmmakers, television producers and videographers who produce fresh, standout entertainment and compelling documentaries. The Accolade is an international awards competition that honors those who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity.

Accolade Award Announcement

“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” honored with national Sigma Delta Chi documentary award

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Christine Lesiak (left of center) and Bernard “Barney” McCoy (center right) receive the Sigma Delta Chi Award for outstanding journalism for the documentary “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  McCoy produced and directed the documentary. Lesiak was a consulting producer on the project. The Society of Professional Journalists presented the award.

On Friday, June 8th, the Society of Professional Journalists presented Bernard “Barney” McCoy, Christine Lesiak, Luis-Peon Casanova, and Paul Pytlowany with the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism for the documentary “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War.”

34849109_10156497380357490_8777274580050903040_nThe Sigma Delta Chi Awards ceremony was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The awards recognize the best in professional journalism in categories covering print, radio, television, newsletters, art/graphics, online and research.

The Sigma Delta Chi judges praised the documentary for its meticulous research and revelations about General Pershing’s personal life that was an important part of his historic career. “Truly a work of distinction,” wrote the judges. “While production borrowed more than a page from Ken Burns, they did so in expert fashion and it didn’t seem gimmicky in the least. An enthralling piece of documentary filmmaking.”

 

Pershing 1921 Lincoln Portrait 200“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” tells the life story of Gen. John J. Pershing whose roots ran deep in 20th century America. He commanded 2 million U.S. troops that helped win World War I and changed the world. America became a global superpower, and Pershing rose to be his nation’s highest-ranking military officer. But hidden beneath Pershing’s iron exterior was a man who endured great personal tragedy and heartbreak.

BarneyMcCoy (HS) 411x480_0 Bernard “Barney” McCoy, producer of the documentary, is a professor of broadcasting in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Luis 411x480_0 Luis Peon-Casanova, primary videographer on the project, is an assistant professor of practice in broadcasting in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

LesiakChristine 411x480_0 Christina Lesiak, an award-winning story consultant on the project, is an executive producer at NET, Nebraska’s PBS station.

 

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Paul Pytlowany, primary video editor on the project, is a senior videographer and production manager at CBS Detroit

“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” is a co-production of McCoy’s Painted Rock Productions and NET,  Nebraska’s PBS station. Production support for the documentary was provided by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. It received funding from Lowell Vestal, Sandra S. Pershing, Humanities Nebraska, University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Research Council, and the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation.

For more information contact: PershingLoveandWar@gmail.com

All rights reserved. 2017 Painted Rock Productions, LLC 

On the road in General Pershing’s boyhood hometown of Laclede, Missouri

This weekend took the “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” documentary tour on the road to Laclede, Missouri, the birthplace of General John J. Pershing.

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A statue of General John J. Pershing stands watch in front of the WWI commander’s boyhood home site in Laclede, Missouri.

My thanks to the Missouri State Parks and Missouri Department of Natural Resources for hosting my visit to the Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site.

On Saturday the site hosted a solemn Blessing of Poppies Ceremony. For centuries poppies have symbolized the battlefield sacrifices of soldiers. They were immortalized in this famous WWI poem by British Lt. Col. John McCrae.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row by row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If yea break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

20180602_224809Soil collected from the eight American WWI  cemeteries in Europe, where more than one million U.S. soldiers fought, was blessed and transferred to a new WWI Commemorative Garden being built at the Pershing Boyhood Home site.

The sacred soil was cast into the garden where the first poppies have been sown and are now in bloom. The finished garden will be dedicated this September as part of General Pershing’s 158th birthday weekend.

As the visiting crowd looked on Saturday, VFW members and a military color guard fired a cannon volley, followed by a 21-gun salute, and the playing of “Taps” in honor of the roughly 117,000 Americans who died in service to their country during the Great War.

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Visitors and guests to the Gen. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site look on during Saturday’s “Blessing of the Poppies” commemorative event.

20180602_224717Native Americans from the Cherokee Nation and Muscogee Nation, whose members also fought and died in WWI also spoke and sang at the memorial dedication event.

On Sunday, another group of more than 100 people attended a free viewing of “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War,” the award-winning documentary on Pershing’s life, at the Reel Time Cinema in neighboring Brookfield, Missouri.

20180603_193908Afterward, audience members asked me questions about Pershing’s pivotal role as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe and America’s critical decision to enter WWI in April 1917. At the time, victory was far from certain for America and its French and British allies.

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Denzil Heaney, administrator of the General Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site in Laclede, Missouri with Barney McCoy, producer of “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War.”   

Ultimately, America’s involvement in the war gave the Allies a numerical and tactical advantage that helped turn the battle tide, forced a German surrender, and brought an end to the fighting on November 11, 1918.

It was an honor to screen my documentary on General Pershing’s life in the place where America’s only active-duty six-star general was born and raised.

A special thanks to Denzil Heaney, administrator of the Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site, the many volunteers who helped plan and staff this weekend’s events, and the many veterans and active duty military members who have served their country in the past and still today.

General Pershing and his fallen soldiers

World War I General John “Black Jack” Pershing commanded more than 2-million American troops in Europe a century ago.
More than 117,000 U.S. soldiers died in the Great War.
During the 100th anniversary year of the WWI armistice when America honors the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military, this video illustrates Pershing’s insistence that his American soldiers who died serving their nation never be forgotten.

General John J. Pershing: The Fallen from CoJMC on Vimeo.

 

On the road with “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

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We had a great screening of our documentary on WWI General John Pershing at the National Archives yesterday as Memorial Day weekend approaches and America honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

We screened the documentary in the National Archives McGowan theater to an audience that filled about two-thirds of the beautiful historic theater.

The audience asked great questions afterward about America’s important role in World War 1 and about General Pershing – Questions about Pershing’s life after the Great War, about the challenges facing America as a late entrant into the war, about Germany and the Allies attempts to employ code breakers to spy on each other’s troop positions, strategies, and movements in the war.

The audience members were very receptive to our award-winning documentary on Pershing’s life.

A very special thanks to our hosts, the National Archives, and the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

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Historian, Pershing author, and good friend Mitch Yockelson helped moderate the audience discussion after the screening of the documentary. Mitch and I have worked together on past screenings of the Pershing documentary. Yockelson’s always a very knowledgeable delight to work with.

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We’re pleased to announce that “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” is now available to rent or own on Amazon Prime. Click here to go to the Amazon Prime page for the documentary on the life of WWI General John J. Pershing.  

Amazon Prime members may watch the award-winning documentary for free as part of their annual or monthly memberships. Please watch our historic documentary about John J. Pershing and leave a viewer’s review to share your thoughts about the documentary.

The next stop for public screenings of “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” will be on Sunday, June 3nd at the Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site in beautiful Laclede, Missouri. Hope you can join us.

On the road in York, Nebraska with “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War”

33150498_10155482887126451_6014919406751055872_oWhat a wonderful audience at York College in York, Nebraska Monday night for the “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” documentary screening. York College’s Mackey Center was a beautiful venue for the screening and featured two screens on which our audience could watch the award-winning documentary.

Thanks to history professor Tim McNeese, York College, and Humanities Nebraska for hosting my WWI documentary and discussion of General John J. Pershing’s life.

33163160_10155482887346451_8790941788757032960_oSome members of the audience, which numbered about 100, had fathers or grandfathers who served in the Great War and fought with the American Expeditionary Forces under General Pershing.

One woman told me her father served in France during WWI and helped document the war through films and photographs for the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

There were also several WWI artifacts one local collector shared with our audience.

33343537_10155482887466451_5996296677663703040_oI’m looking forward to our public screening of the documentary at the National Archives and Records Administration this Thursday at noon in Washington, D.C.

The free event will be hosted by the National Archives and Records Administration, the U.S.World War I Centennial Commission, and introduced by good friend and Pershing historian Mitch Yockelson. Click here for details. 

Click here to see our latest screening and discussion schedule for “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” and learn how to schedule a screening in your community.

33122709_10155482887861451_8786026980370808832_oWe’re also pleased to announce that “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” is now available to rent or own on Amazon Prime. Click here to go to the Amazon Prime page for the documentary on the life of WWI General John J. Pershing.  

Amazon Prime members may watch the award-winning documentary for free as part of their annual or monthly memberships. Please watch our historic documentary about John J. Pershing and leave a viewer’s review to tell us what you think of the documentary.

Available on Amazon Prime- “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War”

33122709_10155482887861451_8786026980370808832_oWe’re pleased to announce that “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” is now available to rent or own on Amazon Prime. Click here to go to the Amazon Prime page for the documentary on the life of WWI General John J. Pershing.  

Amazon Prime members may watch the award-winning documentary for free as part of their annual or monthly memberships. Please watch our historic documentary about John J. Pershing and leave a viewer’s review to tell us what you think of the documentary.

John Pershing commanded 2 million U.S. troops in Europe that helped win World War I. He would become the only active duty six-star general in American history. But behind General Pershing’s iron exterior stood a man who endured a great personal tragedy and heartbreak he would never reveal for the rest of his life.

On the road in Sidney, Nebraska with “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War”

The “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” tour’s next stop will be Monday at 7 p.m. at York College in York, Nebraska.

I will share the documentary discussion with friend and Pershing historian Tim McNeese. Tim is an associate professor at York College, has authored more than 100 history books, and is one of the experts I interviewed in my Pershing documentary.

Sidney Nebraska Hornicek72dpiSaturday, I had the pleasure of screening my documentary for residents in Sidney, Nebraska where I was graciously hosted by Humanities Nebraska and the Cheyenne County Visitors Committee.

Afterward, I met the granddaughter of Nebraska WWI veteran John Hornicek who shared with me some WWI photos of her late grandfather. He was one of the 2-million U.S. military personnel who served in Europe during the war.

Hornicek served in France as a medic for the U.S. Army during the Great War. He later specialized in treating several American, French and British allied soldiers at a hospital in Paris who were exposed to chemical weapons the Germans introduced and used widely in the war. You can see Hornicek’s military dog tag in the upper right corner of the photo above.

On my way back from screening my documentary in Sidney I stopped by Fort McPherson National Cemetery and paid my respects to several graves of soldiers who served under Pershing in WWI.

Fort McPherson Cemetery Nebraska 72dpiThe cemetery rests in the gently rolling hills south of Maxwell, Nebraska on the former site of Fort McPherson, a U.S. Army facility established in 1863 to protect the settlers who moved west across the state on the Oregon Trail.

The military abandoned the fort in 1880, leaving behind this plot of 20 acres which was dedicated as a national cemetery in 1873.

Today, the national cemetery is the final resting place for soldiers who fought in the Indian Wars, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and more recent conflicts.

Some of those buried here served under “Black Jack “Pershing’ in the Indian Wars and WWI.

Hope you’ll join us Monday night in York to learn more about America’s historic efforts under General Pershing’s command during the Great War.

Click here to learn more about future screening dates and places for “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War,” and to learn how to schedule a screening of the documentary in your town.

PBS, NET and Painted Rock Productions launch school learning guide for General John “Black Jack” Pershing

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This is a photo of the student learning guide that features interesting tips and background on WWI General John J Pershing. The learning guide was produced by Painted Rock Productions, NET Nebraska and PBS.

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice. A new online multimedia learning guide for “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” is available for school grades 9-13.

The learning guide is produced by Painted Rock Productions, NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR station, and PBS Learning Media.

“The learning guide is a great way, through old films, photographs, voice recordings, and more to learn more about General John J. Pershing and America’s historic role in World War I,” said Barney McCoy, producer of the award-winning documentary “Black Jack Pershing: Love and War.”

The educational website features several multimedia sections that chronicle Pershing’s life-  from his youthful days in post-Civil War Missouri to his command of African American soldiers in the Spanish-American War and ultimately as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces.

Under Pershing’s command of  U.S. troops, America helped turn the Allied battle tide against Germany and helped force an end to WWI in November 1918.

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General John J. Pershing visits with a young French girl in France during World War I. Years earlier, Pershing’s three daughters and wife died in a fire at the Presidio in California while Pershing led U.S. troops patrolling Texas’ border with Mexico after reports that revolutionary General Pancho Villa might invade the U.S.  Photo: National Archives and Records Administration

The American soldiers, nicknamed “Doughboys” are credited with helping win the Great War and were welcomed home as true heroes. Pershing was promoted to the rank of six-star general. Many historians consider him one of the American architects of the modern army, with its ability to cross oceans and represent a truly global power.

Pershing never forgot the soldiers who fought and died under him. In the decades after the Great War, he helped create and dedicate several monuments and burial grounds in Europe to honor the tens of thousands of American soldiers who fought and died in combat. To learn more about Pershing and World War I click on this link.  

 

 

Reel Time Film Festival: Black Jack Pershing a finalist

 

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Black Jack Pershing: Love and War,” has been named a finalist in the 2018 Reel Time International Online Film Festival.

Reel Time International Online Film Festival judges include the festival’s volunteers, staff, and industry professionals from around the world who selected this year’s finalists. On July 1st, the public will be invited to watch excerpts of the finalists’ videos on the film festival’s YouTube channel and vote for their favorites online.

The Australia-based film festival wants the Reel Time International Online Film Festival to stay true to its name – International and Online. This “means it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can view it,” says the festival’s website. “It’s not just about picking finalists and winners – it’s about networking,” and the festival’s mission is to support film finalists in their filmmaking journeys by helping them connect in the film industry.

“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War” chronicle’s the life of World War I General John J. Pershing. It was directed by Bernard “Barney” McCoy, a professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. CoJMC professor of practice Luis Peon-Casanova was the documentary’s primary videographer.

“Black Jack Pershing: Love and War,” is a co-production of Painted Rock Productions and NET, Nebraska’s PBS station. Production support for the documentary was provided by CoJMC, Humanities Nebraska, UNL’s Research Council, Lowell Vestal, Sandra Pershing, and the Hitchcock Foundation.

For more details contact: PershingLoveandWar@gmail.com