The Piano Love Affair
Charlie & Anthelmette at Thabor Park in Rennes, France. May 1, 1945. Their last picture together.
Logline- A Tennessee farm-boy stationed in France and surrounded by the daily fears of WWII, falls in love. Fearing death in the planned Japan invasion, he leaves this meaningful courtship without a proper goodbye…and miraculously finds closure nearly seventy years later.
A "Brooklyn" type romance set during "Saving Private Ryan," times. Similar genre to "Philomena," "Brooklyn," "The Notebook," and "Shakespeare in Love."
Film Industry & Producers please contact Steve Sherman regarding The Piano Love Affair at SteveMSherman@gmail.com / (360) 791-1771
WWII stories are especially important now as we have little time left with our remaining brave veterans who saved freedoms and liberated nations. Many war films and stories present the battles, but Charlie's story shows another side of our GI's lives. In France, it was common for our soldiers to date, which served to alleviate the daily uncertainty, fear, loneliness, and ugliness of the war. Charlie and Anthelmette's purity and humility, the end of their relationship, and what happened nearly 70 years later, makes their story unique and beautiful, while reminding us of the important relationship between the USA and France. Thank you for your interest in The Piano Love Affair.
Synopsis: A true story about Charlie Brakebill, a Tennessee farm boy stationed in France during WWII. How he courted Anthelmette, a young French woman in pharmacy school. How they were separated by the war, and how 70 years later, Charlie found closure.
"The World War II romance between Charlie Brakebill and Anthelmette Guillard is the stuff of which dreams and movies are made." ~ Knoxville Sentinel
Knoxville Sentinel Article about the story
To Purchase the Book The Piano Love Affair by Jack Williams as told by Charlie Brakebill Click Here
Timeline of Project:
Fall 2014: As an MFA student working at The Clarence Brown Theatre, Liz Stowers introduced me to long-time board member Charlie Brakebill and I learned about his incredible story and the book written about it, The Piano Love Affair by Jack Williams.
Winter 2014: Charlie sent me articles, books, pictures and other information regarding the story, including the 2013 spread done by the Knoxville News Sentinel after his first trip back to France. The Knoxville News Sentinel has written several articles about Charlie.
Summer 2015: Interviewed Charlie several times and met with Jack Williams, author of the book.
May 2016: Graduated with my MFA in Acting, giving me more time to work on the script.
August 2016: First draft of the screenplay is completed.
September 2016: Second draft of the screenplay is completed.
October 2016: Charlie, his granddaughter Erin, Jack, and I travel to France visiting Paris, Normandy and Rennes where the majority of the story takes place. We see Omaha Beach where Charlie landed in September of 1944. In Rennes we visit with Anthelmette's family, walk around Thabor park, and pay our respects at Anthelmette's grave in Sarzeau. (See slide show of pictures below)
December 2016: Newest draft of the screenplay complete and beginning to talk to producers.
January 2017: Had a few meetings with industry professionals regarding the screenplay.
February 2017: Interviewed Charlie on tape.
March 2017: New draft with reworked ending.
April 2018: Began filming sizzle reel
May 2018: New draft of the screenplay