News and Press Releases
Heroes of an American Town, a Film Detailing Bob Mathias' Hometown Released on DVD OXNARD, Calif., Nov. 28
Dreamkeeper Films announces the DVD release of Heroes of an American Town, a 128-minute documentary featuring the last interview given by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. Congressman Bob Mathias, who passed away on September 22nd, 2006, after losing his battle with cancer. In the film, which explores the principle of heroism, Mathias tells his own story of coming from humble beginnings in Tulare, CA, to rise to great heights. With Mathias' story, the exploits of two other local heroes are detailed: Maurice A. Preston -- a WWII B-17 commander who became a four-star general, and Manuel Toledo: a highly decorated WWII infantryman. Writer-director Dan Traub investigates what these three have in common -- the experience of coming from the same small town.
The film's inception came in 2005 when Traub, driving from Los Angeles to Fresno on business, stopped to view Tulare's B-17, the Preston's Pride, which was flown to Tulare by General Preston in 1958. The plane was loaned to Tulare in recognition of Preston's accomplishments with the 379th Bomb Group in WWII. After gaining the participation from the Tulare Historical Society and Museum, shooting began in late 2005. In the film, Manuel Toledo and other veterans tell their stories of survival in battle, and of re-adjusting and even prospering after the war.
Mathias was noted for winning the Gold Medal for the decathlon in 1948, at the age of seventeen, and winning again in 1952. He was also a successful movie actor, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives for four terms. He is honored and remembered as a hero in Tulare, and elsewhere in the world.
At the September 27th screening at the Tulare Film Festival, Mathias' widow Gwen said, "His legacy will always continue. He will always be an inspiration to all young people, and to everyone." Mathias' sister, Patricia Guerrero, said she was proud of her brother, but that the other heroes of the film were also very important. "It's a great honor not only for him, but for General Preston, and Manuel Toledo," she said.
Dreamkeeper Films, Inc. is an independent film company. The film can be purchased online at http://www.heroesfilm.com, for $23.95. From each DVD sold, one dollar is donated to Tulare's AMVETS B-17 fund, to help preserve the B-17. SOURCE Dreamkeeper Films, Inc.