About

Bjornquist Films is a production company based in Brooklyn, New York.  Our mission is to bring quality stories, i.e. tried and tested screenplays (through readings and competitions) to the screen in an affordable way.  Stories that illuminate the human condition and reflect redemption through social consciousness.

henry and virginia in a quiet moment

Henry and Virginia from “My Brother’s War”

My Great-great-great grandfather fought with the ‘Bloody 6th’ North Carolina Cavalry from 1862-1865. He was 21 when the regiment was composed of men from Ashe south to Cherokee County, North Carolina where he was born. He was also half Cherokee. They fought at Ringgold, Resaca, GA and the bloody battle of Chickamauga as well as battles in North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. I’ve often heard family stories of Eastern Cherokee hiding in the mountains to avoid removal by the Federal Army. Some fought for the Confederacy in exchange for the promise to remain on ancestral land. Others fought to maintain peace in the mountains among neighbors which is what Thomas’ Legion of Cherokee soldiers did.  Eventually my ancestors were forced to Oklahoma in 1880. Native Americans are completely left out of the history of the Civil War. Stand Watie was the last Confederate General of the Cherokee Brigade to surrender in June 1865. I have yet to see a story that illuminates the role the Cherokee and other tribes played during this conflict and how they helped their neighbors and friends in this historic crisis.

What is a “Two-Spirit”?

Over 400 women fought disguised as men during the Civil War. This is one woman’s story and how she continued to live her life as a man even after the war. Given the opportunity of freedom and independence, Grace Kieler could no longer go back to the life she once had as a disenfranchised woman and victim of war. As Henry she could move through the society of the time without molestation and earn a living doing the work of a man. She could even go so far as to marry another woman and take a wife. Sara Emma Edmonds did and Pauline Cushman certainly had the chance as did Jennie Hodgers, historic women who defied convention and the social constriction of female life in Victorian society. With Virginia’s love, Grace (Henry) creates the life that she could only dream of and makes it real. Virginia, an unlikely heroine, also defies the social mores of the time entering into a “Boston Marriage” with another woman privately.

Home is where the heart is. It may be a person and even a place that holds emotional and spiritual value. The images of spirals in all their natural forms and the story of the fireflies illustrates that we come back life after life to those places that feel like home and the arms of the beloved to experience that deeply satisfying feeling of belonging and unconditional love.

V reads Henry's letters2The Letters

Our desire to make UNION is firmly rooted in the fan base that “My Brother’s War” has accrued and the audience’s hunger to see the rest of the story.

Federals take the hill

Federals take the hill

In making “My Brother’s War”, Bjornquist films acquired the necessary costumes and props in anticipation for making the sequel.  But more important than that we have been able to cultivate relationships with the reenacting community and various historic associations in the South that will enable us to shoot this tale in a cost-effective way.  We have 50% of the film in the can already!

Henry and Georgianna

 

Our two features films are universal in scope yet set against an historical backdrop.  “My Brother’s War” is about hope, survival and love in a time of conflict and upheaval.

my brothers war poster.indd

Because we own our production/grip equipment along with various costume collections acquired from previous projects, we were able to make “My Brother’s War” for $30K. It was picked up for distribution and has played the festival circuit being nominated for best low-budget independent film and Best Actress Whitney Hamilton at both the Methodfest in LA and the New Hope Film Festival in PA.

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