The success of these smaller and direct-to-video titles has prompted services to obtain and promote them alongside their higher-profile release. “American War Fighter” recently premiered on Netflix, giving writer, director, producer and star Jerry G. Angelo visibility for his tribute to soldiers that the dozens of word-of-mouth screenings he hosted could not. Inspired by an encounter with “Lone Survivor” subject Marcus Luttrell on the set of Peter Berg’s adaptation of Luttrell’s book, Angelo says it was important to tell a story that explored aspects of military life that he didn’t see often enough on screen. “I wanted to do something that would have a very strong message,” he explains. “A tribute to all our servicemen and women, and have awareness to PTSD.”
With a sequel in development, Angelo says he’s thrilled to help give veterans a platform to showcase their experiences, and hopefully bridge ideological divides with stories that celebrate their deeply relatable humanity.