Return to Dak To
$15 (*Film Block)
Traveling in a large Mercedes van, director and former combat medic Christopher Upham shepherds four fellow combat engineers through a contemporary Vietnam which they had only known from the war. Commander Newman Howard wants to “help my guys.” Lieutenant John “Duffy” Dubendorf wants to see “if what we did was right”. Genial Ohio Sergeant Bill Christie can’t get the war out of his mind. Open-minded radioman John Marcoulier hated the destruction, but loved the excitement, the camaraderie and the discipline. Vietnam wholeheartedly embraces these veterans as they wind their way north from the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City through the lush Central Highlands towards their old firebase at Dak To. All along the road to Dak To, director Upham continues his own lifelong quest to discover why he fought in Vietnam, which opens an intimate portal into the mind of a war veteran, fascinated by war since childhood.
Christopher Upham – Director
Christopher Upham is a producing writer-director living in San Francisco. His first documentary, Return to Dak To has played six film festivals, winning a Jury’s Citation at the Black Maria Film and Video Festival and a RINO Award at the 2016 WorldFest Houston. The film explores Upham’s experiences as a medic traveling back to Vietnam with four Army comrades. Return to Dak To played at the National Gallery in Washington, DC in summer 2015.
Mr. Upham has collaborated on films with playwright John O’Keefe, directors Paul Saltzman, Taggart Siegel, Ellen Perry, William Farley, Lola Creel, Yun Suh, Hisham Bizri, Lynn Hershman-Leeson and arms trafficking Investigator/producer Kathi Austin. Mr. Upham is on Staff at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Screenwriting program and has taught at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Film Society. Mr. Upham’s first novel, Daktoum a fictional retelling of the events portrayed in Return to Dak To, will be published in Spring, 2016. His short fiction, Nothing To Crow About was anthologized in Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, edited by Maxine Hong Kingston. Mr. Upham has professional acting credits in a dozen stage productions and performed in over 50 films, including a featured lead in Larry Clark’s Cutting Horse.
He began in the film business with legendary IMAX pioneer, Director Greg MacGillivray and has worked professionally at nearly every movie job above and below the line – except for grip and gaffer. Mr. Upham’s current projects include Sidewinder Justice, a war veteran’s revenge novel set in a dystopian desert city and Dark Gate, a San Francisco neo-noir transmedia film/novel.