“I Am Unbroken” Campaign Highlights Inspiring Stories in Lead Up to Film About WWII Hero Louis Zamperini

Posted: Oct 29, 2014 2:05 PM

There’s a little “Louie” in all of us.

That’s the message the producers behind the new “I Am Unbroken” campaign want to get across.

There aren’t many people who can say they competed in the Olympics, fought in World War II, survived 47 days stranded on a raft in the ocean and made it out of a Japanese POW camp alive. Yet, that is the incredible story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who died earlier this year. Dan wrote a moving piece about him, sharing how affected he was by Zamperini's stirring book. Academy Award winner-turned-director-and-producer Angelina Jolie decided to make his story into a movie.

Now, ahead of the film’s release, Universal Pictures is asking others to share their own personal survival stories in their new “I Am Unbroken” campaign. By submitting videos about their inspiring tales, participants can share in Zamperini’s legacy. More from the campaign:

We’re inviting people from all walks of life to share an inspiring story of resilience for the chance to have a professional team create a video segment about it. Selected stories may also be featured on NBC’s Today, and those who submit have the opportunity to receive an invitation to the film’s world premiere.

“By submitting your video, you can show everyone that, like Louie, we are all capable of being extraordinary.”

Here is just one of the extraordinary people who's story is featured on the site: Mankin suffered severe facial injuries after his amphibious assault vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device in Iraq. Yet, he insists, “Beauty is who you are.” You can read more of his story here.

If anything else, this campaign is a chance for us to better understand why veterans deserve our praise. How often do we reflect on how selflessly soldiers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day and perhaps take for granted?

Those who have their own amazing stories to tell can submit their videos via the campaign website, or using the hashtag #IAmUnbroken.

After reading even a few of the “unbroken” submissions, it’s clear that any of these stories are worthy of the silver screen.

The “I Am Unbroken” campaign begins on November 11 and select stories will be featured on NBC’s Today show.

“Unbroken” comes out in theaters on Christmas Day. You can watch the trailer here (I’ve watched it like five times already.)