Two highly anticipated films by award-winning Quad Cities filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films will be released in 2016.
The Barn Raisers, a historical documentary feature film which tells the story of barns in the Upper Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture, will be released in May. The Rundle's first historical docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder, featuring stage and film actors from the Quad Cities, Chicago and Los Angeles, will premiere in the fall of 2016. The Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa will host both events, and the films will be featured in the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater.
The Barn Raisers will paint a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, and remind viewers that these remnants from America’s rural past are still here to be interpreted and experienced. Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job, and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. The documentary project received grant awards from Humanities Iowa and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage area, as well as humanities councils in Kansas, Wisconsin and Ohio, along with a grant from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network and the National Barn Alliance.
Special screenings of the documentary will also take place in venues in Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.
Tax deductible contributions to the documentary project can be made by visiting LEND A HAND!
Sons & Daughters of Thunder tells the true story of the 1834 Cincinnati, Ohio Lane Theological Seminary anti-slavery debates. The controversial meetings, led by abolitionist and firebrand Theodore Weld (played by actor Thomas Alan Taylor), were the first to publicly discuss the end of slavery in America. The meetings angered Cincinnati residents and Lane Seminary officials, who promptly slapped a gag order on the entire student body. This action was followed by a freedom of speech protest and mass exodus of Lane students to Oberlin College.
A young Harriet Beecher’s (played by actress Jess Denney) exposure to the debates and Weld's continuing work to free the slaves sparked a flame that led her to write her international best-seller Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Shot in Illinois and Ohio, the docudrama is based on the critically-acclaimed play by Earlene Hawley of Waverly, Iowa. Her husband Kent is one of the project's producers. Kimberly Kurtenbach Furness is the Thunder's executive producer. A second premiere event will likely take place at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Both film projects are slated for theatrical and special event showings in 2016, with a national DVD release and regional PBS broadcasts to follow.
The Rundles have received two Mid-America Emmy® nominations: one for their documentary co-produced with WQPT, Letters Home to Hero Street, and one for Country School: One Room – One Nation.