QUAD CITIES, USA--Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films in Moline, Illinois and Kent and Earlene Hawley of Waverly, Iowa have announced the commencement of Sons & Daughters of Thunder, a docudrama based on Earlene's critically-acclaimed play by the same name.
The film tells the story of the 1834 Cincinnati, Ohio Lane Theological Seminary anti-slavery debates. The controversial meetings, led by abolitionist and firebrand Theodore Weld, were among the first to publicly discuss the end of slavery in America. The meetings angered Cincinnati residents and school 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 by students from the fledgling Ohio seminary.
The president of the seminary, Lyman Beecher, was also father to Harriet Beecher (Stowe). Harriet's exposure to the debates and Weld's continuing work to free the slaves sparked a flame that led her to write her magnum opus Uncle Tom's Cabin.
"A classic American play," said The Portland Journal. "Historically accurate and emotionally exciting," said The Portland Scribe. "A made to order conflict not only of principles but of personalities...a neatly staged battle between people history has made into heroes and villains," said The Oregonian.
Kelly and Tammy have previously produced several award-winning historical documentary feature films including Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Lost Nation: The Ioway, and Country School: One Room - One Nation. They are currently in post-production on Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg with Emmy-nominated producer Garry McGee, and in production on a sequel to Lost Nation: The Ioway.
An acquaintance of the Hawleys, who was both familiar with Earlene's play and the Rundles' Lost Nation: The Ioway, introduced the couples and suggested adapting the play for the big screen.
Fundraising and pre-production planning is currently underway with an eye toward shooting Sons & Daughters of Thunder in the fall of 2011 and completion and release in 2012.
Fourth Wall Films is a film production and distribution company, formerly based in Los Angeles, California, and now based in Moline, Illinois.
Visit www.LaneRebelsMovie.com for more information.