"Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe"

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Welcome!

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe is a new documentary by award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, that tells the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

This website will provide regular updates on the film project, historic tid-bits, a glimpse behind-the-scenes, premiere and release information, and how you can be a part of this fascinating journey. 

We are pleased to announce that Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe is partially funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  The fiscal sponsor for this documentary film project is Friends of the Harriet Beecher House.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed by the film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Ohio Humanities.

Visit often and do spread the word about Becoming Harriet Beacher Stowe!


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New Documentary on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Ohio Years Previews at Xavier’s Kennedy Auditorium September 21

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Harriet Beecher Stowe and her father Lyman Beecher.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will be presented at Xavier University as part of a special Ohio Humanities sneak preview. The program is free to the public and will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2PM-3:30PM in Xavier’s Kennedy Auditorium, located in the Michael J. Conaton Learning Commons, 3725 Ledgewood Dr. in Cincinnati. The 30-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, and film participants Dr. Christine Anderson, Dr. John Douglass, Dr. John Getz, Dr. Michelle Taylor Watts and historian Chris DeSimio.  The program is co-sponsored by the Xavier English Department, the Xavier History Department, and Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. 

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe explores the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. Production took place in Cincinnati, Piqua and Ripley, Ohio; Maysville, Kentucky; Litchfield and Hartford, Connecticut; Brunswick, Maine and Andover, Massachusetts.

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The documentary project received a major grant from Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the fiscal sponsor for the grant.

 “We are very pleased to sneak preview Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe at Xavier University, which is not far from the historic Harriet Beecher Stowe House where Harriet and Calvin Stowe likely married, and where their twin daughters Eliza and Harriet were born,” said producer Tammy Rundle.  “We encourage people to tour the home prior to the afternoon program.”

The Rundles previously received an Ohio Humanities grant for their award-winning historical documentary film The Barn Raisers. Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Country School: One Room - One Nation, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS), Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.), Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series. The Rundles are also the filmmakers behind the 1834 Cincinnati Lane Rebels docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder. The Garfield Theater hosted the sold-out Cincinnati premiere of Thunder in March 2019.

The Ohio Humanities (OH) is a state-affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of Ohio Humanities is to help individuals and communities explore, share, and to be inspired by the human experience. OH is committed to creating vibrant communities throughout the state of Ohio. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed by the film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Ohio Humanities.

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Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2006, and is committed to assuring that the place and importance of the Lane Theological Seminary and the Beecher and Stowe families is perpetuated and shared. It encompasses ideas of abolition, as well as civil rights and women’s rights.  The organization accomplishes this through tours of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, lectures and discussions, and educational outreach programs for the community, teachers and students of all ages.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.


Save the date! Ohio Humanities " Sneak Preview of "Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe" Sept. 21

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We are pleased to announce that the Ohio Humanities Sneak Preview of Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe will be held at Xavier University's Kennedy Auditorium (located in the Michael J. Conaton Learning Commons), 3725 Ledgewood Dr. in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2PM-3:30PM.  The 30-minute documentary film will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films and other film participants.  The program is free to the public and co-sponsored by the Xavier University English Department and the History Department. 
 
"We are very grateful to Dr. John Getz for arranging this special Ohio Humanities sneak preview at Xavier, and to the co-sponsors of this film event," said producer Tammy Rundle.  "Xavier University is just five minutes from the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and will provide a great opportunity for audience members to visit the historic site and learn more about Harriet before the program."
 
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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
,
a new documentary by award-winning and Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle, tells the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. Kelly Rundle will direct the documentary film.
 
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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
is partially funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed by the film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Ohio Humanities.  The historical documentary film project's fiscal sponsor is Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.
 
Visit our Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe Facebook page and remember to LIKE it! 
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The Resting Place

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Harriet Beecher Stowe's resting place in Andover, Massachusetts.

It was magic hour, when the shadows are long and the light is at its best.  There was little noise to distract.  Only the birds sang out at Harriet Beecher Stowe's resting place. Engraved on the foot of the monument are the words, Her Children Rise Up and Call Her Blessed.

She died on July 1, 1896 at the age of 85 in her Hartford, Connecticut home and is buried, along with her husband Calvin, in a small and quiet historic cemetery located at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.  Their beloved son, Henry Ellis, who drowned at age 19 in the Connecticut River, is buried near them.

While the majority of production on Fourth Wall Films new documentary Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years (working title) takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, producers Kelly and Tammy Rundle also filmed on the East Coast where Harriet spent her childhood, girlhood, successful years as a writer, and her final days.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin” had just been published when Harriet Beecher Stowe moved to Andover in 1852, where Calvin was a professor at the Andover Theological Seminary. They made their home there until 1864.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years will tell the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to Harriet's best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years received a grant from the Ohio Humanities (OH), a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities for production and post-production work. The project's fiscal sponsor is Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House .

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

For more information about Fourth Wall Films, visit FourthWallFilms.com.

LIKE our Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary Facebook page to keep up on all the latest news! 

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Calvin Stowe's grave is very near Harriet's resting place.


Dr. John Getz Interviewed for "Harriet Beecher Stowe" Documentary

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Filmmakers Tammy & Kelly Rundle interviewed John Getz, Ph.D. at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati.

Production continued on the new Fourth Wall Films documentary Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years (working title).  Filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle and production assistant Melinda Carriker toured the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, Ohio and met with one of the key scholars for the project.  Dr. John Getz, Xavier University Professor Emeritus of American Literature, sat for an in-depth interview about Stowe, her life and experiences in Cincinnati and her writing.

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Production assistant Melinda Carriker and filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle during production in Cincinnati.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years
 will tell the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to Harriet's best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. 

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Additional interviews with key scholars on the project will take place in July, as well as the filming of historic locations and the gathering of other footage in Ohio and Kentucky for the documentary project.  Production will wrap in early August.

Through the project's fiscal sponsor, Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH), Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years received a grant from the Ohio Humanities (OH), a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities for production and post-production work.  An Ohio Humanities sneak preview of the film will take place this fall.

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Interviewing Dr. John Getz for the documentary.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

For more information about Fourth Wall Films, visit FourthWallFilms.com.

LIKE our Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary Facebook page to keep up on all the latest news! 


Production Continues in Cincinnati March 23-24

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Kelly Rundle films at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House during the Rundles' first visit to the historic site in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati will be the location for more production on the new documentary Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years (working title).  Filming interviews with several key scholars on the project will take place during the weekend of March 23-25th, with additional filming for the documentary slated in Cincinnati in June.

Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle will also appear with their new narrative film Sons & Daughters of Thunder at the Garfield Theatre, 719 Race Street in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, March 23rd.  Several of the film's actors will join the Rundles for a "Talkback" following the film.  The event is sponsored by Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.  Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased online at http://www.cincyworldcinema.org/.  The docudrama 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 acclaimed stage 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 acclaimed stage actress Jess Taylor) 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.  Sons & Daughters of Thunder is based on a play by Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter. 

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The poster art for Sons & Daughters of Thunder, premiering in Cincinnati on March 23 at the Garfield Theatre.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years will tell the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to Harriet's best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. 

Through the project's fiscal sponsor, Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH), Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years was awarded a grant from the Ohio Humanities (OH), a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

For more information, visit FourthWallFilms.com.

LIKE our Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary Facebook page to keep up on all the latest news! 


"Harriet Beecher Stowe" documentary takes filmmakers to Litchfield

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The First Congregational Church in Litchfield, CT was founded in 1721. The original meeting house was built in 1723.  Reverend Lyman Beecher served as minister from 1810 until 1826 preaching Calvanism. The current church building was built on site in 1829, three years after Lyman moved his family to Boston.

Fourth Wall Films' Kelly and Tammy Rundle visited the charming town of Harriet Beecher Stowe's birthplace, Litchfield, Connecticut and captured footage for their new documentary Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years.

Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born in Litchfield on June 14, 1811 to Reverend Lyman Beecher and his wife, Roxana Foote Beecher.  Harriet was the seventh of thirteen children born to Lyman.  Roxana died when Harriet was five.

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Lyman Beecher home in Litchfield. (Photo Litchfield Historical Society)

Lyman purchased the North Street house in 1810.  Harriet described the home as a “wide, roomy, windy edifice that seemed to have been built by a succession of afterthoughts.”  The family lived in the house for 16 years.

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Nothing is left of the old Beecher homestead in Litchfield, but a Beecher Street sign.

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The Rundles did research at the Litchfield Historical Society and spent time touring the fascinating museum exhibit.

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Producer Tammy Rundle examines a needle-point artwork on display at the Litchfield Historical Society.

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Director Kelly Rundle finds information on the Beecher family on display at the Litchfield Historical Society.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years will tell the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to Harriet's best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. 

Through the project's fiscal sponsor, Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH), Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years was awarded a grant from the Ohio Humanities (OH), a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

For more information, visit FourthWallFilms.com.

LIKE our Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary Facebook page to keep up on all the latest news! 


Rundles' New Docudrama "Sons & Daughters of Thunder" Premieres March 23 at Garfield Theatre in Cincinnati

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Thomas Alan Taylor plays firebrand Theodore Weld in Sons & Daughters of Thunder.

On this 23rd day of November we honor abolitionist and Lane rebel Theodore Weld's 215th birthday by announcing the Cincinnati Premiere of Sons & Daughters of Thunder is set for Saturday, March 23, 2019 at the downtown Garfield Theatre, 719 Race Street.  The docudrama, produced by Mid-America Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, and Kent Hawley, will screen at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.  A Q&A with the filmmakers and others will follow the movie.

This special Cincinnati premiere event is sponsored by the Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.

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"We are very excited to show Sons & Daughters of Thunder in the city where the true story took place 185 years ago," said producer Tammy Rundle.  "Attendees of the film premiere will also have the opportunity to visit historic sites in Cincinnati with connections to the story, including the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, the last remaining structure on what was Lane Theological Seminary grounds where abolitionist Theodore Weld and his 'Lane Rebels' made history with the first public discussions of the abolition of slavery." 

The Rundles are also working on a new documentary entitled “Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years.”  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House is the fiscal sponsor on the project.  Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an author best known for her popular anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, who was born and died in Connecticut, but lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850.

"We became aware of Harriet's life in Cincinnati because of our work on Sons & Daughters of Thunder," said director Kelly Rundle.  "We thought, 'Here is an important part of Harriet's life that has not been explored in a documentary.'  We became interested in how the life-changing experiences in Cincinnati contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin."
 
Based on a play by Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter, Sons & Daughters of Thunder tells the unforgettable true story of the beginning of the end of slavery in America. In 1834, if polite discussions about abolishing slavery were considered inappropriate among Americans in Northern states, then eighteen days of public student-sponsored debates on the divisive subject at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio (a border community) were scandalous. Organized by Theodore Weld, one of the architects of the abolitionist movement, the shocking oratory sparked intense controversy and awakened a young Harriet Beecher (Stowe) to the realities of slavery.

Fourth Wall Films is an award-winning and Regional Emmy® nominated independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in the Quad Cities.

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Author Philip McFarland Interviewed for Documentary

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Dr. Philip McFarland during his interview for the documentary with director Kelly Rundle.  

Production continues on the new documentary Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years (working title). 

Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films met with Dr. Philip McFarland, author of the book "Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe", at his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.  He has written seven non-fiction books (Hawthorne in Concord) and two fictional works.

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Dr. McFarland provided an on-camera interview for the documentary.

Through their fiscal sponsor, Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH), Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years was awarded a grant from the Ohio Humanities (OH), a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Harriet Beecher Stowe: Her Transformative Ohio Years will tell the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.  The documentary is slated for release in the fall of 2019.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

For more information, visit FourthWallFilms.com.

LIKE our Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary Facebook page to keep up on all the latest news!