Events

"Sons & Daughters of Thunder" Opens Over the Rhine Film Festival at Harriet Beecher Stowe House July 8

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The award-winning and 2020 Mid-America Emmy nominated Sons & Daughters of Thunder will screen at the Over the Rhine Film Festival in Cincinnati at 5PM (ET) on July 8th, opening night of the three-day film showcase.

The festival committee arranged for the film to screen in the historic Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 2950 Gilbert Avenue and filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films will participate in Q&A after the presentation.

Seating is limited. Visit https://thirdrow.live/otrff/ for ticket information. 

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Based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter, the film tells the unforgettable true story of the first-in-the-nation 1834 emancipation debates led by firebrand abolitionist Theodore Weld (Thomas Alan Taylor) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and their effect on a young Harriet Beecher Stowe’s (Jessica Taylor) views of slavery.

The film was co-produced by Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films and Kent Hawley, and Executive Producer Kimberly Kurtenbach. Award-winning cinematographer Kevin Railsback served as the Director of Photography. The original score was created by award-winning composer William Cambell and it received a 2020 Mid-America Emmy. nommination.

Sons & Daughters of Thunder was partially funded by a grant from the Quad City Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, with support from Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe HouseWalnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, and the Bix Biederbecke InnThe Moline Foundation and the Shell Rock Community Historical Society served as the fiscal sponsors on the film project.  The film is co-produced by Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films and Kent Hawley. Kimberly Kurtenbach is the Executive Producer of the film.

Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films are the producers of multiple award-winning historical documentaries and the Mid-America Emmy® nominated documentaries Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, Country School: One Room – One Nation, River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6 and Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT). 

To order any of Fourth Wall Films documentaries or film projects on DVD or view them via streaming, visit SHOP FOURTH WALL FILMS.


New Emmy-nominated Harriet Beecher Stowe Documentary to Screen on Feb. 18

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By Jonathan Turner

Entertainment Reporter, QuadCities.com

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a small, quiet woman who wielded a towering, thunderous literary voice that helped change the conscience and course of a nation.

Barely five feet tall, Stowe (1811-1896) is just 23 in the award-winning docudrama “Sons & Daughters of Thunder (2019) by Moline-based filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films.

A half-hour companion documentary, “Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe,” premiered last February on WQPT-PBS, and will be presented online by the Bettendorf Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., in honor of Black History Month.

A Q&A with the film producers and Christina Hartlieb (executive director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, Ohio) will follow the film via Fourth Wall Films’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Fourth-Wall-Films-173844695995934

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe tells the little-known story of the famous writer’s life in Cincinnati, and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1852). Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her moving observations and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

The documentary features writers, historians and storytellers — including Joan Hedrick, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life.”

“The Cincinnati years, I think, profoundly affected her,” Hedrick says in the new film. “Her early marriage, her early motherhood – I think it was hard for her to leave that sacred ground. When she moved there, she was a New Englander, but when she went back East 18 years later, she was an American.”

Read the rest of Jonathan Turner's in-depth QuadCities.com story HERE!


“Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe” Screening & Discussion presented online Feb 18

H Stowe photo_adjHarriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The new Mid-America Emmy® nominated documentary Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe produced by Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films,will be presented online by the Bettendorf Public Library on Thursday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m. during Black History Month. 

A Q&A with the film producers will follow the 30-minute film via Fourth Wall Films' Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Fourth-Wall-Films-173844695995934(See the event instructions at the end of this post.)

Registration is required at http://events.bettendorflibrary.com/event/4780047 

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe tells the story of the famous 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 life-changing experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

The documentary features writers, historians and storytellers including Joan Hedrick, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life”.

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Clips from Fourth Wall Films’ award-winning and Emmy-nominated docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder are included in the documentary and feature acclaimed actors, including Jessica Taylor as a young Harriet Beecher. Dee Canfield is the voice of elder Harriet Beecher Stowe in the documentary.  A number of historical sites appear in the film, including the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Rankin House in Cincinnati, Ohio among others.

Harriet at desk copyJessica Taylor as young Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe was partially funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Producers Kelly and Tammy Rundle are the owners of Fourth Wall Films, an award-winning and Regional Emmy-nominated independent film production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.

The Rundles have received eight Mid-America Emmy® nominations for their documentaries Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Country School: One Room - One Nation, River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6, and Letters Home to Hero and their docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder. Visit FourthWallFilms.com for more information.

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EVENT SCREENING INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Register to attend the event at http://events.bettendorflibrary.com/event/4780047 

2.  On Thursday, Feb. 18th at 2 p.m., go to the Fourth Wall Films Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Fourth-Wall-Films-173844695995934

3.  At 2 p.m. CLICK ON the Facebook LIVE Premiere to view the 30-minute film.

4.  When the film is finished (all the way to the end of the credits), return to the Fourth Wall Films Facebook page.

5.  CLICK ON on the Facebook LIVE video to tune into the Q&A with the film producers. You will be able to type in your questions in the comments.

Note:  If the presentation freezes up for any reason (it is rare, but sometimes such things can happen), simply REFRESH the Fourth Wall Films' Facebook page. 


A Country at its Exasperation Point'... Again

1216501005.jpg.0Protesters in Cincinnati, Ohio marched with thousands across the nation for justice over the death of George Floyd and other black victims who have died at the hands of police brutality.

History has written that the first 19 or so African slaves arrived in Point Comfort, Virginia near Jamestown in August of 1619 on the White Lion, an English privateer commanded by John Jope. However, scholars believe it was much earlier, with captive Africans arriving in this country as early as 1526.

Here we are, having just released our documentary Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe, and our first docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder, 186 years after the first public debates on the abolition of slavery took place at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio during the early part of 1834. Eighteen nights of contoversial oratory led to a mass exodus of Lane students (forever known as the "Lane Rebels") in a Free Speech protest following the school  trustees' gag order supressing any discussion of abolition. The debates also led to near riot conditions in the city.  Fast forward to 1852 when Harriet Beecher Stowe's best selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was released, and nine years after that to a bloody Civil War in which slavery played the central role, dividing the country, lasting four long years, and burying 618,222 souls.

Lane Rebels with LanternsAbolitionist Theodore Weld and the Lane Rebels in Fourth Wall Films' Sons & Daughters of Thunder.

186 years later, we find ourselves uniting in protest over the tragic death of George Floyd, and a long list of other black victims, who died at the hands of police brutality. All these decades later, still fighting racism, inequality, injustice, hate and white supremacy. 

7JHI4USWGREPVOWVWBXD2XPY2UProtesters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"There have been uprisings against police brutality and racism before, but this is the country at its exasperation point," wrote Sean Collins of Vox.com. "Americans have come out nightly in nearly every US city to demonstrate for the past week. They’ve been attacked by police, tear-gassed, and arrested, and have marched shoulder to shoulder amid a deadly pandemic. Their demand: an end to racism, police brutality, and the attitudes and policies that allow both to exist. 

The protesters want change now.  And it is easy to see why: Systemic racism takes a physical, existential toll on communities of color... At the core of this rage is a legitimate fear for black Americans: the sense that they can be killed anywhere at any time by anyone, but especially by law enforcement. It is a feeling black Americans have carried for all of America’s history. And the fact that the feeling has persisted for so long, that it has passed through so many iterations — the casual and common brutality of slavery, the lynching terrorism that followed, the assassinations of the civil rights era, the police killings of today — has created a feeling of futility. That no effort, no matter how herculean — not marching a million people through the nation’s capital, not placing a black man at the head of government — will be enough."

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Protest in the Quad Cities. Photo KEVIN E. SCHMIDT, Quad City Times.

President George Bush stated: "America’s greatest challenge has long been to unite people of very different backgrounds into a single nation of justice and opportunity. The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union. The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals — to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. We have often underestimated how radical that quest really is, and how our cherished principles challenge systems of intended or assumed injustice. The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America's need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised. "

186 years later, we should not have to cry out that 'black lives matter'. It should be ingrained in us.  A no brainer.  A moral must.  That is why the Lane Rebels protested nearly two centuries ago, and Harriet Beecher Stowe was inspired to write her magnum opus Uncle Tom's Cabin. That is why the masses join around the world today shouting as one voice, "Enough is enough!"

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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe, a new documentary film by Fourth Wall Films, 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.

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.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films titles include Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, 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. All are available on DVD at http://fourthwallfilms.com/shop.html.


Black Hawk College's presentation Cancelled until September

HBS_banner Cancel notice
The Black Hawk College's Lifelong Learner Lunch presentation of Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe  on Thursday, March 12 has been cancelled. The event will be rescheduled in September.

A statement was posted by the Black Hawk College:

Black Hawk College will be following the recommendations made by the CDC regarding the avoidance of events or situations where there are a large number of people present especially if the group is over 60 and may have underlying health conditions.  Because of that the lifelong learner lunch on Harriet Beecher Stowe that is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, March 12th) has been cancelled. 

The September rescheduled event will be posted here once arrangements are confirmed.

Black Hawk College Lifelong Learner Lunches are designed for anyone 55 years or better, but all adult learners are welcome.

Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE), Black Hawk College,301 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline, IL, 309-796-8254.

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.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Sons & Daughters of Thunder, Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery,  The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series.