Locally-Filmed 'Sons & Daughters of Thunder' Premieres Saturday at Downtown's Cincy World Cinema

click to enlarge Harriet Beecher (Jessica Taylor) and Theodore Weld (Thomas Alan Taylor) - Provided
Harriet Beecher (Jessica Taylor) and Theodore Weld (Thomas Alan Taylor)

A new film — Sons & Daughters of Thunder — from Mid-America Emmy-nominated filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle of Fourth Wall Films will premiere this weekend at Cincinnati World Cinema's Garfield Theatre.

Set in Cincinnati in 1834, the 85-minute flick retells the true story of the anti-slavery debates that unfolded in the Lane Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian college that operated from 1829 to 1932 in Walnut Hills.

Led by Theodore Weld — an abolitionist played by actor Thomas Alan Taylor — they were the first public debates to tackle ending slavery in the country. But they also sparked backlash; seminary officials placed a gag order on the student body who, subsequently, held a protest in the name of freedom of speech. 

The event caused the dismissal of a professor and the leaving of 40 students and a trustee. 

Many of those involved would go on to work in the abolitionist movement that built to the Civil War. Among them was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who — among other things — authored Uncle Tom's Cabin. She was inspired, in part, by the debates; she also drew from Weld's other work, namely two pamphlets: The Bible Against Slavery and Slavery As It Is. Stowe's historic Cincinnati home (located on the grounds of the former Lane Theological Seminary) also served as a filming location. 

“The Harriet Beecher Stowe House is the only remaining structure on what was the Lane Theological Seminary grounds,” said Tammy in a press release. “We are grateful to the Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the Ohio State Historical Society for their kind assistance in making it possible for us to film on site where this significant story took place." 

Two screenings are slated this Saturday, March 23, for the film — 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The former showtime is already sold out, but tickets are still available for the latter. Filmmakers Tammy and Kelly — along with a few cast members — will be onsite for a Q&A after the screening. Plus, attendees can check out props and costumes in the Garfield's lobby. 

For more info or tickets, visit cincyworldcinema.org

Mackenzie Manley

Mackenzie Manley is a freelance journalist based in Greater Cincinnati. She currently works as Campbell County Public Library’s public relations coordinator, which means most of her days are spent thinking about books and community (and making silly social media posts). She’s written a bit of everything, including...
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