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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

Independent Film Held Over at Abingdon Cinemall

Barter Theatre actor Mike Ostroski (on horseback) stars in <em>Freedom.</em>
Barter Theatre actor Mike Ostroski (on horseback) stars in Freedom.
Additional photos below »

Local Incident inspires Civil War Film

August 04, 2007

Audience response to Freedom has been so overwhelming that the Abingdon Cinemall will extend showings through Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007. Showings are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily.

Freedom, the new locally-produced independent film about the Civil War, was the number one film last week at Abingdon Cinemall.

"The response to the film has been remarkable," said the movie's writer/director Rick McVey. "More people saw Freedom at the Cinemall last week than saw Harry Potter, or The Simpsons, or Transformers. To have that strong a showing at a state-of-the-art complex like the Cinemall is truly amazing. A lot of people watch movies at the Cinemall. For a locally-produced film to be number one in sales is incredible."

Steve Weston, President/Manager of Abingdon Cinemall, confirmed McVey's statements. Weston said "Freedom far out-sold all of the Hollywood major motion pictures showing during the same time period, including The Simpsons, I Now Pronouce You Chuck And Larry, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Hair Spray, No Reservations, and Transformers, which were the top six films nationwide."

Weston continued, "
Most of Freedom's 2 pm shows were sold out, and all of the 7:30 pm shows were sold out. This past weekend — beginning Friday, Aug. 3 — the film The Bourne Ultimatum opened as the number 1 movie nationwide by a wide margin over all other films. While ticket sales at Abingdon Cinemall for Bourne were very strong, ticket sales for Freedom were stronger. Bourne is an ultimatum; however, at Abingdon Cinemall the film Freedom is a phenomenon."

McVey discovered this unique story reading a first-hand account of the struggles of Captain Theodore F. Allen, a Union captain with the Seventh Ohio Cavalry captured during the Battle of Rogersville in November 1863. Allen, played by Mike Ostroski, finds himself the companion to a wounded Lieutenant A.A. Carr, portrayed by John Hedges. The two men make a daring escape and weave their way through enemy lines. The escaped prisoners find the Tennessee mountains to be rich with Union sympathizers who aid them on their long journey back to freedom. They struggle to stay alive and keep their humanity in a time and place that keeps both their lives and their souls in danger.

Other nationally known actors, who have all worked at Abingdon's Barter Theatre, fill the major and minor roles: Frank Green, Melissa Owens, Tom Angland, Eugene Wolf, Ben Mackel, John Hardy, Bobby Funk and Katy Brown, among others.

The film contains mild adult language and violence and should be considered to have a rating equivalent to PG-13. More information on the film is available at Advance ticket sales are available at the Abingdon Cinemall website,, and at the Cinemall box office.

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A! ExtraTopics: Film

Katy's Cabin is a pivotal scene in Freedom.

Local re-enactors joined Barter Theatre actors as cast members in Freedom.

Freedom was filmed at local historic sites.